STONE TEMPLE PILOTS guitarist Dean DeLeo was recently interviewed by Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio. During the chat, he discussed late STP singer Scott Weiland‘s talent and how Scott modeled himself after Karen Carpenter‘s singing, the memory of albums such as “Tiny Music” and “Core” and more. He also talked about how the “Tiny Music” era was a “double-edged sword” because of Scott.
“Scott truly was a singer,” Dean said. “Scott was a crooner. And I’m gonna tell you something that a lot of people won’t know, and a lot of people will be, like, ‘I’m not hearing that. I don’t get that.’ But, really, go listen. And listen to the way they breathe. Listen to the way they enunciate. And not so much the enunciation, but listen to how they breathe though the song and deliver a line and deliver a lyric and their melodic sense. Scott was very influenced by Karen Carpenter. And if you go back and really listen, and listen to Scott‘s delivery, and then listen to how Karen delivered a line or a lyric or how she breathed and where she took her breaths, Scott really, really was very much like her.”
Dean went on to praise Weiland‘s singing ability and revealed that STP‘s current frontman, Jeff Gutt, was one of only a small group of vocalists who were able to accurately reproduce Scott‘s melodies during the audition process.
“Scott — I can’t say enough about his talent,” Dean said. “He was extraordinary. He was a true singer, with these half-step inflections or step-and-a-half inflections. And a lot of times, when we had people come in and audition, a lot of people just kind of stepped right over that stuff. For instance, ‘Interstate Love Song’ is a perfect example. There’s a lot half-step inflections in that, and a lot of singers we had come in just kind of stepped right over them. It was, like, ‘You’re missing some notes there, man.’ When Jeff came in, Jeff really, really sang every song we gave him. And ‘Interstate’, by the way, was one of those seven [that Jeff initially played with us]. And ‘Trippin’ On A Hole [In A Paper Heart]’ was one of ’em, ’cause that’s a real hard one to get out. Jeff just nailed it in every respect of the word.
“Ironically, Jeff was the last person we auditioned,” Dean continued. “We kind of went through — ooh, gosh, I’m gonna say 40 [or] 50 people we auditioned [in person] — and we stopped, and Robert [DeLeo, STP bassist] went out on the road with the [HOLLYWOOD] VAMPIRES. We didn’t know what we were gonna do. And then lo and behold, Robert is in Detroit, this guy approaches him, says, ‘You need to check out this cat Jeff.’ And Jeff was the last person we auditioned. And yes, thank God.”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS features three original members — Dean, Robert and drummer Eric Kretz.
Gutt, a 45-year-old Michigan native who spent time in the early-2000s nu-metal act DRY CELL, among other bands, and was a contestant on “The X Factor”, joined STONE TEMPLE PILOTS after beating out roughly 15,000 hopefuls during an extended search that began more than a year earlier.
Weiland, who reunited with the group in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus but was dismissed in 2013, died in December 2015 of a drug overdose.
Chester Bennington, who joined STP in early 2013, departed nearly three years later to spend more time with his main band LINKIN PARK. Bennington committed suicide in July 2017.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS released their first all-acoustic album, titled “Perdida”, in February 2020. The disc was Gutt‘s second with STP. His recording debut with the group was on its self-titled seventh album, which arrived in March 2018.