The Untold Truth Of Stone Temple Pilots

Formed in 1992 (via Guitar World), Stone Temple Pilots is a world-renowned band that shaped the future of alternative music. The unrelenting combination of singer Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz took on the world and an audience hungry for rock 'n' roll, oozing an originality and sonic presence that might not have been appreciated at the time. STP didn't care, though, as they focused on what they loved more than anything else: the music.

Despite the stellar live shows and best-selling records that topped all the charts, Weiland's personal problems severely impacted the band, resulting in them parting ways on two occasions. Unfortunately, they weren't able to reconnect for one last hurrah before Weiland tragically passed away in December 2015. Sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, the story of Stone Temple Pilots is one that will live on and be passed down generations from now. From Chester Bennington's brief time with the group to how Weiland's ex-wife managed to bring the band back together, here is the untold truth of Stone Temple Pilots.

Chester Bennington left the band because of family

Stone Temple Pilots might be best known for the Scott Weiland era, but the alternative rockers once counted on another music icon as a frontman for a brief period of time. In 2013, Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise vocalist Chester Bennington joined the band as their new singer. Bennington embarked on small tours with STP and even recorded an EP titled "High Rise" with them. However, he left after two-and-a-half years at the helm, as per Rolling Stone

While it was always unlikely that Bennington would turn his back on Linkin Park to focus on STP exclusively, the singer provided a non-music-related explanation for why he decided to step away from the band altogether. Speaking to Q104.3 FM (via Loudwire), he said the following: "The only reason why I'm not doing it now is because my kids, they would cry every time I'd go on the road with STP. When I leave on tour with Linkin Park, they're, like, 'Okay, we'll see you when you get back,' and they understand what I'm doing." He explained how his children thought he was choosing to go out with Stone Temple Pilots rather than enjoying the little downtime he had with them. Bennington added that he appreciated his time with the band, though, since they were a musical act that had a huge influence on him becoming an artist in the first place.

Stone Temple Pilots loved being in the studio

For most bands, going into the studio is a necessary evil in the music business. While it isn't the worst thing in the world, most artists will say they prefer being on the road and playing their songs in front of a live audience. In a conversation with "Rolling Stone Music Now," Scott Weiland explained how Stone Temple Pilots were a different kettle of fish in comparison to his other band, Velvet Revolver, especially when it came to recordings.

"One difference is STP loved being in the studio," he said. "There was this element of STP that was much more like the Beatles — no band's like the Beatles, it's blasphemy for any band to mention themselves in the same breath as the Beatles — but where a band loved being in the studio and just tripping out and exploring things and really taking risks from one record to the next. I think left to our own devices, we would have went anywhere." At the same time, Weiland was quick to credit producer Brendan O'Brien for allowing STP the room to experiment but also being able to rein things in and capture the magic of these sessions.

Dean DeLeo and Scott Weiland lived together in the early days

After two breakups that featured almost no sugar and all spice from both sides, it's safe to assume that Stone Temple Pilots and Scott Weiland had some simmering and uneasy tension between them. In fact, as per Rolling Stone, the band sued Weiland in 2013, believing he used the STP name to advance his own solo efforts while trying to actively prevent STP's music from being played on radio stations.

Yet, no matter the differences they might have had over the years, they never forgot about how they built a legacy from the ground up together. After Weiland's passing, Dean DeLeo recalled memories of his former bandmate to Revolver, revealing how they had shared a living space in the band's formative years. "Scott and I lived together when we were pursuing a recording contract and playing everywhere we could," he said. "He was so electric and so full of life, so full of art, so expressive. I really looked up to him in a lot of different ways, man. I have just the greatest memories of us going out in the very early days of STP and how wonderful that was — and how wonderful he was before things really started stepping into his life. He was very pure."

Jeff Gutt is a fan of Scott Weiland

Jeff Gutt is no stranger to the music scene. He marked his arrival as the frontman for Dry Cell during the height of the nu metal scene in the early 2000s (via AllMusic). After departing the band and hopping across various musical projects, he came to the forefront of media attention when he was selected as the runner-up on Season 3 of "X Factor" (via ET Online). In 2016, he made headlines once again after becoming Stone Temple Pilots' new vocalist.

Gutt has done his best to stay respectful to the legacy left behind by his predecessors — especially Scott Weiland, who is synonymous with the band. "I never met Scott, but I love Scott," Gutt told The Rockpit. "He was a big influence on me when I was learning how to sing and what it meant to be a frontman and his fearlessness and all those things that made him who he was. So I learned a lot from him and to be able to go up there and sing those songs and carry on his legacy like that is definitely something I'm very proud of and humbled by." Gutt added that he doesn't want to divide fans with debate about who does what better or to try to compete with the previous singers. Instead, he focuses on doing justice to the songs and experiencing them as a fan as well.

Stone Temple Pilots was critically hated in the '90s

Hindsight is 20/20. However, when it comes to entertainment, the cycle repeats itself as the audience fails to learn from previous mistakes. What might be reviled today could be iconic tomorrow, so it's best to not write something off simply because it goes against the grain. Music critic James Montgomery of MTV argued that Stone Temple Pilots were one of the five best alternative rock bands of the '90s but weren't recognized for their influence in the era.

Much like Nickelback became the most hated band in the music industry years later, STP was a critically despised band, despite their commercial success. They weren't viewed in the same light as their peers, such as grunge darlings Nirvana and Soundgarden — bands that were seen as the more pure musicians who did it for the sake of art rather than money. Instead, every successful milestone or hit single was seen as another stick to beat STP with. Yet, time proved to be the biggest test of the band's endurance and overall influence, and they have more than established themselves as one of the most seminal alternative rock outfits in history.

The band used material meant for Army of Anyone for their eponymous album

After Stone Temple Pilots split for the first time, the DeLeo brothers formed a new band called Army of Anyone with Filter vocalist Richard Patrick (via Discogs). They released a self-titled album in 2006, but it didn't quite capture the attention or sell as many copies as the band might have imagined, selling only 88,000 copies (via Billboard). Not long after the album's release, Army of Anyone went on an indefinite hiatus. Then, in 2008, STP reunited, as per Reuters.

Two years after the reunion, Stone Temple Pilots released an eponymous album — their first since 2001's "Shangri-La Dee Da." According to Dean DeLeo's comments to Consequence of Sound, the music wasn't exactly fresh or written from scratch. "Most of the songs that appear on this album have been written for a long, long time," he said. DeLeo also revealed that parts of the album were even considered for use in the Army of Anyone project before they were brought to STP. The guitarist mentioned how they pitched "Hickory Dichotomy" to Patrick, who didn't know what to think of the track.

The band pulled one of their songs from The Crow soundtrack

When it comes to film soundtracks, the music from "The Crow" transcends the action on screen. It's the voice of a generation, featuring artists such as The Cure, Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, and even Stone Temple Pilots. "Big Empty" — from 1994's "Purple" – is the STP track that appears on the original motion picture soundtrack; however, there was another song chosen before Brandon Lee's untimely death changed the course of events.

Originally, "Only Dying" was meant to appear on "The Crow" soundtrack, as per Rolling Stone. Robert DeLeo and his bandmates didn't feel it would be right to include a track with that name, considering what had happened to Lee, so they went with "Big Empty" instead. Drummer Eric Kretz thought the choice was a good one. "It was a bit more fitting," he said. "It's just a different vibe than what we were feeling at the time." The track "Only Dying" was eventually released on the 25th-anniversary reissue of "Core."

Scott Stapp was never considered for Stone Temple Pilots

The internet is a fantastic place. It gives us the world's information at our fingertips and allows us to connect to billions of others — no matter where they may be situated. Yet, with great power comes great responsibility, and the internet has sorely lacked that in the process of becoming a haven for people to spread false news and malicious gossip as gospel. Case in point: Creed's Scott Stapp supposedly being chosen as the new lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots.

In 2016, the band was forced to release a statement (via the New York Daily News) denying that Stapp was the new vocalist and had ever been a candidate (despite never suggesting he was either). To be fair, this confusion was due to Stapp making a comment on a radio show that he would neither confirm nor deny he would replace Scott Weiland as STP's new singer. He could have easily put this rumor to rest without revealing his big plans since he was joining Art of Anarchy, which was a group that featured Weiland but didn't have anything to do with STP apart from that. Instead, Stapp fired up Reddit and all the forums, as everyone questioned if a new Scott was about to lead Stone Temple Pilots.

The band formed after Scott Weiland and Robert DeLeo were dating the same woman

The formation of a band is usually the big story every group likes to talk about to the press. Some musicians meet early on in high school, click over their favorite bands and genres, and grow together as a band. Other artists steal band members from rival groups or find each other through the classifieds. However, Stone Temple Pilots might have the best story of the lot.

According to NME, Robert DeLeo and Scott Weiland actually met each other at a Black Flag gig in the late '80s. The two eventually came to the realization they were dating the same girl. Rather than come to blows about the incident or try to put on some macho display of dominance over the other, they did something unexpected: they formed a band that would become Stone Temple Pilots. Unsurprisingly, neither of them decided to stay with the mutual romantic interest.

Scott Weiland found out about his firing in the press

When Stone Temple Pilots parted ways with Scott Weiland in 2013, it was done through a single sentence, as per Rolling Stone. There were no explanations about what had led to this or well wishes for their vocalist — simply that Weiland had been "terminated." There had been murmurs doing the rounds for months before the separation, especially after Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash let slip in an interview that Weiland had been fired. However, a day before STP's statement was released, Weiland denied all these rumors, though he admitted there had been some tough times and animosity in the band. That said, he seemed optimistic about the future as he revealed they were planning their next tour.

Eventually, Weiland addressed his firing in a statement through his spokesperson. "I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press," he said. "Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out."

Stone Temple Pilots recorded the drums for a song on a front lawn

When recording music, every artist wants to get into the groove and find the muse of inspiration. Some of them might have specific rituals they adhere to when they go into the studio, while others might even jet off to a spooky haunted mansion to record their tunes. Stone Temple Pilots might not have recorded their music upside down or in a hot air balloon; however, they did try out something incredibly unique. While recording their 1996 album, "Tiny Music ... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop," the band decided to rent out the Westerly Ranch for their recording sessions, as per Yahoo.

"We really thought we'd get 'back to basics' and really get back into our blues background, so we rented a 60,000-square-foot house on a hundred acres on the Santa Ynez Valley," Dean DeLeo told Yahoo. Eric Kretz revealed that the drum tracks for "Lady Picture Show" were done in the attic closet, while "Big Bang Baby" sessions took place on the front lawn. Reportedly, the band didn't know how to turn off the sprinklers, only knowing they had an hour before they went off, so they recorded the drum tracks as quickly as possible before they got hosed down.

Scott Weiland's ex-wife was responsible for the reunion

After Stone Temple Pilots broke up, the band members pursued other musical projects, making it appear like any chance of a reunion was well and truly past them. However, STP fans owe Scott Weiland's ex-wife, Mary Forsberg, a debt of gratitude, as she was the unlikely catalyst that got everyone speaking to each other again.

"Mary called me, because Robert and I have this band with [Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers drummer] Steve Feronne, doing this big 12-piece band [called Farm Fur], and Mary called me, because there was some private party she was involved with, and she asked us to play," Dean DeLeo told MTV. "And then she said, 'Scott's here. Do you want to talk to him?' And we started chatting." It proved to be the conversation that broke the ice and put everyone on the same page again. Not too long afterwards, they received a call from their agents about the possibility of doing some shows over the summer, and the Stone Temple Pilots reunion was born from there.