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Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots

Rock group

For the Record

Hesitated Before Signing Contract

Demons of Success Came Calling

Critics Assailed, Fans Adored

Weiland Struggled with Addictions

Selected discography

Sources

The Stone Temple Pilots (STP) spent their early career fighting the perception that they were a Seattle band. Their 1992 debut album, Core, invited comparisons to a host of other current alternative rock acts from the Pacific Northwests burgeoning music scene, but the Stone Temple Pilots actually paid their proverbial dues in southern California. The group is often pejoratively lumped together with Seattle grunge rock success stories like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, but in reality were all part of a wave of new bands whose roots lie in a bizarre allegiance to both the power-chord arena rock of the 1970s and a modern-day punk rock aesthetic. James Rotondi of Guitar Player described STPs work as memorable, tough rock songs backed by anvil-heavy grooves and rich, unflashy guitar parts.

Core spent over a year on the music charts, won a slew of awards, and eventually went multiplatinum. The Stone Temple Pilots toured during most of 1993 and put in appearances as an opening act for heavy metal goliaths Megadeth as well as an MTV Unplugged show. In the summer of 1994, they released their sophomore effort, Purple, another instant series of hits. Between the two albums, STP became a permanent

For the Record

Members include Dean DeLeo (born August 23, 1961, in New Jersey), guitar; Robert DeLeo (born February 2, 1966, in New Jersey), bass; Eric Kretz (born June 7, 1966, in Santa Cruz, CA), drums; Scott Weiland (born October 27, 1967, in Santa Cruz, CA; married Janina; divorced; married Mary Forsberg, 2000; children: Noah), vocals.

Group formed in San Diego, CA, c. 1987; originally named Mighty Joe Young; signed with Atlantic Records, April 1992; released first album, Core, 1992; appeared on MTV Unplugged, 1993; released Purple, 1994; group essentially disbands following the release of Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican City Gift Shop and a relapse of Weilands heroin addiction, 1996; group reunites for the release of No. 4, 1999; released Shangri-La-Dee-Da, 2001.

Awards: Grammy Award, Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for Plush; American Music Awards, Favorite New Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite New Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist; two Billboard Video Awards; Billboard Music Award, Number One Rock Track for Plush; MTV Music Video Award, Best New Artist of 1993; Rolling Stone readers poll, Best New Artist and lead singer Scott Weiland named Best New Male Singer, all 1993.

Addresses: Record company Atlantic Records, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020. Website Stone Temple Pilots Official Website: http://www.stonetemplepilots.com.

fixture on the album rock charts. Despite their unparalleled success, the band members felt frustrated by the criticism that often accompanies such accomplishment, but album and concert ticket sales offered somewhat of a balm. Being a musician, youre so used to whats going on in the industry, guitarist Dean DeLeo responded to the snarkiness in a 1993 Rolling Stone interview with Kim Neely, but when you get fan mail and you read what real people are saying about you, thats what really counts.

Stone Temple Pilots formed around the Los AngelesSan Diego axis in the late 1980s. Two of its members, brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo, were transplanted New Jerseyites living in San Diego. They had played professionally once before, back home in a cover band called Tyrus. Robert came across singer Scott Weiland Weiland at a Black Flag concert; the two realized they had been dating the same woman. Nevertheless, a friendship developed and they started to mess around with their guitars and an eight-track recorder. Californian Eric Kretz, then playing drums in another band, soon joined them. Kretz and Robert DeLeo relocated to Los Angeles, and Dean followed after a few years to help out with a demo tape. The brother decided to stick around, and the band officially formed as Mighty Joe Young.

Hesitated Before Signing Contract

The first-ever show of Mighty Joe Young happened at the legendary Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. The band soon tired of the Los Angeles music scene and returned to San Diego, where they wrote music and schlepped equipment to local bars for the next two years. In 1992 a representative from Atlantic Records came to one of their shows and soon the label was expressing interest in signing them. Yet the quartet was leery of a big, major-label contract until they talked with industry-insider Danny Goldberg, then managing Seattle grunge-rockers Nirvana.

Mighty Joe Young signed the contract on April Fools Day of 1992. They headed into the studio with Brendan OBrien, erstwhile producer of such bands as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Crowes. Shortly before their debut albums scheduled release, their lawyer discovered that the name Mighty Joe Young was already being used by an aged blues artist and they would need a new name. The Stone Temple Pilots moniker originated in the STP motor-oil logo sticker that the young Weilands bike had sported. They invented the name from the letters.

Core began climbing the charts following its release in September of 1992. A video for the first single, Sex Type Thing, made its first few appearances on the MTV metal showcase Headbangers Ball, then garnered heavy rotation during the rest of the programming week. The Stone Temple Pilots arrived on the scene just as other up-and-coming bandsespecially the Seattle triumvirate of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chainsalso began rocking the alternative charts and stations with a similar edgy, guitar-based sound. Fans assumed the Pilots hailed from the Pacific Northwest, too.

Meanwhile, some critics assailed the overnight explosion of similar-sounding bandsfor years the alternative scene had been a healthy industry unto itself with neither major-label interest nor supportbut now the behemoths had stepped in and found a way to market one particularly accessible sound to a wider spectrum of youthful listeners. By mid-1993 the Pilots were fed up with the issue. What is mainstream, and whats alternative? fumed bassist Robert DeLeo in the Rolling Stone interview with Neely. I mean, you cant really control whos gonna buy your album. You cant put an alternative sticker on it and say, This is for cool people only.

The Stone Temple Pilots began a heavy tour schedule, making stops in both the United States and Europe. They turned down a slot as openers for Aerosmith in part because of the legendary acts traditional treatment of women as sex objects. Core s first single, Sex Type Thing, was a strident message against date rape written by Weiland that nevertheless was sometimes read the wrong way as being pro-date-rape. The vocalist told Rolling Stone reporter Neely that he put himself in the frame of the typical American macho jerk as he was writing the songs lyrics from a firstperson stance and was a bit stunned that some took his intent in a completely opposite way.

Demons of Success Came Calling

More criticism was heaped on the Stone Temple Pilots second single, Plus; the track was easy to mistake for a Pearl Jam tune due to its riffs and Weilands vocals. But Guitar Players Rotondi tried to put the similarity in perspective, saying, A generation that grew up discovering the joys of the Doors and Led Zeppelin in the wake of the punk explosion are bound to see and hear things similarly. If Weiland sounds like anybody, its Jim Morrison, whose moody baritone has been appropriated by everyone from the Cults Ian Astbury to Billy Idol to Glenn Danzig to Layne Staley to, well, Eddie Vedderall, like Weiland, talented, charismatic figures.

The Stone Temple Pilots began racking up an impressive array of awards as their debut album was selling millions. Plush remained on the charts for a recordsetting 77 weeks from 1993 to 1994, and won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal as well as a Billboard award for number one rock track; indecisive American Music Award voters gave them honors for favorite new pop/rock artist and favorite new heavy metal/hard rock artist; Rolling Stone readers voted them the Best New Band and Weiland the Best New Male Singer of 1994; they also won an MTV Music Video Award for Best New Artist.

But the success as well as the pressure nearly dissolved the band, as Weiland admitted in retrospect to RIP reporter Mick Wall in early 1995. A year ago, well, it just got to the point where we just really did not have the energy to communicate with each other. There were problems [like] the lack of respect that we had gotten from the music press, which we had always paid attention to. As a band they had been secure in their songwriting abilities, he explained, and at first were indifferent to what others were saying, but then after a while I think it started running on us and we were thinking like, Maybe theyre right, you know? Maybe people are right. Maybe theres something wrong with what were doing.

Critics Assailed, Fans Adored

But the Stone Temple Pilots managed to keep their heads up long enough to duck back into a studio in Georgia in early 1994. Working again with Brendan OBrien, they wrote much of the material for the next album in the studio and got it down on tape in less than a month. The DeLeos wrote the music and Weiland the lyrics, and many of the 12 tracks on Purple could be termed somewhat brooding and introspective. I guess I tend to find the darker shades of life more attractive than the yellows and oranges, Weiland told Neely in the Rolling Stone interview about his muses. I know its something that I relate to when I listen to music. Robert DeLeo looked forward to getting the album released in an effort to silence their critics. I think the new album is going to be our only savior, he told Rotondi in Guitar Player in early 1994. Hopefully, it will dispel a lot of the demons that are following us around.

Purple debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 in June of 1994. Its first singles were Vasoline and Interstate Love Song, each quickly becoming staples on both alternative and rock radio. Critical reaction was mixed. Reviewing it for Entertainment Weekly, David Browne called it rock & roll utterly without roots or, despite the pseudo-underground sheen, a real, defined sense of time or place. People writer Tony Sinclair made the usual Pearl Jam comparison and also likened STP to a sort of modern-day Grand Funk Railroad. Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone was less judgmental, however. She described Purples lyrical content as cryptic and sensitive and lauded mystical interludes and acoustic melodies [that] could be hokey but instead are naively pretty. Critical barbs aside, Purple was an unqualified success. It went triple platinum in less than six months, and Interstate Love Song held at number one for 15 weeks on Billboards album rock charts, a rather rare feat.

Weiland Struggled with Addictions

The success of Purple was tempered by Weilands growing heroin addiction and a rumored rift among group members. In May of 1995, Weiland was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine in Pasadena, California. The misdemeanor carried a sentence of up to four years in prison, but Weiland was sentenced instead to a rehabilitation program. After he completed the program, the group recorded its third album, Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Weiland relapsed soon after the albums release, and he once again entered a rehabilitation program. Without their leader, the group was unable to tour in support of Tiny Music. As a result, the album was not the overwhelming success of Core and Purple, though it did enter the charts at number four and went multiplatinum in 1998.

Upset with his relapse and struggling to manage his addiction, Weiland recorded a solo album in 1998 called 12 Bar Blues. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide called the album an unpredictable, carnivalesque record confirming that Weiland was the visionary behind STPs sound. At its best, 12 Bar Blues makes a case for Weilands talents as a songwriter and musician. The other members of STP formed the group Talk Show and released a self-titled album in 1997.

Much to the surprise of fans and critics, Stone Temple Pilots reunited and released the album No. 4 in 1999. The recording of the album was not without its problems, though. Still in and out of treatment, Weiland violated his parole for the third time in the spring of 1998 and was sentenced to a year in jail, bringing the production of No. 4 to an abrupt end. The band managed to record enough material for the album before Weilands jailing and pulled together what Michael Moses of Los Angeles Magazine called a collection of songs with stellar pop craftsmanship and melodic focus. Weiland was released from prison after three months served and helped his bandmates promote the album with secret performances and radio show appearances. The group also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance for Down, the albums lead track.

Stone Temple Pilots, with a sober Weiland, released Shangri-La-Dee-Da in June of 2001. The album merges four-on-the-floor rock and roll and classic pop melodies with moments of glam, punk, space-pop and even bossa nova, according to Teri van Horn of MTV.com. The album reached gold sales in July of 2001.

Selected discography

Core, Atlantic, 1992.

Purple, Atlantic, 1994.

Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, Atlantic, 1996.

No. 4, Atlantic, 1999.

Shangri-La-Dee-Da, Atlantic, 2001.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, December 10, 1994; January 14, 1995; March 4, 1995.

Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 1994; August 11, 1995.

Guitar Player, August 1993; February 1994.

Los Angeles Magazine, November 1999.

People, June 13, 1994; May 13, 1996; August 28, 2000.

RIP, February 1995.

Rolling Stone, August 5, 1993; February 10, 1994; July 17, 1994.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (March 26, 2002).

MTV.com, http://www.mtv.com (February 5, 2002).

Record Industry Association of America, http://www.riaa.com (March 21, 2002).

Richard De La Font Agency, http://www.delafont.com/music_acts/stone-temple.htm (March 25, 2002).

Stone Temple Pilots Official Website, http://www.stonetemplepilots.com (March 26, 2002).

Additional information for this profile was provided by Atlantic Records publicity materials.

Carol Brennan

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Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots

Rock band

For the Record

Hesitated Before Signing Contract

Demons of Success Came Calling

Critics Assail, Fans Adore

Selected discography

Sources

The Stone Temple Pilots have spent much of their young career fighting the perception that they are a Seattle band. Their 1992 debut album, Core, invited comparisons to a host of other current alternative rock acts from the Pacific Northwests burgeoning music scene, but the Stone Temple Pilots actually paid their proverbial dues in southern California. The group is often pejoratively lumped together with Seattle grunge rock success stories like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, but in reality all are part of a wave of new bands whose roots lie in a bizarre allegiance to both the power-chord arena rock of the 1970s and a modern-day punk rock aesthetic. James Rotondi of Guitar Player described STPs work as memorable, tough rock songs backed by anvil-heavy grooves and rich, unflashy guitar parts.

Core spent over a year on the music charts, won a slew of awards, and eventually went triple platinum. The Stone Temple Pilots toured during most of 1993 and put in appearances as an opening act for heavy metal goliaths Megadeth as well as an MTV Unplugged show. In the summer of 1994, they released their sophomore

For the Record

Members include Dean DeLeo (born August 23, 1961, in New Jersey), guitar; Robert DeLeo (born February 2, 1966, in New Jersey), bass; Eric Kretz (born June 7, 1966, in Santa Cruz, CA), drums; and Scott Weiland Weiland (born October 27, 1967, in Santa Cruz, CA; married; wifes name, Janina), vocals.

Group formed c. 1987 in San Diego; originally named Mighty Joe Young; signed with Atlantic Records, April 1992; released first album, Core, September 1992; appeared on MTV Unplugged, 1993.

Awards: Core and Purple received Recording Industry Association of America triple-platinum certification; Grammy Award for best hard rock performance with vocal, 1993, for Plush; American Music awards for favorite new pop/rock artist and favorite new heavy metal/hard rock artist, both 1993; two Billboard Video awards and a Billboard Music Award for Number One rock track for Plush, all 1993; MTV Music Video Award for best new artist of 1993; the band was voted best new artist and lead singer Scott Weiland was named best new male singer in a 1993 Rolling Stone readers poll; a Guitar Player readers poll voted Dean DeLeo best new talent of 1993.

Addresses: Record company Atlantic Records, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.

effort, Purple, another instant series of hits. Between the two albums, STP were a permanent fixture on the album rock charts. Despite their unparalleled success, the band members felt frustrated by the criticism that often accompanies such accomplishment, but album and concert ticket sales offered somewhat of a balm. Being a musician, youre so used to whats going on in the industry, guitarist Dean DeLeo responded to the snark-iness in a 1993 Rolling Stone interview with Kim Neely, but when you get fan mail and you read what real people are saying about you, thats what really counts.

Stone Temple Pilots formed around the Los Angeles-San Diego axis in the late 1980s. Two of its members, brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo, were transplanted New Jerseyites living in San Diego. They had played professionally once before, back home in a cover band called Tyrus. Robert came across singer Scott Weiland Weiland at a Black Flag concert; the two realized they had been dating the same woman. Nevertheless, a friendship developed and they started to mess around with their guitars and an eight-track recorder. Californian Eric Kretz, then playing drums in another band, soon joined them. Kretz and Robert DeLeo relocated to Los Angeles, and Dean followed after a few years to help out with a demo tape. The brother decided to stick around, and the band officially formed as Mighty Joe Young.

Hesitated Before Signing Contract

The first-ever show of Mighty Joe Young happened at the legendary Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. The band soon tired of the L.A. music scene and returned to San Diego, where they wrote music and schlepped equipment to local bars for the next two years. In 1992 a representative from Atlantic Records came to one of their shows and soon the label was expressing interest in signing them. Yet the quartet was leery of a big, juicy, major-label contract until they talked with industry-insider Danny Goldberg, then managing Seattle grunge-rockers Nirvana.

Mighty Joe Young signed the contract on April Fools Day of 1992. They headed into the studio with Brendan OBrien, erstwhile producer of such bands as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Crowes. Shortly before their debut albums scheduled release, their lawyer discovered that the name Mighty Joe Young was already being used by an aged blues artist and they would need a new name. The Stone Temple Pilots moniker originated in the STP motor-oil logo sticker that the young Weilands bike had sported. They invented the name from the letters.

Core began climbing the charts following its release in September of 1992. A video for the first single, Sex Type Thing, made its first few appearances on the MTV metal showcase Headbangers Ball, then garnered heavy rotation during the rest of the programming week. The Stone Temple Pilots arrived on the scene just as other up-and-coming bandsespecially the Seattle triumvirate of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chainsalso began rocking the alternative charts and stations with a similar edgy, guitar-based sound. Fans assumed the Pilots hailed from the Pacific Northwest, too.

Meanwhile, some critics assailed the overnight explosion of similar-sounding bandsfor years the alternative scene had been a healthy industry unto itself with neither major-label interest nor supportbut now the behemoths had stepped in and found a way to market one particularly accessible sound to a wider spectrum of youthful listeners. By mid-1993 the Pilots were fed up with the issue. What is mainstream, and whats alternative? fumed bassist Robert DeLeo in the Rolling Stone interview with Neely. I mean, you cant really control whos gonna buy your album. You cant put an alternative sticker on it and say, This is for cool people only.

The Stone Temple Pilots began a heavy tour schedule, making stops in both the United States and Europe. They turned down a slot as openers for Aerosmith in part because of the legendary acts traditional treatment of women as sex objects. Cores first single, Sex Type Thing, was a strident message against date rape written by Weiland that nevertheless was sometimes read the wrong way as being pro-date-rape. The vocalist told Rolling Stone reporter Neely that he put himself in the frame of the typical American macho jerk as he was writing the songs lyrics from a first-person stance and was a bit stunned that some took his intent in a completely opposite way.

Demons of Success Came Calling

More criticism was heaped on the Stone Temple Pilots second single, Plus; the track was easy to mistake for a Pearl Jam tune due to its riffs and Weilands vocals. But Guitar Players Rotondi tried to put the similarity in perspective, saying, A generation that grew up discovering the joys of the Doors and Led Zeppelin in the wake of the punk explosion are bound to see and hear things similarly. If Weiland sounds like anybody, its Jim Morrison, whose moody baritone has been appropriated by everyone from the Cults Ian Astbury to Billy Idol to Glenn Danzig to Layne Staley to, well, Eddie Vedderall, like Weiland, talented, charismatic figures.

The Stone Temple Pilots began racking up an impressive array of awards as their debut album was selling millions. Plush remained on the charts for a record-setting 77 weeks from 1993 to 1994, and won the Grammy for best hard rock performance with vocal as well as a Billboard award for Number One rock track;indecisive American Music Award voters gave them honors for favorite new pop/rock artist and favorite new heavy metal/hard rock artist;Rolling Stone readers voted them the best new band and Weiland the best new male singer of 1994, and they also won an MTV Music Video Award for best new artist.

But the success as well as the pressure nearly dissolved the band, as Weiland admitted in retrospect to RIP reporter Mick Wall in early 1995. A year ago, well, it just got to the point where we just really did not have the energy to communicate with each other, Weiland said of this period. There were problems [like] the lack of respect that we had gotten from the music press, which we had always paid attention to. As a band they had been secure in their songwriting abilities, he explained, and at first were indifferent to what others were saying, but then after a while I think it started running on us and we were thinking like, Maybe theyre right, you know? Maybe people are right. Maybe theres something wrong with what were doing.

Critics Assail, Fans Adore

But the Stone Temple Pilots managed to keep their heads up long enough to duck back into a studio in Georgia in early 1994. Working again with Brendan OBrien, they wrote much of the material for the next album in studio and got it down on tape in less than a month. The DeLeos wrote the music and Weiland the lyrics, and many of the twelve tracks on Purple could be termed somewhat brooding and introspective. I guess I tend to find the darker shades of life more attractive than the yellows and oranges, Weiland told Neely in the Rolling Stone interview about his muses. I know its something that I relate to when I listen to music. Robert DeLeo looked forward to getting the album released in an effort to silence their critics. I think the new album is going to be our only savior, he told Rotondi in Guitar Player in early 1994. Hopefully, it will dispel a lot of the demons that are following us around.

Purple debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 in June of 1994. Its first singles were Vasoline and Interstate Love Song, each quickly becoming staples on both alternative and rock radio. Critical reaction was mixed. Reviewing it for Entertainment Weekly, David Browne called it rock & roll utterly without roots or, despite the pseudo-underground sheen, a real, defined sense of time or place. People writer Tony Sinclair made the usual Pearl Jam comparison and also likened STP to a sort of modern-day Grand Funk Railroad. Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone was less judgmental, however. She described Purples lyrical content as cryptic and sensitive and lauded mystical interludes and acoustic melodies [that] could be hokey but instead are naively pretty.

Critical barbs aside, Purple was an unqualified success. It went triple platinum in less than six months, and Interstate Love Song held at Number One for 15 weeks on Billboards album rock charts, a rather rare feat. The Stone Temple Pilots began playing headlining dates around the country as well as sold-out shows overseas. By early 1995, they were working on a third album and planning a tour that would perhaps feature STPs own ticket distribution system. The band hoped to eliminate what they viewed as exorbitant service charges imposed on concertgoers by Ticketmaster, a national ticket distributor.

The Stone Temple Pilots remain nonchalant about their success and their detractors. Before the Seattle thing happened, popular rock was stale, Robert DeLeo told Guitar Players Rotondi. Before we got into the whole alternative scene, things were fine. But bands that are in this so-called alternative scene are just trying to prove that Hey, my bands more underground than yours. Whats the point here? Are we trying to prove how underground we are, or are we trying to prove we can make good music? Were all making music, so why should we hack on each other? And why not look at the differences between bands? Everybodys got something to offer.

Selected discography

Singles; on Atlantic

Sex Type Thing, 1992.

Plush, 1993.

Vasoline, 1994.

Interstate Love Song, 1994.

Albums; on Atlantic

Core, 1992.

Purple, 1994.

Sources

Billboard, December 10, 1994; January 14, 1995; March 4, 1995.

Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 1994.

Guitar Player, August 1993; February 1994.

People, June 13, 1994.

RIP, February 1995.

Rolling Stone, August 5, 1993; February 10, 1994; July 17, 1994.

Additional information for this profile was provided by Atlantic Records publicity materials.

Carol Brennan

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"Stone Temple Pilots." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Stone Temple Pilots." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/stone-temple-pilots

Stone Temple Pilots

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS


Formed: 1990, Los Angeles, California

Members: Dean DeLeo, guitar (born New Jersey, 23 August 1961); Robert DeLeo, bass (born New Jersey, 2 February 1966); Eric Kretz, drums (born Santa Cruz, California, 7 June 1966); Scott Weiland, vocals (born Santa Cruz, California, 27 October 1967).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Purple (1994)

Hit songs since 1990s: "Plush," "Big Empty," "Sour Girl"


Stone Temple Pilots emerged as grunge commanded the hearts and minds of the mainstream, and they were often criticized as a second-tier unit in comparison to the original wave of Seattle-based bands. When the grunge fever cooled, however, it became clear that the band owed more to arena rock of the 1970s than the outsider sound of punk. As the 1990s progressed, the band incorporated elements of glam and pop into its heavily guitar-driven mix, and they won critical plaudits that evaded their earlier incarnation. Despite the highly publicized drug problems of their lead singer Scott Weiland, Stone Temple Pilots still mine the anything-goes spirit of rock with verve and style.


Success Type Thing

Scott Weiland and bassist Robert DeLeo met by chance at a punk concert in Los Angeles and discovered that they were dating the same woman. Despite this inauspicious beginning, the two began to write songs together. They recruited DeLeo's brother Dean to play guitar and Eric Kretz to play drums to form Mighty Joe Young, later renamed Stone Temple Pilots (the name was inspired by the logo of STP motor oil). The band moved south to San Diego to take advantage of a less crowded rock scene and eventually caught the eye of an agent from Atlantic Records. The band signed a contract and went to work on their debut album.

Core was released in 1992, just as grunge bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were reintroducing heavy guitar-based music to the American public. The album features immaculate production and tight, catchy songcraft, qualities that made it one of the most popular albums of the 1990s. Dean DeLeo's dense wall of guitars and Kretz's thudding percussion provide perfect accompaniment for Weiland's dark and muscular croon. The first single, "Sex Type Thing," made an instant impression on rock fans with its crushing rhythm and aggressive guitars, but it attracted the scorn of critics for its derivative sound. Pegged as a grunge clone, the band offered an amalgamation of classic and hard rock styles. "Plush," a jagged, confessional rock ballad, sent the album to the top of the charts the following year, as Weiland's searing vocal performance invited comparisons to the mournful wail of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. The song is classic 1970s heavy metal, a self-important stomp that is nonetheless ideal for highway driving.

After a series of highly successful tours in which Weiland came into his own as a flashy and formidable front man, the band recorded their second album. Purple (1994) debuted at number one on the album charts, powered by the epic "Big Empty," which revisits the wall-of-guitars balladry of "Plush." The song is a transcendent arena-rock classic, heightened by a quiet verse/loud chorus structure and faux-profound lyrics ("Time to take her home / Her dizzy head is conscience laden"). Like the rest of the album, the song is pitch perfect, an unabashed grab for the mainstream rock crown. While their contemporaries shunned rock stardom, Stone Temple Pilots abandoned the modesty of grunge, recognizing the need for songs that above all rock. The band sounds looser and more inspired, playing with supreme confidence on rockers like the snaky "Vasoline" and the invigorating "Silvergun Superman." They scored another hit with "Interstate Love Song," an uncharacteristically light-hearted anthem marked by ringing guitars and lyrics of escape.


Artistic Triumph and Personal Turmoil

Soon after the release of Purple, Weiland developed a drug habit that resulted in his arrest and sentencing to a rehabilitation facility in 1995. Following his release, the band recorded and released their third album, Tiny Music . . . Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996). The album adds elements of pop and psychedelia to their hard rock sound, resulting in an edgy and ambitious set of songs. "Tumble in the Rough" builds from a rubbery guitar riff to a powerful, rhythmic chorus. "Big Bang Baby" features a taut rhythm and gangly guitars that add depth to the band's heavy metal structures, and "Lady Picture Show" employs complex and catchy instrumentation that suggests the Beatles. Tiny Music proved Stone Temple Pilots to be a creative act; unfortunately, Weiland was admitted again to a drug rehabilitation facility shortly after its release, and the band canceled their summer tour.

With Weiland's future in question, the band recruited the singer Dave Coutts to form Talk Show; they released an album of the same name in 1997. Weiland released a solo album titled 12 Bar Blues in 1998, but neither of the side projects garnered the commercial success of Stone Temple Pilots. The band reunited to record the remarkably focused No. 4, released in 1999. The album rocks just as hard as Core, but with the melodic sense of Tiny Music. The punishing opening track, "Down," is followed by the dynamic "Heaven & Hot Rods," in which a head-spinning riff morphs into a swirling psychedelic ending. The band notched a hit with "Sour Girl," a strange and melodic ballad that ranks among their best work. Weiland's voice is in fine form, expressive and emotional, able to cut through the expansive production to drive each song home. Once again, their tour plans were upset by Weiland's drug problemsthe singer was sentenced to a year in jail for charges stemming from a previous offense.

With a new commitment to sobriety, Weiland rejoined the band to record Shangri-La Dee Da (2001). The album continues in the same vein as No. 4, balancing gripping rockers with an ever-improving sense of melody and pop complexity. "Days of the Week" is one of the most engaging tracks in their catalog, with a jaunty guitar riff and a powerful vocal turn from Weiland. The blistering "Coma" benefits from hip-hop-inspired noise layered over their signature churning rhythm, and Weiland's versatile vocals add depth to the propulsive "Hollywood Bitch." The bittersweet ballad "Hello It's Late" is a tender account of fading love. Shangri-La Dee Da breaks no new ground but shows the band making well-crafted pop rock at a high level.

Once the most critically maligned band of the grunge era, Stone Temple Pilots evolved into a consistently engaging unit capable of producing compelling and cathartic commercial rock.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Core (1992, Atlantic); Purple (1994, Atlantic); Tiny Music . . . Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996, Atlantic); No. 4 (1999, Atlantic); Shangri-La Dee Da (2001, Atlantic).

WEBSITE:

www.stonetemplepilots.com.

sean cameron

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"Stone Temple Pilots." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Stone Temple Pilots." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/stone-temple-pilots

"Stone Temple Pilots." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/stone-temple-pilots