Monday, March 8, 2010

new STP on the horizon

News this past week that the reunited Stone Temple Pilots are back this spring with their first new studio album in nine years.

Of course, the band reconnected after singer Scott Weiland’s departure from Velvet Revolver in mid-2008; STP toured that year, followed by a Weiland solo trek in late ‘08/early ’09 (in support of “Happy In Galoshes,” his second disc). Throughout last year, STP were on and off the road at various times, while hitting the studio to get the new album together.

As much as I liked Velvet Revolver, it was great news to these ears when STP regrouped in ’08. When they originally packed it in back in ’03, I felt that STP were still vital and had more to offer: I guess that’s what fans tend to think, in general, when acts they like decide to call it quits. The Pilots, however, weren’t fading from public view or putting out less than quality stuff - quite the contrary: 1999’s “No. 4” had a massive hit with “Sour Girl,” which set things up for ‘01’s “Shangri-La Dee Da,” itself full of rockers, like “Days Of The Week” and “Hollywood Bitch.”

And then there’s the live shows: STP shine in the live setting, and I’ve never walked away disappointed from any of the gigs I’ve seen. As the principal songwriters in the band, the DeLeo brothers (Robert and Dean - bass and guitar, respectively) consistently lay down such a wicked groove on everything they play, and it just rocks when it’s in your face live, while Weiland’s stage presence can take the shows to another level entirely on its own.

Stone Temple Pilots - Core - Wicked GardenStone Temple Pilots - Core - Wicked Garden

Stone Temple Pilots – Wicked Garden
The Late Show with David Letterman - September 17, 1993

Speaking of live – STP have a potentially cool feature on their website: “Set Builder” gives fans the chance to build their own song lists for each of the band’s shows. Hmmm, here’s the possible catch, though: I couldn’t find any real details, or confirmation, on whether STP incorporates fan-voted songs into their sets, or not…just a lot of grumbling from fans that the submissions were being ignored (yes, it's the first time someone has complained online about anything).

Rock trivia: Weiland met Robert at a Black Flag concert in the mid-'80s; the two discovered they were dating the same girl, the guys became fast friends, she left town, and then Scott & Robert moved into her vacated San Diego apartment before forming an early version of STP under the name Mighty Joe Young.

Produced by STP and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, My Chemical Romance), the self-titled disc is due May 25 and features a dozen new tunes; early reports suggest it’s sonically what we’ve come to expect from the Pilots, who have been around long enough to know how to play to their strengths as a unit.

STP kick off the inevitable tour with a gig at Austin’s prestigious SXSW Music Festival on March 18, with dates across the U.S. Midwest to follow; they’ll head to Europe for a series of big outdoor festivals in June before an extensive summer tour of North America.

Stone Temple Pilots - Thank You - VasolineStone Temple Pilots - Thank You - Vasoline

Stone Temple Pilots – Vaseline
The Late Show with David Letterman – June 23, 1994