STP (Stone Temple Pilots)
Members: Scott Weiland, Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo, Eric Kretz
Active: 1990 - 2004
Stone Temple Pilots (abbreviated STP) was a popular Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band in the 1990's, comprised of Scott Weiland (vocals), brothers Robert (bass) and Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (drums).
STP's five albums have sold over 17 million copies. The band had fifteen top ten singles on the Billboard rock charts, including six # 1's, and one # 1 album on the pop charts (1994's Purple). STP won the 1994 Grammy for the "Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal" for their song Plush. In addition to their original material, they have also covered songs by Led Zeppelin, the Doors, and the Beatles. These bands were some of the groups cited by the band as its influences.
In 2003, the band released the greatest hits compilation Thank You. Around this time, band members began going their separate ways. Since the band's demise, Weiland has moved on to become the frontman of Velvet Revolver with former members of Guns N' Roses. The DeLeo brothers have recently announced the formation of a new band, Army of Anyone, with Richard Patrick of Filter. Kretz founded Bomb Shelter Studios in Los Angeles and currently plays drums in the band Spiralarms.
Stone Temple Pilot's beginnings can be traced to a 1987 Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California where Scott Weiland met Robert DeLeo. "It was one of those weird things. You get into a heavy discussion with a total stranger, and you discover that both of you are seeing the same girl." When the girl left town, Weiland and DeLeo moved into her vacated apartment. Immediately, Weiland and DeLeo formed a band, calling it Mighty Joe Young. It combined Weiland's punk rock inclinations and DeLeo's hard rock aspirations. Seeing the band's potential, drummer Eric Kretz joined the band. Soon after, Robert DeLeo's brother, Dean DeLeo, decided to play guitar in the band, completing the quartet. The band performed in San Diego under another name before settling on Stone Temple Pilots in 1990.
Stone Temple Pilots built a fan base in San Diego bars in order to steer clear of the Los Angeles corporate music scene and build up their technique and following in the clubs. In 1992, Stone Temple Pilots signed with Atlantic Records. Their first album, Core, was released in September of same year. Although the album was an instant success producing several big hits like "Sex Type Thing," "Plush," and "Creep," critics condemned Stone Temple Pilots as rip-off artists whose greatest ability lay in copying other grunge bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden.
In spite of the critics, Stone Temple Pilots continued to gain fans. Bringing their music to the people, they toured for four weeks opening for Rage Against the Machine, then played a forty-date tour supporting heavy metal band Megadeth. 1993 brought continued success on the road, with the band headlining a two-and-a-half-month U.S. tour. Two sold-out shows in New York's Roseland Ballroom featured Stone Temple Pilots in full Kiss make-up (causing some critic to dismiss the band as glam-rockers), in honor of their childhood heroes. Taking the message of their song "Sex Type Thing" to heart, the Stone Temple Pilots also performed at benefits for pro-choice organizations.
The loyalty of the band's fans and the animosity of its critics came to a head in January 1994 when the band was simultaneously voted Best New Band by Rolling Stone's readers and Worst New Band by the magazine's music critics. The tie was broken the next month, when Stone Temple Pilots won Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist at the American Music Awards. On March 1, at the Grammy Award ceremonies, "Plush" won the band its first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal.
In the spring of 1994, Stone Temple Pilots returned to the studio to work on their second album, Purple. Completed in less than a month, Purple debuted at number one in the United States upon its release in June. The radio-friendly "Interstate Love Song" quickly became a big hit, spending a record-setting fifteen weeks atop the album rock tracks chart. Other hits from the album included "Vasoline" and "Big Empty" (the latter also being featured on the soundtrack to The Crow movie). By October, just four months after its release, Purple had sold three million copies. Stone Temple Pilots had achieved across-the-boards popularity.
Although the Stone Temple Pilots' success continued into 1995, it would not be a good year for the band. Two weeks of recording session work had to be scrapped in February, and in May Weiland was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine in Pasadena, California, when police found the illegal drugs in his wallet. Facing up to three years in prison, Weiland pled not guilty, and a trial date was set the next year.
Following Weiland's arrest, the Pilots separated. Weiland formed a temporary side unit called the Magnificent Bastards, which contributed a song to the movie soundtrack of Tank Girl and a cover song to a John Lennon tribute album. By October 1995, though, the band regrouped with Weiland to begin recording its third album.
TINY MUSIC... SONGS FROM THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP
The Stone Temple Pilots released their third album, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, in April 1996. Fans again showed their support of the band when the album debuted at number four on the U.S. charts. However, Critical reception was again mostly negative. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "None of it ... has a distinct personality," while Ryan Schreiber of Pitchfork Media completely slammed the album giving it a 0.8 out of 10 and stating that "there's nothing for sale at the Vatican Gift Shop but lousy, repetitive riffs, wimpy lyrics, and a drug-addled sonofabitch that should have OD'ed a long time ago." On a more positive note, Rolling Stone was surprised at "the clattering, upbeat character of the music" given Weiland's much-publicized run-ins with drugs and the law.
However, Weiland's drug addiction again became a serious obstacle to the band's success. The band was unable to launch a tour to promote the album and even had to cancel previously announced dates. Following the release of Tiny Music, the band issued a statement saying that Weiland "has become unable to rehearse or appear for these shows due to his dependency on drugs. He is currently under a doctor's care in a medical facility."
Weiland's entry into a drug rehabilitation program was not voluntary. In April 1996 he was ordered by a Pasadena judge to spend up to six months under round-the-clock medical supervision. After Weiland completed five months in a drug treatment program, the charges of cocaine and heroin possession were dropped in October 1996. Unfortunately, Weiland's 1996 stay in a rehabilitation center proved useless. In January 1997 he checked himself into another drug treatment center. Once again, a tour was cancelled.
Despite their fans' loyalty, the band's patience with Weiland seemed to be coming to an end. Guitar Player Magazine reported in May 1997 that the Stone Temple Pilots will honor their five-album recording contract, but they expect the next album to be recorded without Weiland, with a new sound and a new name.
LATE 90'S AND BREAK UP
In September 1997, while the Stone Temple Pilots were on hiatus, Weiland released a solo album, Twelve Bar Blues, while the remaining members of STP formed the one-time band Talk Show, with former Ten Inch Men singer Dave Coutts. Neither release did well commercially.
The Stone Temple Pilots soon reunited, releasing No. 4 in 1999. Singles released from the album included "Down" and "No Way Out", but they scored their biggest hit with the single, "Sour Girl," off the album. "Sour Girl" was inspired by Weiland's failing relationship with his then wife, and peaked at number three on the modern rock charts. Shortly after its completion, Weiland was sentenced to a year in a Los Angeles county jail for violating probation.
During the summer of 2001, the Stone Temple Pilots released their fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Da, which produced two modest rock radio hits, including "Days of the Week". It would be their last, as it ended their contractual obligations, and the group disbanded. On November 11, 2003, Atlantic released a greatest hits album, Thank You, with a bonus DVD. The album included a previously unreleased single, called "All in the Suit That You Wear".
1992 - Core
1994 - Purple
1996 - Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
1999 - No. 4
2001 - Shangri-La Dee Da
2003 - Thank You (COMPILATION)
1993 - "Wicked Garden" Core
1993 - "Sex Type Thing" (re-issue) Core
1993 - "Plush" Core
1993 - "Dead And Bloated" Core
1994 - "Creep" Core
1994 - "Vasoline" Purple
1994 - "Interstate Love Song" Purple
1994 - "Big Empty" Purple
1995 - "Unglued" Purple
1995 - "Pretty Penny" Purple
1995 - "Dancing Days" Encomium
1996 - "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart" Tiny Music...
1996 - "Lady Picture Show" Tiny Music...
1996 - "Big Bang Baby" Tiny Music...
1997 - "Tumble In The Rough" Tiny Music...
1999 - "Down" No.4
2000 - "Sour Girl" No.4
2000 - "No Way Out" No.4
2000 - "Break On Through" Stoned Immaculate
2001 - "Revolution"
2001 - "Hollywood Bitch" Shangri-La Dee Da
2001 - "Days of the Week" Shangri-La Dee Da
2003 - "All in the Suit That You Wear" Thank You