Unlike most bands that reunite after a bitter split and several years of animus, Stone Temple Pilots — who shared the stage for the first time in five years on Monday night at the former Hollywood Hills estate of magician Harry Houdini — claim they aren't in it for the cash. Nope, STP — frontman Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and kitman Eric Kretz — just missed being STP.
"This is home for us," Dean DeLeo said, following Monday's press conference, during which the band announced it would be heading out this summer on a full-fledged, 65-date reunion run. "I'm fond of our legacy, and I'm fond of our band — I'm a fan. I get off when I'm riding down the highway and an STP track comes on the radio. I get off on that."
But just how did the reunion come together? "Scott's mom called mine and Robert's mom, and then they called Kretz's mom, and they thought it would be a great idea for the boys to do," DeLeo joked. "I hate begging to be whipped and hit, because when they ground us, we can't go out and play. It's the worst, man."
Truthfully, the Stone Temple Pilots reunion, which DeLeo said has been in the works for about eight months, began with just one phone call — from Weiland's wife, Mary.
"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," said DeLeo. "And then she said, 'Scott's here. Do you want to talk to him?' And we started chatting."
"We were just putting a bunch of guys together to play this beach party — covers and stuff like that," Weiland chimed in. "And Dean is saying to me, 'Man, it would be cool if people could see us onstage together.' Not long after that, I was on the road, and Dean called me up. He said, 'Are you sitting down?' I was in Jersey somewhere, and he said he'd heard from our agent, and that some offers had come in for some festivals this summer. He said he'd been listening to our music and asked me what I thought about doing this."
And the reunion — which has been heavily rumored since late last year — couldn't have come at a better time. Perhaps in anticipation of STP's goings-on, Weiland's most recent band, Velvet Revolver, fired him last week, citing the singer's "increasingly erratic onstage behavior and personal problems" as the impetus for the break. The singer played his possible final show with the band last Tuesday in Amsterdam. And the DeLeos have been free since last May, when their other band, Army of Anyone, went on an indefinite hiatus, allowing frontman Richard Patrick to return to his first love, Filter.
"It's been five years we've been apart, and there's all these young kids who had older brothers who were STP fans, and now they're these little hipsters — 18, 19, 20 years old — and they're STP fans," Weiland said. "These kids come up to me all the time and tell me they loved the band, that they have all of our records. To be appreciated by a whole 'nother generation of fans, all of a sudden discovering you, it's kind of what I did with the classic bands I love — the ones that influenced me. The ultimate goal of this band was to leave a legacy, to have our songs make an impact, to be on the radio still 30 years down the road, and to be enjoyed by people, whether it's something that gives them a feeling of heartache, or something that they relate to because of a struggle they went through in their life. Music is just something that makes you feel, believe and be inspired — that was the goal always, to have our music out there and for it to continuously, over a period of years, inspire."
For STP, the process of healing has been ongoing since they first split back in 2003. According to Weiland, the separation wasn't smooth, and at one point, he and Dean DeLeo came to blows. But Kretz said it feels as though the band never threw in the towel, and that STP still "has a lot to contribute to music."
The band's reunion tour will get underway May 17, in Columbus, Ohio, and run through August 31 in Seattle. After the tour concludes, Weiland said it's back to the studio, to record STP's next LP.
"The whole record machine is f---ed up now, so we really want to get to a place of having some freedom, because we have a lot of leverage," he said. "We have sold almost 40 million records, and we're in a position of power. We want to be free agents, whether it's putting our records out ourselves, or doing some interesting, very creative deal with a nontraditional major record label. The system as it is now ... that formula does not work. We've seen it; we'll need to do things differently, do things wiser."
According to Robert DeLeo, the band has already started crafting material, and he anticipates they'll probably end up writing 100 songs before tracking the effort. The band wouldn't comment on the record beyond that.
Stone Temple Pilots tour dates, according to the band's publicist (remaining dates to be announced in the coming weeks):
» 5/17 - Columbus, OH @ Rock on the Range Festival, Columbus Crew Stadium
» 5/18 - Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
» 5/20 - Cleveland, OH @ State Theatre, Playhouse Square
» 5/22 - Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion
» 5/23 - Indianapolis, IN @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway
» 5/26 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
» 5/31 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
» 6/1 - Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
» 6/3 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
» 6/6 - St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
» 6/7 - Kansas City, KS Rock Fest @ Liberty Memorial Park
» 6/8 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
» 6/11 - West Valley City, UT @ The E Center
» 6/12 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Pearl
» 6/14 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Pearl
» 6/21 - Calgary V Festival @ Fort Calgary
» 6/24 - Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
» 6/25 - Tucson, AZ @ Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater
» 6/27 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
» 6/28 - The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
» 6/29 - Grand Prairie, TX @ Nokia Theatre @ Grand Prairie
» 7/2 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
» 7/4 - Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest, Marcus Amphitheater
» 7/10 - Quebec City, Quebec @ Summer Festival, Plains of Abraham
» 7/12 - North York, ON @ Edge Fest, Downsview Park
» 7/15 - Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Performing Arts Center
» 7/17 - Green Bay, WI @ Oneida Casino
» 7/18 - Mt Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino
» 7/19 - Cadott, WI @ Chippewa Valley Music Festival
» 7/25 - Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre
» 7/26 - Paso Robles, CA @ California Mid-State Fair
» 7/27 San Diego, CA @ Concerts on the Green, Qualcomm Stadium
» 8/8 - Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest
» 8/9 - Atlantic City, NJ @ The Borgata
» 8/10 - Baltimore, MD @ V Festival, Pimlico Race Track
» 8/17 - Charlotte, SC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
» 8/19 - Orlando, FL @ UCF Arena
» 8/20 - Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock Live, Seminole Hard Rock Casino
» 8/22 - Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheatre
» 8/23 - Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Encore Park
» 8/30 - Vancouver, BC @ GM Place
» 8/31 - Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot Festival, Memorial Stadium