As anyone who caught Stone Temple Pilots’ recent run of shows can attest — which kicked off with a thunderous set at South by Southwest in March — after more than five years on the shelf, the alt-rock demigods certainly haven’t lost a step.
But if you weren’t lucky enough to catch the first string of shows, don’t fret: Next week, STP will launch the second leg of their U.S. tour, which runs through June 5. (They’ll spend the summer darting across Europe, before returning to the stage in August.) On May 25, the band’s self-titled sixth album is due — their first since 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da — and it features the snarling first single “Between the Lines.” Chances are, you’ve heard it, since it sits at #1 on Billboard’s rock chart. And now, there’s a video to go with it, a burner directed by Christopher Sims, who has helmed clips for the likes of Staind and Jimmy Eat World.
And yes, it stands as further proof that STP are back.
MTV News was on the set of the video, shot last month in Los Angeles. Much like the song, it’s a sweaty, claustrophobic affair, documenting frontman Scott Weiland’s past history of drug use. Portions of it were shot in gloriously blurry, swirly first-person, much like another debauched, druggy classic.
“It’s sort of like an off point of view, similar to [the Prodigy’s] ’Smack My Bitch Up,’ ” Weiland told MTV News. “[It] was one of the coolest videos that came out in the last 15 years.”
But while the video does recall clips from the past, what’s most notable about it is how much it feels like classic STP. Weiland, the DeLeo brothers and drummer Eric Kretz flail and hammer with artful abandon, and the song, with its chain-saw guitars and Weiland’s trademark gruff yowl, sounds like it could’ve been lifted from any of their previous albums. It’s a welcome return, to be certain, one that’s indebted to the past, yet deeply rooted in Weiland’s personal travails — something he’s not shying away from this time out.
“The verse is sort of an ’I Am the Walrus’ kind of thing, where it’s a bunch of stuff that phonetically sounds good,” he said alluding to the Beatles song. “And then you get to the meat of the idea in the chorus … it’s a reference to my ex. It’s a real rock-and-roll song that has our own individuality.”
How does the “Between the Lines” video compare to the Prodigy’s ’97 clip? Share your take in the comments!