Over 20 years ago, Stone Temple Pilots made their debut with the album Core, and now here we are nearly 20 years later and the band has just released their new EP, High Rise,with recently added lead vocalist Chester Bennington.
Chester Bennington, who most of you know from the extremely popular band Linkin Park, just recently joined up with Stone Temple Pilots as the group's lead vocalist. The group has already released their debut EP album called High Rise and it's available now.
We recently had the chance to speak exclusively with Stone Temple Pilots drummer Eric Kretz. When we talked with him, we wanted to find out how this alliance came about, what new music videos the band has in store, when we would be looking at a full album from the group and so much more.
One of the first things we asked Eric was how they decided to partner up with Chester and if this was something the band always had in mind, in one form or another.
"We kind of knew the way we had to move forward without [Scott Weiland]. The one name that always came up was Chester. He picked everything up so well. We all met and talked about schedules, and since then it’s been full on.
"[When we recently did a show] we opened up with a classic Stone Temple Pilots song and all of sudden they started pointing at Chester. You could watch it from row to row to row and see all of their reactions. It was something to see," Kretz said.
So working with a new lead vocalist had to come with some growing pains right? Not according to Eric Kretz.
He told us about how simple it was to work with Chester and that the music they were making came to all of them very easily.
"What’s great is how simplistic the work was and how he fit in with Stone Temple Pilots. He sometimes would hum a melody and we’d be like ‘oh that’s great.’ The ease of collaboration was similar than it was in 92’ or 93’. It was organic and really worked well.
"We definitely have a sound. There’s always going to be that identifiable element that is Stone Temple Pilots, but as far as changing anything, of course it was different because we had Chester. Chester has been a fan since the band’s inception and he knows how to put on that [hat]. A lot of people see him from Linkin Park, but he’s so talented that there were wasn’t anything to discuss.
"In the early 2000’s we toured with Linkin Park and Chester would sometimes come on stage and sing with us. We knew when he was warming up for Linkin Park shows he’s always singing Stone Temple Pilots songs," Kretz said.
With their newest album, High Rise, having already been released, we thought they may have plans in the works for a new music video and indeed they do.
Eric told us about his feeling of the industry changing so much over time, and did confirm that they are actively working on development for their next music video, which will be Black Heart.
"The dynamics of the whole industry have changed so much, but we are working on Black Heart right now. It’s going to be a competition for different people to win directing credit on it. The lyrics to that song are so creepy even though it’s a peppy song. Some of the stranger ideas are morbid and disgusting, but a lot of them are great ideas.
"As far as new music, there were a lot of ideas coming out, but we knew Chester and our band had limited time, so it’ll be good to get a chance to make a full album next year," Kretz said.
For a group that has been around over the last 20 years, a lot has changed in the music industry and the way the world works. That sentiment is especially true over the previous two decades, than any other 20 before it. The evolution of technology has changed the music industry so much.
Kretz talked about some of the things he remembers about recording when he first started out back in the 1990's.
"We use to record on magnetic tape. The only digital was the actually CD, so we couldn’t really fix stuff. In some ways I can see it was a lot more honest leading up to 95'.
"Now, anyone can make a record and anyone can do it anywhere, so the problem [tends to be], when they put a band together, they might not have the excitement or soul surrounding the music they make. That can hurt their live performance unless they have the necessary technologies when they perform live," Kretz said.
Finally, during this coming February and March, Stone Temple Pilots will be touring across Australia for the Soundwave Festival, which will be featuring bands such as: Green Day, Rob Zombie, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice in Chains and 44 more.
Eric described the elements of competition that are so present at these festivals and said Stone Temple Pilots want to be the best ones there.
"There’s such an element of competition. In shows in Japan and Australia we just have one mission and that’s just to dominate every band there and be the best band. The live shows have been awesome and that’s what’s been so exciting is the fans’ reaction to everything," Kretz said.
If you're not near any of the upcoming show dates, don't worry because Stone Temple Pilots are still having a live stream of their show at the Hard Rock Live in Biloxi, MS. This show will take place on Nov. 1st at 8 p.m. CDT.