In late 2012, Stone Temple Pilots once again found themselves in an impossible situation. They’d been gigging with Scott Weiland for four years at this point and even managed to cut a new album with him in 2010, but he’d begun showing up very late for concerts and acting erratically onstage and off. It was a sad flashback to their initial burst of success in the 1990s when Weiland’s drug habit brought the group to a complete stop time and time again. After a few very difficult weeks on the road, the group fired Weiland.
“It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band,” STP bassist Robert DeLeo told Rolling Stone the following year. “There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That’s as big as it gets. But we really didn’t have any other choice.”
Their last gig with Weiland took place on September 23rd, 2012 at the Aftershock Musical Festival in Sacramento, California. Here’s fan-shot footage of the band playing their 1992 classic “Plush.” I think Scott’s made it very clear, his path and his decisions on what he’s done with or to this band,” Robert said “So when you’re in that situation, Dean, Eric and myself would rather move ahead. I want to have fucking fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I’m around people that don’t fucking get that, then I want to be around people who get that.”
They first moved ahead with Chester Bennington, but after two years with the group he left to devote himself full-time to Linkn Park. Weiland died of a drug overdose in December of 2015, and Bennington committed suicide in July of 2017. After losing both of their frontmen in quick succession, Stone Temple Pilots would have been forgiven for simply folding up shop. But earlier this month, they announced that former X Factor contestant Jeff Gutt had joined the group as their new singer.
“I think there’s still Stone Temple Pilots music to be made,” Robert De DeLeo told Rolling Stone. “And between Dean and Eric and myself, we know each other so well at this point that it’s the kind of thing where, when you’re away from it, you don’t really think about it. But then when you play together you regain a certain respect for what each one of us does individually, and as a trio musically. That thankful attitude and the gratitude toward being able to make music together is really a special thing.”