Stone Temple Pilots will mark the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Core, with multiple reissue editions. The massive Super Deluxe edition houses live tracks from their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, which includes an unreleased version of signature song “Wicked Garden” that Billboard premiered.
Bassist and co-founder Robert DeLeo told Billboard in an accompanying interview that their Unplugged performance was nerve-wracking. “There’s something about volume and turning things up so loud that allows you to hide behind the wall of sound, and there we were doing something we’d only done together when we were alone in a room, just us,” he said.
“I remember getting to ‘Creep,’ and I have a little vocal part in there where I answer Scott, and looking back at the video you see my hands were shaking, I was so nervous. It was part of growing as a musician in front of a large audience. No one prepares you for that.”
Despite the apparent nerves, it’s not evident on the track. In addition to hearing fans cheering in the background, the acoustic rendition, while slightly less churning than the original recording, is just as vibrant. It features a reflective melodic intro, retains the driving rhythms of the original recording and their late frontman Scott Weiland’s raw emotion is palpable.
In the interview, DeLeo addressed the deaths of both of their singers. Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in July, was in STP from 2013-15. DeLeo said he lost a great friend. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and think about why he did what he did,” he said. “Obviously it made sense to him, but I’m baffled by that. And always will be.”
He also expressed sadness regarding the tumult between Weiland and STP and his tragic death in December 2015. “An immense sadness for many reasons,” DeLeo said when asked about the circumstances. “Ultimately what saddens me is he’s not here to enjoy the reissue of our first record we made together. I mean, that’s really sad to me, that he’s not here to share in this.”
STP is continuing their search for a new singer. “Hopefully we will find a singer who will be that guy, and represent what we want to do moving forward,” he said.
The Core reissue editions will be released on September 29th via Rhino.