"We've got a lot left in the tank musically speaking," said guitarist Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots. He spoke with Rolling Stone recently about the future of STP, sharing a couch with his younger brother, bassist Robert DeLeo, in a Los Angeles rehearsal studio. Wearing his usual aviator shades, Robert added, "We're trying some singers out to continue Stone Temple Pilots, and we'll see where that goes, see where that takes us."
Their comments are an encouraging sign of life from the platinum-selling alternative hard-rock band in the wake of last year's death of founding vocalist Scott Weiland and the end of a short-lived collaboration with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, which produced a five-song EP in 2013.
Since the early 1990s, the Southern California act has experienced both massive success and painful interruptions during Weiland's long struggle with drug abuse. The singer was still estranged from his STP bandmates when he died at 48 on his bus during a solo tour in December.
The DeLeo brothers and drummer Eric Kretz are searching for a new singer and a new path forward. "We've all been kind of doing different things, but as far as Stone Temple Pilots is concerned, we've been neck-deep in the process of auditioning different singers," Dean said.
Asked if the band was looking for another high-profile frontman or an unknown, Dean said, "We're looking for somebody that fills a lot of criteria. Man, woman. There's a couple of people we really dig and we have some more coming in."
For Robert DeLeo, the search is partly fueled by the desire to simply keep performing the songs the band wrote together, including the hits "Sex Type Thing" and "Down." In February, the band posted a call for online auditions for the vocal position.
"It's impossible to replace Scott. It really is. We created something that only the four of us could create," Robert said. "It's about moving forward, but it's also about someone honoring that and being able to get their creativity around that.
"Eric, Dean and I have something – we've been playing music half our lives and you can't just dismiss that. It's something that I appreciate and I cherish in my life and I want to continue doing that."