New STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Jeff Gutt says that he is "blessed and very honored" to have been chosen to front "the LED ZEPPELIN of my generation."
The one-time "The X Factor" contestant was announced as the third frontman in the group's history on Tuesday evening (November 14) prior to the band giving a special performance at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles. A new STP single, titled "Meadow", has already been released, with a full-length album to follow in the spring.
"I've had some time to get used to the idea," the 41-year-old Gutt told the Daily Tribune in a new interview. "I was just sitting on the sidelines watching it all unfurl and knowing what was going to happen before anyone else did. I knew I had a secret I was about to reveal, which was cool.
"It's a very strange feeling, but at the same time I'm blessed and very honored. It's like joining the LED ZEPPELIN of my generation. I feel like I'm living in a movie."
Gutt, who was a runner-up in the reality TV music competition show's third season, originally auditioned for STP in September 2016 and became an official member of the band in May 2017. He has spent the last year secretly writing and recording new material with band members Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz.
STP had been without a vocalist since November 2015, when Chester Bennington — who joined the group in early 2013 — departed to spend more time with his main band LINKIN PARK. Bennington committed suicide last July.
Scott Weiland, who reunited with the group in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus but was dismissed in 2013, died in December 2015 of a drug overdose while on a solo tour.
Gutt told the Daily Tribune that he feels ready to both honor his predecessors' legacy and bring something new to the band.
"I don't really feel that pressure," Gutt said. "I was studying Scott when I was coming into singing myself, and I learned so much from [listening to] him. It was fun to incorporate all those things in my own way and still sing true to Scott's stuff and really keep that as true as I could."
Gutt appeared on "The X Factor" in 2013, where he impressed the judges with his covers of songs like "Creep", "Dream On" and "Hallelujah". Prior to that, he fronted the bands DRY CELL, ACRYLIC, PUNCH and BAND WITH NO NAME and later formed a group called RIVAL CITY HEIGHTS.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS recently completed recording their seventh full-length studio album and first since 2010. The as-yet-untitled effort was produced by the STP members themselves and is currently being mixed by FAILURE's Ken Andrews.