Dean and Robert DeLeo say that things are "looking good" for STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, nearly two years after the passing of the band's original singer, Scott Weiland, and two months following the death of Weiland's replacement, Chester Bennington.
STP has been without a vocalist since November 2015, when Bennington — who joined the group in early 2013 — departed so he could spend more time with his main band LINKIN PARK.
Weiland, who reunited with the group in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus, died in December 2015 of a drug overdose while on tour with his solo outfit.
STP last performed live, with Bennington on vocals, for a one-off reunion performance in California in March 2016.
The band held an open call for singers last year, reportedly receiving thousands of submissions and narrowing that down to a handful of prospects with whom the group members got together to jam.
During an appearance earlier today (Friday, September 22) on the "Jonesy's Jukebox" radio show, the DeLeo brothers were asked by host Steve Jones (of SEX PISTOLS fame) if STP has found a new singer or if it's still "top secret." "It's top secret right now, but we're working on it," Robert said (see video below). Dean added: "It's looking good, man. Looking good. New music. And it won't be too long before we shave the cat, as Robert says."
The new STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer is rumored to be Jeff Gutt, a one-time "X Factor" contestant. A report from NBC 9 News/ET in Denver last November claimed that STP had chosen Gutt and was writing and recording new material with him. STP denied the report at the time, saying through a representative that no decision on a vocalist had been made yet.
Robert told Billboard earlier in the month that he and Dean were hopeful that they would "find a singer who will be that guy, and represent what we want to do moving forward. I think there's a lot of music to be made, still, and I think we all feel we want to continue — not only that, but also playing songs that we wrote twenty-five, thirty years ago that mean a lot to me, and I think there's people out there who want to hear those songs, too," he said.
Asked when he thinks STP will be back up and running again, Robert said: "When it all comes together, it'll come together. It'll feel right and we'll proceed forward. This is not an overnight decision. This is a series of getting together with someone and really figuring out what they are all about and if that's right for us."
Regarding what the process of auditioning new vocalists has been like, Robert told Billboard: "It's been very interesting. You get some interesting scenarios with people. There's been some colorful people, I should say. [Laughs] ... Some of these people, they sing in their bedroom and their mom and dad tell 'em they're great. Then they get into a room with a band that's turned up to ten and expect to lead the band. You can pretty much tell right off the bat that's not happening with certain people. There are a lot of things to look at to really, really choose someone to move forward with."
Chester recorded one EP with the band, "High Rise", and did a handful of tours during his tenure.
Bennington died by suicide on July 20. He was 41.
The DeLeo brothers are currently promoting the twenty-fifth-anniversary expanded reissue of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' debut album, "Core", which will be made available on September 29 — twenty-five years to the day of the LP's original release.