Eric Kretz spoke to "The Chuck Vans Show" about STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' latest addition, vocalist Jeff Gutt. For the past couple of years, Gutt has been singing songs first made famous by the band's original frontman Scott Weiland and that in more recent years had been interpreted by Weiland's replacement, LINKIN PARK's Chester Bennington.
"Luckily, [Jeff's] voice that he's been born with is just right in that range, so he definitely has an easier understanding on how to present the catalog songs," the drummer said. "But what's been great is from the first days we started working with him — 'cause we always have riffs flying around, and we can just write at the drop of a hat — he was one of the very few singers out of a whole lot of 'em that could just come up with stuff on the spot. He wouldn't have to say, 'Oh, let me take that home. Let me think about it.' He always had something — not necessarily words, but just a bunch of vowels and an instant melody that is almost always the melody that you hear on the stuff that we write. So, with that, it's a real pleasure to work with him. Because with Scott, especially in the early days, we could just be sitting around, [playing] anything on guitar and just flowing out ideas and he would just hop right on it and have something different than what we were thinking or sometimes almost identical to what we were thinking internally without having to say it. So you know it's just a fit when it's that easy."
Asked how different it is making albums in 2019 compared to how it was when during the band's early years, Eric said: "I have a beautiful home studio, and so does Robert [DeLeo, bass]. So we have all the gear in the world for making great records. Sometimes it's done in sections, so intead of us spending a whole month writing, we'll spend a week writing and come up with four or five songs, and, 'Let's just record that chunk,' depending on if there's tour dates involved. In the old days, we used to get a whole lot of stupid money from the record company, so you'd look forward to going to some lavish location to write music and fulfill your rock and roll fantasies and record a great record. So now, we definitely do it on a more timeline schedule, and, like I said, with having home studios, and sometimes going out to other studios, it's a lot easier to make records in sections. It's always been an unbelievable undertaking when bands try to do double albums in a whole stretch, just because mentally, you're so fatigued, because every song is so important, and every part of every song is so important and every part of every part of every song is so important. So you're very stressed out and, internally, always trying to outdo yourself. And it's not just me — it's the whole band and the whole creative team. So, yeah, doing a full record is tough enough, but, yeah, hats off to anyone that can pull off a beautiful double album."
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.
Bennington, who joined STP in early 2013, departed nearly three years later to spend more time with his main band LINKIN PARK. Bennington committed suicide in July 2017.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS will release their first all-acoustic album, titled "Perdida", on February 7, 2020. The disc will be Gutt's second with STP after joining the band two years ago. His recording debut with the group was on its self-titled seventh album, which arrived in March 2018.
STP will kick off the tour behind "Perdida" on February 5 in Vancouver. The first single is out now and called "Fare Thee Well".
Photo credit: PR Brown