During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, Jeff Gutt confirmed that he came close to auditioning for the singer position in ALICE IN CHAINS back in the early 2000s, just a couple of years after the death of the band's original frontman, Layne Staley.
"It's different than people think," the current STONE TEMPLE PILOTS vocalist said. "I was really good friends with John Corabi, who was the guy that took Vince Neil's spot [in MÖTLEY CRÜE]. He was working along the DRY CELL guys, when I was doing that. And I ran into him at a club once, and he was playing in a cover band. And at the time, he was doing a thing called CARDBOARD VAMPYRES, I believe, and it was basically ALICE IN CHAINS with John Corabi singing, and they were opening up festivals. And Corabi was, like, 'Dude, do you think you can fill in for me for the VAMPYRES thing?' And I'm, like, 'Yeah. 'Cause if I can get in a room and just sing with these guys, I'll get the gig.' It's kind of how I felt with STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. And he goes, 'Well, [ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist/vocalist] Jerry's [Cantrell] right behind you.' And I was, like, 'What?' So that's the first time I met Jerry Cantrell. And he took my number and paid for my drinks the whole night. He was, like, 'Man, you really remind me of Layne.' And I was, like, 'I don't know if that's a compliment.' But he never called me. If he would have called me and I went and did that, things might have worked out differently. But, yeah, I joke with them now, because I actually just saw them in Detroit a week or two ago. I'm really good friends with [ALICE IN CHAINS bassist] Mike Inez. So I'm always saying hi to those guys and giving them a little poke every now and then… But Will [ALICE IN CHAINS singer William DuVall] is great. I love Will. He's amazing. And he's a good guy too. So, much respect to them."
ALICE IN CHAINS split after losing Staley in 2002, but reformed in 2005. The band is fronted by Cantrell and DuVall, who joined in 2006. Last year, ALICE released "Rainer Fog", its sixth album and third without Staley.
Gutt recently confirmed to "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that STONE TEMPLE PILOTS has completed work on a new album. The disc, which is not expected to arrive before 2020, 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 LP, which arrived in March 2018.
Gutt, a 43-year-old Michigan native who spent time in the early-2000s nu-metal act DRY CELL, among other bands, and was a contestant on "The X Factor", joined STONE TEMPLE PILOTS in 2017 after beating out roughly 15,000 hopefuls during an extended search that began more than a year earlier.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and RIVAL SONS will co-headline a North American tour this fall. The 12-city tour will kick off in Baltimore on September 13, with stops in Philadelphia, New York City, New Orleans and more, before wrapping up in STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' former hometown of San Diego on October 9.