Stone Temple Pilots is kicking off a new chapter with its latest Atlantic City appearance. This summer, vocalist Chester Bennington of Linkin Park fame officially joined the band, replacing original lead singer Scott Weiland, who was fired by the band in February.
According to STP co-founder and bassist Robert DeLeo, Bennington is in sync with the band musically and on a personal level. The band, having performed with Linkin Park in 2001’s Family Values Tour, is well-acquainted with Bennington.
“We’ve known each other for quite a while now,” says DeLeo, who appears with STP 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the House of Blues at Showboat Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City. “He’s a great person, he’s really solid. Musically speaking, he has a lot to offer to what we’re doing.
“When we originally talked, it was important for all of us to be able to honor the past and, more importantly, move forward as four people.”
The break-up with Weiland was a “long time coming,” according to DeLeo. STP took a six-year break in the early 2000s, during which time DeLeo and his guitarist brother Dean formed another band called Army of Anyone, before reuniting with Weiland in 2008. STP released its first new music together in a decade in 2010.
Despite a lawsuit filed by the band against Weiland over the use of its name, and a $5 million countersuit by Weiland, DeLeo says the latest split is “not really bitter.”
“One man’s actions led to another’s decisions,” DeLeo says. “It wasn’t an easy decision — it was a very, very difficult decision to make. I don’t know too many bands that terminate the singer. We had many years of making great music together.”
STP, whose other member is drummer Eric Kretz, are putting out a five-song EP, “High Rise,” on Oct. 8. The record is being released as Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington.
“I like to think of songwriting as more than a hobby,” Robert DeLeo says. “I’ve been writing songs for quite a while. My brother and I, musically speaking, created a thread with the sonic sound of STP. That’s what the two of us will continue to do, and fortunately we have Chester, someone like him is able to tap into what we’re doing.
“It’s not an easy thing to find a singer who is a very important part of fronting a band. We feel very fortunate to have found Chester and saw that he was interested in doing this with us.”
For the band’s live shows, Bennington will be able to give fresh voice to the group’s catalog. The band plans to cull its setlist from 30 songs, including some STP classics.
“Those early songs you want to do, over time a singer’s voice will not be able to reach the same pitch,” DeLeo says. “That’s what we’re excited about doing — giving people songs they haven’t heard in a while. It’s going to be exciting for us, too.”
With Bennington on board, DeLeo sees a longtime future for the STP name. Although he and his brother formed another band in the 2000s, they want to move forward under the STP umbrella.
“We all put a lot of time into this,” DeLeo says. “I look at the past 10 years of what STP has done — or maybe hasn’t done. I don’t think we want to spend the next 10 years doing what we’ve done the past 10 years.”
Filter opening up for STP
Opening for Stone Temple Pilots is Filter, a veteran alternative rock act touring behind its Wind-up Records debut “The Sun Comes Out Tonight” and their new single “What Do You Say.”
Filter is fronted by co-founder Richard Patrick, who was part of Nine Inch Nail’s initial touring lineup. Since its 1993 founding, Filter has released six albums and is best known for its hits “Hey Man Nice Shot,” “Welcome to the Fold” and “Take a Picture.”
Starting in 2004, Patrick put Filter on hold for several years, during which time he co-founded Army of Anyone with Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo and Dean DeLeo, and Ray Luzier of David Lee Roth’s band.
Filter also has recorded several songs for movie soundtracks, including the big-screen version of “The X-Files,” “Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight,” “Spawn” and “Crow: City of Angels.”
This year, the band’s cover of “Happy Together” was featured on the trailer for the remake of “The Great Gatsby.”