Kim Interviews Dean and Robert DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots

Kim: Dean and Robert DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots, how are you?

Robert DeLeo: Great. Very well.

Dean DeLeo: Great.

Kim: It’s been a minute, so what’s going on?

Robert DeLeo: Things are going really well. A lot going on right now. A lot of looking back, a lot of thinking about ones who aren’t here anymore and it’s been interesting looking back at 25 years now and also in the midst of moving forward. Like I said, a lot going on right now.

Kim: It’s been 25 years since Core was released with the amazing Scott Wieland who is, sadly, no longer here. It must be a little challenging to look back.

Robert DeLeo: It is. You ultimately want the four members of the band who originally made this record to be here to enjoy it and share in those times that we had back then. Like you said, unfortunately, Scott isn’t here, so we did as much as we could to make his memory the best we could.

Kim: Can you share some details on the 25th-anniversary release? What can we expect?

Robert DeLeo: Well, the deluxe set has a lot of material. There’s four CDs, a DVD. I think what’s most interesting to us is the second CD with all the demos. And you’re gonna hear the songs in their earliest form being demoed out on Robert’s 8-track machine and the versions are a little bit different. There’s actually extra parts in a couple songs and the lyrics might be a little different. So it’s kinda cool, like I said. You’re hearing the songs in their earliest form.

Kim: You guys released a sampling of the second CD, right? Was it “Creep”?

Robert DeLeo: I don’t know if Creep is on the release. I know Only Dying was released when we put out the Sex Type Thing demo.

Kim: Oh right, right, Sex Type Thing.

Dean DeLeo: Well you can hear, we kinda, we had the luxury of using this little 8-track machine and kind of exploring the terrain of overdubbing, you know?

Kim: Sounds fun! So where did you record Core?

Robert DeLeo: We originally recorded that record at the suggestion of our friend and producer Brendan O’Brien. We actually made that record at a studio called Rumbo which was the Captain and Tennille’s studio. It was a great place out in the valley and kinda away from all the hubbub of LA. And it was a great place to make a record, you know? We kind of set out to write these songs and put them down as demos as you can hear on this re-issue. But we knew they could be much more and that’s kind of what our producer will do is kind of enhance what you already have. And Brendan was great at doing that. He really just generally caught the moment of the performance and that’s really what we were after is someone who could take what we and had and just not necessarily expand on it but just make it what it is but bigger.

Dean DeLeo: But what was really nice about that is, do you remember the day Toni came by? Toni Tennille came by the studio one day and she brought us cookies. Remember what she said? She said, “Make hits.”

Kim: What?

Robert DeLeo: She did.

Kim: She made cookies and said, “Make hits”?

Robert DeLeo: Toni Tennille came by. It was owned by her and her husband, Darryl Dragon, right? Darryl?

Dean DeLeo: Yes, yes.

Robert DeLeo: And the great Captain and Tennille, you know, popularized in the [inaudible 00:03:53] tune, you know? Love Will Keep Us Together.

Kim: Oh, can’t forget Muskrat Love.

Robert DeLeo: Right. Yes. And I love their show, man. That show was great, you know.

Kim: Oh my god that’s a great story. Didn’t see that one coming.

Robert DeLeo: Toni stopped by one day with cookies.

Dean DeLeo: Sweet woman.

Robert DeLeo: Yes, very sweet.

Kim: What kind of cookies?

Robert DeLeo: Oh my goodness.

Dean DeLeo: Think they were chocolate chip, weren’t they?

Robert DeLeo: I don’t remember, man.

Dean DeLeo: Think they were chocolate chip.

Robert DeLeo: Sweet woman. But, you know, it’s things like that where, you know, I think the main focus of making any of the records we made is just trying to make the best songs, you know, we could write. Songs seem to live on, don’t they? Great songs?

Kim: Oh they certainly do.

Robert DeLeo: Yeah.

Dean DeLeo: Well we’ll perhaps get that on our next record. We’ll get that right.

Robert DeLeo: We got the hang of it now after 25 years. We’ll get there.

Dean DeLeo: We’re just starting to get good.

Robert DeLeo: Someone told me to listen to The Beatles. Like that will help.

Kim: I heard The Beatles are really good.

Robert DeLeo: You heard they’re really good, huh? Yeah, The Beatles, he’s really good.

Kim: Yeah, someone on the interwebs told me about that Beatles band. That they were really good or something. I’m gonna have to check ’em out.

Robert DeLeo: Yeah.

Kim: Is there a song on Core that either of you would want to do differently?

Robert DeLeo: Oh I don’t think there’s anything I could do differently to that.

Dean DeLeo: Yeah.

Robert DeLeo: I think it is what it is and I think, you know, music and recording music is to me kind of like a Polaroid. You take a snap of that moment in time. And I think it is what it is and there’s always things as a musician you go, “Oh man, I wish I played that there and I wish I had done this here.” But you know overall I think in the big picture of things I think it’s…once it gets out to the world it’s really out of your hands. And people make of it what they want and I feel thankful in the big picture that people gave this record a listen and appreciated it. It gave us a chance to do all the other records.

Kim: Do either of you have a favorite song on the album? Which I guess is kind of like picking your favorite kid but it’s not easy cause you don’t want to say the other kid is ugly but maybe one that’s closer to your heart?

Robert DeLeo: It’s hard to pick one, cause I tell you just the opening track on the record. Just with Scott giving that delivery and a lot of people always wondering how that was sung. He actually sung that into the pickup of my guitar. Yeah. We had the guitar quite loud so we had a mic on a 412 cabinet so he’s singing that introduction into the treble pickup of my Les Paul. And there’s something about that when that song comes on man that still makes the hair on my neck stand up. And when the band comes in on that downbeat it’s still fulfilling, still brings that, fourteen-year-old kid out in you like, “All right, I like those loud guitars”. But Creep is a beautiful song too.

Dean DeLeo: I think that’s the one that makes me feel most, sentimental about Scott I think is Creep. I think he did a wonderful job of getting into the character of that song and I think we were really all on the same page for that song.

Kim: Well, I have to believe wherever Scott is now he’s smiling.

Robert DeLeo: I do too, I want to think that too, yes.

Kim: So, one last question, what does the future hold for Stone Temple Pilots, and I have to share a little something. Not sure why this happens, but I’ll say one thing, and the opposite seems to always happen. That being said, I’ve been saying out loud to our listeners that STP is not going to find a new singer and carry on. But, inside I’m like, “Oh man, can’t wait until they make an announcement!”

Robert DeLeo: Yeah, I mean we had 15 thousand submissions that we, the three of us personally went through. I mean it was a big deal to go through all those submissions. And there were some great people, it was just a matter of trying to find someone who really had all we were requiring of someone.

Kim: Well those are ginormous shoes to fill.

Robert DeLeo: They are, they are. It’s honoring the catalog and singing that to a point where it turns us on musically still. And then there’s the part of writing new material, someone who can actually write lyrics and come up with melody and sing and knows how to use a microphone in the studio and it’s a lot to ask of someone. And we’re just, we’re gonna do the best we can.

Kim: There were tons of rumors about STP’s new lead singer, like some guy who was on American Idol or something, a Pilipino kid. Were you guys aware of all those rumors that were swirling?

Dean DeLeo: Rubbish, rubbish, all rubbish. All rubbish.

Robert DeLeo: There’s been a lot of, it’s been an opportunity for some people to really do some inappropriate self-promotion, is what I should say. And that’s really kind of out of line.

Kim: So you did know about the rumors?

Dean DeLeo: Yes, yes.

Robert DeLeo: I went to see Royal Blood, last month. And I ran into…

Kim: Amazing band!

Robert DeLeo: Oh my goodness, incredible. They were extraordinary. I saw them over at the Wiltern with my wife and my son and I ran into John McEnroe

Kim: Oh really?

Robert DeLeo: And McEnroe goes “You didn’t hire that Pilipino guy did you?”

Kim: Come on, John McEnroe and a Royal Blood show?

Robert DeLeo: I go, “No, we did not John.” John is a huge fan.

Kim: I guess so. I wouldn’t have guessed that one.

Robert DeLeo: Yeah, he really digs the band. So it was funny to hear that come from him.

Kim: Best thing ever.

Robert DeLeo: He’s a rocker.

Kim: That’s pretty sweet.

Robert DeLeo: There’s nothing like getting a shout out from Wimbledon.

Kim: You did not!

Robert DeLeo: I saw it with my own eyes and heard it. John was calling Wimbledon and at the end of the segment before going to commercial he started talking about STP. It’s like, how amazing is that, man?

Dean DeLeo: He did?

Robert DeLeo: Yes he did. And the next best thing is having the Williams sisters come to your shows and them telling you, “I have a bunch of your stuff in my workout playlist.” And I secretly talked Serena into being my doubles partner, and secretly challenged McEnroe to doubles.

Kim: You did not!

Robert DeLeo: I did.

Kim: Are you a tennis player?

Robert DeLeo: I can get around a little bit…

Dean DeLeo: No!

Robert DeLeo: Hey man, with Serena as my doubles partner, come on! You’re going down.

Kim: You wouldn’t have to work that hard.

Dean DeLeo: No!

Robert DeLeo: You know, I have to tell you, every time we made a record…actually I should say we made a couple of records at homes, and we rented a house and there was a tennis court there. And we didn’t really play tennis, we played this game called “Run, jerk.” Yeah, so it was basically just placing the ball somewhere on the court where you just had to run back and forth, so that’s really what our game of tennis was called: “Run, jerk.” So that was pretty much it.

Kim: Sounds like a good time. Well, thank you both for taking some time to chat. I know there’s lots of fans, myself included, looking forward to the future of STP. New singer, new music, and getting your asses on the road.

Robert DeLeo: Just keep on saying it’s not gonna happen, and that’s gonna make it happen, right?

Kim: Thank you guys, totally appreciate your time.

Robert DeLeo: Thank you, Kim.

 

About Cliff Johnson

Cliff is the digital guy at Rock 98.9, keeping the website and online streams up and running. He's an avid gamer, loves soccer and hanging out with his wife and son. He tweets about video games at @bytemepodcast and makes videos of them on YouTube.

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