The men behind one of the most influential and turbulent bands in rock and roll, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots, have made the bold decision to join forces with Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington. With Bennington in the fold, STP have ignited a renaissance of newfound independence.
Completely in control of their musical destiny, STP are ready to unveil their highly anticipated EP, High Rise, which pulses with renewed energy and purpose. The band has manufactured five hook-heavy tracks that stand beside anything in their timeless catalog, while Bennington infuses the music with an impressive level of confidence in his new surroundings. These guys were just meant to play together. It’s a special treat for fans, who have supported STP and Linkin Park to the tune of tens of millions of records sold worldwide.
“We’ve all known each other for quite a while now—Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park toured on Family Values back in 2001,” Robert says of Bennington. “I knew what kind of person he was and what he could do vocal-wise. And he grew up on STP’s music. When we decided to work together, [Chester] expressed that he wanted to not only honor the past, but also write new music.”
It’s clear that the band has done just that. The chemistry between Robert, Dean, Eric and Chester is undeniable. “To be able to get together cold and say, ‘Let’s write some songs,’ that doesn’t always happen with people,” Robert notes. “When we got together, things clicked immediately. To have that opportunity to get four guys together who get it, we pulled this out pretty quickly. I think it’s a really ambitious start.” Bennington—who plans to balance his time contributing to both Linkin Park and STP—seconds the enthusiasm, saying that “When the opportunity came up to do something creative with them, I jumped at the chance.”
Leadoff single “Out of Time” announces the revamped outfit’s intentions with a bang. Featuring a signature STP groove, it affords Bennington an opportunity to showcase both aggressive attitude and addictive melodies, and the public concurs: “Out of Time” has hit #1 on both the Active and Modern Rock charts.
Tracks like second single “Black Heart” continue to showcase the new lineup’s passion, providing powerful additions to the songbook. Ever since STP’s acclaimed departure of a third album, 1996’s Tiny Music: Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, the band has found clever ways of incorporating their lifelong influences. They’re still voracious music fans, and that quality is displayed loud and proud on High Rise, which conjures a familiar, infectious hard rock vibe for lifer fans, all the while keeping its eyes on an exciting, unwritten future.
“There was a moment [recently] when we were putting together ‘Out of Time,’ and I had to stop and look at everyone and say, ‘You guys realize where we’re at right now? We’re in my basement,” Robert says. “This is where we all started—in the basement.’ To make it come around full circle 30 years later and be down there making music was pretty cool.”
Revisiting humble beginnings and developing new friendships is all well and good, but Bennington is acutely aware of his responsibility—and confident in his ability to execute. “This is important to us,” he stresses. “This is our band now—we’re not fucking around.”