At a private show late last year, Stone Temple Pilots made their return to the stage at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, welcoming Jeff Gutt as their new lead singer. Gutt is a veteran of the Detroit music scene, and spent the last year or so writing and recording with founding members Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz; his hookup with the band followed a long worldwide search for a new singer. “We wanted someone who would not only do our earlier songs justice, but would also write new songs and carve out a different path forward with us. It took some time, but we found our guy,” Dean said.
Before choosing Gutt, the trio received and reviewed about 15,000 submissions online before selecting more than 30 singers to audition in person with the group at Studio 606 in Los Angeles. Gutt sang with the band on the last day of auditions. Ironically, he was the only one who hadn’t submitted music online. Instead, he was invited after Robert DeLeo heard about Gutt after DeLeo had played a show in Detroit with the Hollywood Vampires.
“Talk about a happy accident,” Robert said. “It was clear right away that Jeff had the range to sing vocally challenging songs like ‘Piece of Pie’ and ‘Interstate Love Song.’ But we soon discovered that he also has a great ear for melody and knew how to write a song.”
In September 2016, the four of them started working together and spent the next several months finishing off song ideas and writing new music. “The chemistry was there from the start, and Jeff kept coming up with one great melody after another. We ended up finishing 14 songs, which is the most that Stone Temple Pilots has ever recorded for an album,” Kretz said.
For his part, Gutt is prepared for the inevitable comparisons to STP’s original singer Scott Weiland, who passed away in December 2015.
“No one will ever fill Scott’s shoes and I’m not trying to – he’s a legend. But these songs deserve to be performed and people want to hear them. I’m just honored that the guys chose me to help them continue to build this band’s legacy,” Gutt said.
The band have finally unveiled the new album in full, after prereleasing a couple of singles, Meadow and Roll Me Under. Listen up: