They’re one of the most famous alt-rock bands of the ’90s, but it goes without saying that Stone Temple Pilots have gone through a number of recent tragedies in recent times. Now, the band’s drummer has spoken about their decision to keep their band name after the death of original frontman Scott Weiland.
When Stone Temple Pilots first kicked off in the late ’80s, its earliest incarnation went by the name of Swing. Soon after, the group changed their name to Mighty Joe Young, but upon being informed another musician had already adopted that moniker, they went on the lookout for yet another name.
Inspired by the initials STP, the group at first chose names like ‘Shirley Temple’s Pussy’, and ‘Stone Temple Pirates’ before settling on the now legendary Stone Temple Pilots.
Recently, drummer Eric Kretz was interviewed by US radio station 105.7 The Point (via Alternative Nation), where he was asked whether or not the group ever considered adopting a new name following the death of former frontman Scott Weiland.
“No, not at all,” replied Kretz, before acknowledging he was aware of the fan backlash online in regards to the topic. “I didn’t hear about it, I read about it, but I didn’t hear about it. No one would say that to my face, but the little trolls would be on there.”
“We have such deep love and respect for [Chester and Scott], but as far as moving forward, that’s a whole different topic. Every day, we talk about Chester and Scott, how much we appreciate them as artists, as humans, and what they contributed, and the times we had together.”
Following a rather unceremonious firing of Scott Weiland in 2013, the group recruited Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington as their singer, leading to the group temporarily changing their name to ‘Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington’. Bennington would stick with the group for a couple of years, recording their 2013 EP High Rise.
Sadly, 2015 would see the passing of Weiland, while Bennington would also pass away in 2017. Since then, the group have announced the addition of new singer Jeff Gutt, and recently released a new album featuring Gutt on vocals.
“When you come out of the depression, when you come out of the sadness, of course, you think about everything,” explained Kretz. “It’s kind of like any breakup would be, where you are totally depressed and you hate yourself, you hate everything, and you hate the world.”
“Just kind of coming out of the haze, you say you know what, we have a lot to contribute,” he concluded. “We have a lot of joy in what we do, and we want to share it with everybody. There’s a lot of people who still want to see it and appreciate the shows.”