Stone Temple Pilots recently made their return to the live stage, releasing their first new album in eight years, and debuting their new vocalist Jeff Gutt. Now, the band’s bassist, Robert DeLeo, has opened up about the band’s current situation and his relationship with late singer Scott Weiland.

In 2013, five years into Stone Temple Pilots’ reunion, vocalist Scott Weiland was unceremoniously booted from the group, with erratic behaviour and poor performances cited as the band’s reasoning. Sadly, Weiland would pass away from a drug overdose in 2015 while on tour with his solo act.

However, as Robert DeLeo has explained to The Morning Call, the pair’s relationship had badly deteriorated by the time that Weiland passed away. “Um, we didn’t really [have a relationship at that time],” he explained.

“The relationship was a bit different from when we started out together. But, you know, I always loved the guy. I always loved Scott, and what we created together is something that will always be in my existence – my soul, my body, you know?”

“That will always be there, and I really have to thank him for [my] being here now. He was partly responsible for that, and I’ll never forget that.”

Following Weiland’s departure from the group, Stone Temple Pilots briefly recruited Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington as their vocalist, though he would leave the group in 2015, sadly passing away in 2017.

Now, having recruited vocalist Jeff Gutt after an extensive search, DeLeo explained what it was that made Gutt stand out above the rest.

“There are a lot of boxes there to check off – not only talent-wise, but as a human being,” he explained. “And we tried out some really great singers who were really great people. And we probably went through about 15,000 submissions.”

“Dean [DeLeo] and Eric [Kretz] and I. And we were just really trying to give everyone in this whole world, this whole universe, a chance to see what they have, you know? And it just turned out that Jeff seemed to check off all the boxes that we were looking for.”

Of course, with a new vocalist in the mix, DeLeo also explained that Jeff Gutt is “doing his version of the songs” when the band perform live these days. “It’s not an easy situation for anyone to be in,” he explained. “Scott had such an indelible mark on these songs, and the way he performed these songs.

“And you know, and I think the main intention there and the main thing we want to do is just play these songs. And, you know, play these songs for people that want to hear these songs. Um, and Jeff has a good handle on how to put these songs across in his way.”

While Stone Temple Pilots have recently wrapped up a brief US tour in support of their new self-titled record, there’s still no word on whether or not the group will make their way down to Australia to show off their new songs and new vocalist.

Check out Stone Temple Pilots’ ‘Meadow’:

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