Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo recently discussed Scott Weiland’s death with Loudwire.

“He brought a lot of this band. He was the frontman of this band and he’s partly responsible for why I’m sitting here talking to you today. That’s the honest truth. I’ll always cherish what we did together musically. That comes but once in a lifetime for people, or not at all for people. To share art together and have it go to the places where it went to for us. I’ll always be in deep, deep gratitude for having him in my life and I think it’s really sad and as time goes by I can’t believe the guy is gone. I really can’t believe he’s gone.

It’s really sad and I guess that’s the beauty of music, though. I simply have to go on YouTube and there he is. There he is and there we are, and there we are sharing something really amazing together. I think that’s what lives on. That thing we created together, I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life.”

Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean and Robert DeLeo were interviewed on 105.7 The Point yesterday about their singer search, and Alternative Nation transcribed quotes.

Dean said, “You know in 3 seconds whether this person is worth pursuing or not.”

They also responded to a fan who told them to change their name, since an iconic frontman like Scott Weiland is irreplaceable. Another told them they have the right to keep the name, since it’s 3/4 of the original members still performing Stone Temple Pilots songs.

Robert adamantly defended keeping the name without Weiland, “I kind of look at it this way. There were 3/4 of us that were responsible with Scott, making STP. For instance, you have a company like Coca Cola, and you have someone running Coca Cola. If they’re not there any more, do you change the name of Coca Cola?” Robert added that changing the name at this point in his life didn’t make sense, “It’s easy for someone to say that, and get on their computer, and write that in, but if you’re in that position in life, that’s the last thing I want to do right now.” He added that if he were in his 20’s, we would change his name, but that he now ‘can’t afford to do it.’

Dean said, “I see the point there on both comments, I do, I see the point. It’s interesting, because there’s people that say, ‘That was Scott’s band.’ Well I’m going to tell you something, if this was Scott’s band, it would have been run into the ground by 1998. It would have been over. That’s the way he lived his life. We’re talking about a guy that killed himself, unfortunately, the tragedy of that. Robert, Eric, and I were the guys who managed through thick and thin to keep him together, he relied upon us, we relied upon him. He got farther, and farther away from this world, and there was no coming back man.”

The DeLeos also revealed that Chester Bennington told them he was quitting STP 8 to 9 months ago, and that they planned to have a singer search before Scott Weiland died.

Last week on Celebration Rock, Robert and Dean DeLeo discussed late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland. When asked if he ever had closure with Scott Weiland before his death in December 2015, Dean DeLeo shared the sad story of the final time he saw Weiland alive: in court. Alternative Nation has transcribed the quote.

“No. The last time Scott and I were nose to nose, we actually were in the judges chambers, we were sitting across one another when we were in this court thing. It goes well beyond what you probably read, our relationship was strained for many years man. I spent half my life just full of false hope, with every intention to try to help him, and try to get him together. It led to what we’re talking about right now, the guy died. No matter how you look at it or how you slice it, it’s just so tragic that that is where he went.”

Dean later discussed how he has grown to be repulsed by the term rock star.

“I’ll tell you something man, when I was a kid, the term rock star was intriguing to me, it kind of meant something. As I got older, and I was in business with someone who abused that term, I found it more and more repulsive. Because I don’t know any other line of work where I could simply just show up late, not show up at all, show up really out of it, and it’s kind of glorified, and I think it sucks. It sucked for me, it sucked for Robert and Eric. That kind of behavior, it was a drag man.

Scott was an immense part of our success, and when Robert and I would give him a song to sing, believe me, when we heard playback after he got through with it, it was extraordinary. It was so fulfilling, so fulfilling. He was great, he was great. He just couldn’t stop doing what he was doing.”

With Alternative Nation being down for most of last week, we missed some Stone Temple Pilots headlines. TMZ reported last week that former Creed frontman Scott Stapp had just started his solo tour in Nashville, and during one of his first days on the road someone found a Scott Weiland tour badge on board.

TMZ was told it didn’t take long for Stapp to connect the dots. Having struggled with his own drug issues, Stapp saw the bus coincidence as a “poignant reminder” about losing Weiland — who he admired — and about the dangers of addiction.

The rep says Stapp switched to a different bus a couple days later when he got to St. Petersburg, FL — not so much out of superstition, but because the Weiland factor just hit too close to home.

Stone Temple Pilots will reunite with Chester Bennington for a one off performance at ‘From Bach To Rock,’ an event to benefit Palos Verdes Peninsula public schools on March 26th at the Norris Theater and Pavillion in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Bennington is not back with the band permanently though, as they continue to audition new frontman. The band gave an update on their singer search on Facebook today:

“Hello everyone. In only 2 weeks we have received over 10,000 submissions. Thank you kindly.

We are continuing to view hundreds of submissions on a daily basis and there are several of you that we really dig.

We are excited about the talent and energy you put forth. All of you.

If any of you have been checking out some of the submissions we would love to know who stands out to you.

Give us your top 3.

WITH LOVE

Robert, Eric, Dean”

When Scott Weiland revealed to Alternative Nation in November prior to his death that Chester Bennington had quit Stone Temple Pilots, Highly Suspect singer Johnny Stevens revealed at the time that Dean DeLeo had called him and asked him to join STP. Just a day after Weiland’s announcement and Stevens’ revelation, STP confirmed that Bennington had left the band.

During an interview with WRIF earlier this week, Dean DeLeo had some harsh words for Johnny Stevens for breaking the ‘confidentiality’ of their ‘man to man’ conversation.

“I did reach out to John, when was that? Last August, I reached out to John, and ummm…yeah, the way John tells it is not actually what went down. I did reach out to John. We spoke, and I think John is an immense talent. Great, great singer. But I did not offer him a gig. I merely asked if he was interested in possibly getting in a room, and God bless him, he stuck to his guns, and he had the courage and the confidence to stick with his band, and you know, those guys are up for a couple of Grammys.”

He added, “One thing that really saddened me about that is it was very early on. It was all the way back in August, when I spoke to John, man to man. You know, I don’t use that term loosely. Man to man I asked for his confidentiality in this, and well, it shows you what kind of man he is.”

The DJ then said Highly Suspect is a great band. There was an awkward silence, and Dean annoyingly said, “Yeah.”

Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean and Robert DeLeo were interviewed on 105.7 The Point yesterday about their singer search, and Alternative Nation transcribed quotes.

Dean said, “You know in 3 seconds whether this person is worth pursuing or not.”

They also responded to a fan who told them to change their name, since an iconic frontman like Scott Weiland is irreplaceable. Another told them they have the right to keep the name, since it’s 3/4 of the original members still performing Stone Temple Pilots songs.

Robert adamantly defended keeping the name without Weiland, “I kind of look at it this way. There were 3/4 of us that were responsible with Scott, making STP. For instance, you have a company like Coca Cola, and you have someone running Coca Cola. If they’re not there any more, do you change the name of Coca Cola?” Robert added that changing the name at this point in his life didn’t make sense, “It’s easy for someone to say that, and get on their computer, and write that in, but if you’re in that position in life, that’s the last thing I want to do right now.” He added that if he were in his 20’s, we would change his name, but that he now ‘can’t afford to do it.’

Dean said, “I see the point there on both comments, I do, I see the point. It’s interesting, because there’s people that say, ‘That was Scott’s band.’ Well I’m going to tell you something, if this was Scott’s band, it would have been run into the ground by 1998. It would have been over. That’s the way he lived his life. We’re talking about a guy that killed himself, unfortunately, the tragedy of that. Robert, Eric, and I were the guys who managed through thick and thin to keep him together, he relied upon us, we relied upon him. He got farther, and farther away from this world, and there was no coming back man.”

The DeLeos also revealed that Chester Bennington told them he was quitting STP 8 to 9 months ago, and that they planned to have a singer search before Scott Weiland died.

Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert and Dean DeLeo appeared on KLOS yesterday, and Robert discussed Scott Weiland.

“We enjoy still playing these songs. I think when we do play these songs, we honor Scott every night when we play these songs, and will continue to do so. I hope I’m playing these songs until I’m old and grey.”

“From the beginning, he was very very influenced by Jim. I don’t personally listen to our own music a lot, but because of his passing, I went back. I noticed a couple of different influences there that I don’t think people would even realize.

One is Morrison, and on the mellower side, the more ballad side of our music, I hear a lot of Karen Carpenter. He’s got that same inflection that she had. We discussed our love for the Carpenters, and his love for her voice, and that really went back to his choir years. He really had that same inflection that she had, they shared that.”

Dean also discussed the requirement for STP’s next singer, “If they’re as great as Mr. Weiland and Mr. Bennington they have a shot.”

Stone Temple Pilots are currently taking open auditions for lead singer on their website StoneTemplePilots.com. Scott Weiland was fired from Stone Temple Pilots in early 2013, and was replaced by Chester Bennington. Weiland announced that Bennington had left the band in November 2015, and Weiland died in December 2015.

Robert and Dean DeLeo discussed the death of late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland on KROQ’s Kevin and Bean Show this morning. Alternative Nation transcribed some quotes from the interview.

Dean said, “Look man, when somebody keeps going in that direction, and I’m hanging on with hope, and help, and prayer, and doing whatever I can do. I spent over 20 years doing that, and it eventually starts to creep into my own home, my own living room, my own family. It starts to damage me.”

Robert said, “I don’t know if people really understand addiction, and being around that, and not being an addict, and having to live with that on a personal and a business relationship.”

He added, “I think what we did offer Scott over the course of our career was the truth, and honesty. Someone who is that deep in their addiction runs from that, they run from truth and honesty. That’s where he was, we became these guys that he didn’t want to be around because we were telling him like it was.

I recently conducted an interview with Filter frontman Richard Patrick for Alternative Nation at the listening party in New York for Filter’s 7th studio album, Crazy Eyes, set for release on April 8, 2016. We will be publishing this interview in parts as separate news articles, and in this article Patrick discusses what he believes killed late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, and the future of Army of Anyone, his supergroup with STP’s DeLeo brothers.

With so many recent losses in the world of hard rock, what are your thoughts on the passing of Stone Temple Pilots frontman, Scott Weiland?

I mean it was expected. I’ve been in recovery for a long time and people die every other week. It’s a sad place in America right now where kids are getting hooked on heroin. They go to rehab, then they come back out and then do heroin, overdose and die. That’s why I took to the internet. It was like, “Dude, what the fuck are you doing?” in talking about it in interviews. When I got sober, it was just one voicemail that really, really stuck in my head. It was this old girlfriend going, “You are a fucking loser. You’re fucking blowing it. You’re not getting away with it. You’re a fucking asshole. You’ve treated me like shit. I’ve got one fucking word. Rehab! Go to that fucking shit.

It was so mean, but it was so like, “Wow, she’s not holding back.” It was so honest that a couple of days later, I was in rehab and that was it. When it comes to Scott, it was not a shock. It wasn’t a surprise and it’s sad because he really was amazing, but he could never just hold onto being OK with himself. He could never self-diagnose himself as a person that was just addicted. There was a week where he was sober and I had seen his last interview. He was completely lucid. He wasn’t stuttering & he wasn’t slow. I think what happened was he went back to his normal amount and killed himself because his heart wasn’t ready for it. Just from observation and from knowing addiction, it looked like he kind of fell apart, went out, did some cocaine and it was just enough to kill him.

Upon the release of 2006’s Army of Anyone record, considering your prior collaborations with the DeLeo brothers from Stone Temple Pilots and drummer Ray Luzier, what was your experience like working with them and is their potential to create music with them in the future?

It was a true band. We’d go into rehearsal hall every other day and play the music. We did the demos kind of like the way I do records, which is just write with a computer and approximate the drums, but then we rehearsed it and were a band. So, it was very much like a band experience. I had never been in a band like that, but it was cool, I love it and maybe one day we’ll do another.

Army_of_Anyone_-_Cover_-_2006         Army.Of.Anyone

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Stone Temple Pilots just put an ‘under contruction’ message on their website, and with some sleuthing, Alternative Nation has found the sections on the band’s new website, and it includes the announcement of the search for a new singer:

“2016 marks a new year for Stone Temple Pilots…

A year of hope, optimism, and most importantly, new music! We are immensely proud of all that we have been able to share with you over the years. Music, music, music. We very much want to continue doing that, but that’s going to take a little help from all of you.

As you know, prior to the untimely passing of our brother in arms, Scott, we had been working with the incomparable Chester Bennington. What you also likely know is that having Chester front two bands of this size and scope was too much for one man to be able to do and so regretfully we had to move onto a new chapter together. This is where you come in…

We are officially announcing that we are seeking a new vocalist to front Stone Temple Pilots. We’ve already heard from many talented people, but want to make this an opportunity for many more so we’ve set up a way for you to do just that.

If you think you have what it takes to front this band, record with this band, and tour with this band, we would dig hearing from you. No one will ever “replace” Scott, that was never the intent. The intent is for Stone Temple Pilots to continue on, to evolve, and to do what we do… make music! We look forward to seeing you.

Love,

Robert, Eric, Dean”

The band will be taking online submissions, below is the beta version that is in the works, screenshotted by Alternative Nation.

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UPDATE: Click here to read the studio manager’s first hand take on this story, which discounts many parts of TMZ’s report.

TMZ is reporting that officers were called to late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studio in Burbank, CA last week when Scott Weiland’s 15-year old son Noah and ex-wife Mary showed up for one of Scott’s guitars. TMZ reports that Noah wanted one of his father’s guitars, but an employee of the recording studio refused to give him and his mother access. An argument ensued, and police were called to calm the situation down. Mary was told it was a civil issue, and would need her lawyer to work out any division of property. Mary recently asked to be named the executor of Weiland’s will, rather than his widow Jamie, citing a 2007 will signed by Weiland.

Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studios closed last week, seemingly shortly after this incident, and is now for lease. Weiland opened the studio in 1997 in Burbank, CA, recording his solo albums 12 Bar Blues (1998), Happy in Galoshes (2008), The Most Wonderful Time of Year (2011), and Blaster (2015) at the studio. Weiland also worked on his vocals for Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and Art of Anarchy at Lavish. Lavish was a private studio until 2014, when it was opened to the public to record with Rocco Guarino heading up the endeavor for Weiland. Guarino continued to run the studio in the two months following Weiland’s death on December 3, 2015.

The 2,400 square foot studio is up for lease for $4,200 per month. You can view photos of the studio, and the floor plan, below.

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Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo, Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Foo Fighters keyboardist Rami Jafee, and others will perform as part of an all star band at a celebration for The Doors’ Ray Manzarek on February 12th at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Surviving Doors members Robby Krieger and John Densmore will reunite and perform together for the first time in 15 years.

Late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland performed with The Doors in 2000, and Krieger has performed with STP several times.

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Robert DeLeo recently shared a couple of memories of Stone Temple Pilots’ 1994 “Vasoline” music video on his Twitter account. DeLeo revealed that “Vasoline” was his favorite STP video, and that he played the clown in it. He also discussed a famous shot from the video.

“[We were] just in the tree on the ground squatting and standing up. We were coming up with these ideas as we were shooting.”

DeLeo also appeared at NAMM in Anaheim last week with Doug Pinnick from King’s X, and recently wrapped up a short tour of California with his band Delta Deep. You can check out videos from Delta Deeps’s recent shows below DeLeo’s tweets.

Former Mudhoney manager Bob Whittaker shared a memory on Krist Novoselic’s Facebook page last month following Scott Weiland’s death. He shared a previously untold story about Weiland meeting Kurt Cobain backstage at Stone Temple Pilots’ show at Seattle Arena on July 8, 1993.

“I remember in Seattle – Butthole Surfers opened for them? We were back stage to say hi to the band after the show = Gibby , King Coffee ETC – I was goofing around with Kurt – he jumped on my back and I took him into the #sonetemplepilots dressingroom. Security was going to toss us out – but Scott saw Kurt and rescued us.

I set Kurt down then Scott and Kurt talked at the deli tray table – a bit awkward at first – Kurt said ‘people tell me you sound like #Nirvana . You must owe me some publishing money then.’ Scott didn’t miss a beat and pulled out a crumpled sweaty $1 bill from his pocket and gave it to Kurt. Kurt took it, We all laughed and left. It was fun funny and cute. ❤️ #inventinggrunge ✔️ Life is short – everyone be nice and do good work while we are here -B”

Written by Corey Hickok and Brett Buchanan

Click here to read Alternative Nation’s in-depth Scott Weiland: A High School To Core retrospective from yesterday, where Scott’s best friend and Mighty Joe Young/Swing bandmate Corey Hickok shares his memories and unreleased photos of Scott from his formative years in music. Thanks to Dustin Halter for touching up the photos and watermarking them.

As I parted ways with Mighty Joe Young, it wasn’t long before I was starving artistically.  Automatically I just grabbed a camera, and started shooting.  I was still their biggest fan, so I decided to photograph Mighty Joe Young as they morphed into Stone Temple Pilots and started recording their debut album Core.  I got some great shots out of the gate, and I tried to be there with them and help out as much as I could.

I was in the studio when they were recording “Creep.”  I knew that it would be a major success for them, it definitely felt like witnessing history in the making.  Every time I would watch them rehearse and record the Core songs, everyone knew something special was going on.  There was a feeling of electricity in the air, and a sense of excitement that was just contagious.

Atlantic Records gave them complete creative control when they signed them.  When you got signed back in the day, generally there would be stipulations in the contract where the label would have a lot of control, but STP had a great rapport with Atlantic.  They told them, ‘We want to give you guys free reign on what you want to do.  We’re not going to be in the studio harassing you, just do what you do.’  Everything was in place for them to create a masterpiece, and they did.

I took a rare photo of Scott with producer Brendan O’Brien during STP’s early days, which is actually the first photo you can see below.  The band was very happy with Brendan, because not only was he a producer, but he was also a musician.  A lot of musicians struggle with producers because they don’t know how to play an instrument, but Brendan knew how to play, and they could definitely relate to him.

The picture backstage of Scott with the bullhorn actually connects to how he started using it.  Scott took his first bullhorn from the garage of our friend Gary Menke’s Dad Dale, and Gary is actually to the left of Scott in that photo.

One of the early Core shows was a side stage performance at Irvine Meadows, which I believe was at Lollapalooza 1992.  After that performance, they did a secret show at a little tiny dive bar in Costa Mesa called the Tiki Bar.  It was at 11:30 or 12 at night, and it was packed.  They killed it, it was such a special show.

Enjoy my collection of photos from Stone Temple Pilots’ Core days below, in memory of Scott.

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Brendan O’Brien and Scott Weiland.

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Dean and Robert DeLeo on the side stage at Irvine Meadows for Lollapalooza 1992.

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Gary Menke and Scott Weiland.

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Written by Corey Hickok and Brett Buchanan

This is the first installment in Alternative Nation’s ‘Deep Cuts’ series, from Scott Weiland’s best friend and Mighty Joe Young/Swing/Soi-Disant bandmate Corey Hickok.  Alternative Nation will be launching a new section soon featuring more articles like this.  Check back tomorrow for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the recording of ‘Core’ and Stone Temple Pilots’ early shows touring the album.  Thanks to David Allin for many of the high school photos.

The year was 1984. We sat outside of Scott’s parents brand new house in downtown Huntington Beach. Scott’s mom had a very special gift in the kitchen, and could cook as good as any gourmet chef. Our stomachs were content from a healthy portion of her famous beef brisket. We sipped on hot tea and sat across from each other, discussing our future. We weren’t just talking, but mapping out our future as rock stars. I know it sounds trite, but we had decided our dedication and passion would lead us to a life of waking up every morning with music as our livelihood. We exchanged thoughts on what luxuries life would allow us as we rocked the world with our music. But at this moment, the love we had for our musical endeavors seemed to minor in a love for food.

I vividly remember Paris coming up as a place we’d go to dine at the finest France had to offer. The luxury of being able to order anything off the menu regardless of price excited us. We chuckled, and Scott had a way of shaking his leg in a back and forth motion whenever he was overly stimulated. It was a surefire sign that he was in the best of moods. Back in those days, that occurred on a regular basis.

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Scott and his family moved to Huntington Beach, CA from Chagrin Falls, OH in 1983.  He went to Edison High School as a freshman, playing football and singing in the choir. Scott would come to watch my brother Ross and I play in our band Awkward Positions, and he was intrigued by the whole idea of creating music. As that band came to an end, I asked Scott if he would like to sing for a new band I was forming. He jumped at the opportunity, and we went to play together for the first time at a drummer named David Allin’s house. There was immediate chemistry, and we started looking for a bass player, who initially ended up being Dave Stokes. When it came to picking out a name, Scott settled on Soi-Disant. It was a French name, meaning style of oneself.

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Soi-Disant perform live.

In choir, Scott was in ensemble, which was the best of the best, so he had total knowledge of how to sing professionally. He had perfect pitch, but as far as finding himself and who he was as a singer in a band, it was a process to find his voice. He had been sheltered from a lot of music in Ohio, which had a vastly different scene to southern California. I brought a lot of post punk influences into the band, and I shared them with Scott. Early Cure, the Psychadelic Furs, The Jam, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, bands with a punk energy, but with great melodies and hooks.

The Cure’s “Killing An Arab” was one of the early songs we covered.  I also remember turning him onto David Bowie, and he really liked Duran Duran. Scott started teaching me how to sing harmonies, and we synced perfectly. We could sing just acapaella, and it would sound almost like a chorus pedal. I was progressing as a singer, and he starting to find out who he wanted to be musically.

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Soi-Disant: (back, left to right) David Allin, Corey Hickok, Scott Weiland, (front) Britt Willits, and Scott Tubbs.

I was just getting to know Scott, but at the time I had a tight knit group of close friends, and on weekends I’d always go hang out with them. Scott was eager to spend more time with me, ‘Hey, why can’t I hang out with you?’ He wanted to hang out with me more because of what we were doing musically, but I only had so many friends, and it took a little time for me to consider someone a best friend.

During sophomore year, Scott’s parents found a very small amount of cocaine in his room, and they had paramedics come to our school and put him on a gurney, in front of everybody. He was put on lockdown in Orange at a place called Care Unit. They told him, ‘You have to partake in this program. You’ve got problems, so you better admit it!’ He told them he didn’t have any problems, and at the time, he didn’t. He was a kid dabbling recreationally, and he made a mistake, but it led to rumors at school. Everyone at school thought Scott had a drug problem, so I had to go around and tell everyone that he didn’t.

Scott called me from Care Unit, ‘Hey Corey man, can you come here?’ I went up there, and it was very emotional. I asked him what I could do for him, and he said, ‘I just need a good friend.’ I committed to him, ‘I’ll be your best friend.’ After that, not only were we partners in music, but we were best friends. I alienated a lot of other friends I had, and I was with Scott always for the rest of high school. We looked after each other through thick and thin, and always had each other’s backs.

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Our band became complete when we added a new bass player and keyboardist. There was a really talented band when I was in junior high called Tubbs and Company: Shawn, Lonnie, and Scott Tubbs. Scott would become our bass player after Dave, and Britt Willits became our keyboardist. Shawn and Lonnie would also play with us from time to time. Once Scott joined Soi-Disant, we got serious. As we started to play live, most people said it sounded like Duran Duran, but I was trying to infuse some more angst into our sound. Early songs titles included “Forever Four” and “In The Moonlight.”

Our school had banned bands from playing at lunch in 1980 after this one punk band played and the kids just screwed up the whole school. We were the first band they allowed to come back and play. At lunch when the kids would come out, we’d be playing the middle of the quad. We were definitely the high school band.

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Eventually we started playing at all of the different parties, the ‘jock’ parties. We got pretty popular, as a lot of the women started liking what we were doing (and the way we looked). A lot of the jocks started getting really jealous. We’d play these parties, and we were taking away the attention of all the girls. We got in some fights with the jocks, and Scott was a really good fighter. These jocks were messing with the wrong guy. He was one of those guys who would take you down no matter what, it didn’t matter how big you were.

There was one occasion where a few guys ganged up on Scott, and Scott didn’t forget it. Years later, when Stone Temple Pilots played on the main stage at Irvine Meadows for the first time in 1993, Scott said on stage something along the lines of, ‘It’s funny, here I am back in my hometown, and some of you guys who used to want to start fights with me now are now watching me play here. How do you like that?’

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We knew we had to take Soi-Disant to the next level, and we had to get out of the party scene in Orange County and play in Los Angeles. We played at ‘pay to play’ venues like The Roxy and the Whiskey, where you had to sell tickets in order to play. We got clever, figuring out that we could rent tour buses and then factor that into the ticket prices.

We’d have two tour buses show up in front of our high school, and mostly pack them with girls. Up to 200 kids would be driven up to LA, and the shows would be sold out. We were 17 years old and selling out The Roxy.  Music industry people were shocked that a teenage band from Orange County could manage to sell out a club in LA.

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We also would play at a 21 and over dance club in Orange County called Déjà Vu, so we all had to get fake ID’s. The guy who ran the club, Tom, let us play once a week and jam in between the DJ, and it took off. We got a whole different type of following, and it did a lot for us. Tom was such a big supporter that he paid for us to do a demo called “Divine Right.”

While we were playing at Déjà Vu, at the end of our sets we’d close with “Louie Louie.” One night, we asked if anybody in the audience knew how to play bass, and a guy rose his hand, so we invited him on stage, and he absolutely killed it. His name was Robert DeLeo. The next time we played, he was there again, and it became a regular occurrence.

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We graduated in 1986, celebrating with a trip to Hawaii. As we looked towards the future, Scott and I were determined that we were going to make it in the music industry, and Britt was on board as well. We were maturing, and wanted a new sound to take us to the next level. We had heard that Robert had a studio at his apartment in Long Beach, so we went up there to record some stuff. We also asked him if he would lay the bass down on some songs after we’d recorded our parts. We came back the next day, and our jaws dropped. It sounded incredible.

Scott and I looked at each other, and we’re like: ‘Hey Robert, would you like to be in our band?’ He said, ‘Look guys, I’m so serious about music, if I get in a band, it has to be 100% dedication.’ We responded, ‘That’s what we’re looking for.’ And we did it. We started writing songs that were in the same vein as Parliament P Funk and Sly Stone, going in a 70’s funk direction, and Swing was born.

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Robert DeLeo and Scott Weiland perform live.

We now needed a drummer, so we put out an ad in Bam magazine. We had a lot of interest, and a lot of them just weren’t any good, so we started requesting videos. We met this one guy who played great, but he had a girlfriend who was a nightmare. We played a few times, and it was always a hassle with the girlfriend, and we called him out on it. We told him that we didn’t want any outside distractions, and he was out. After that, we went back to the drawing board.

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Robert DeLeo, Scott Weiland, and Corey Hickok perform live.

One day we were sitting in downtown Long Beach, and we had just heard a drummer play over the phone, and he was going to bring us a tape. We saw him pull up in his car downstairs, and up comes a man by the name of Eric Kretz. He put on a video tape of himself playing, and he was incredible. Bruford, Bonham, that’s what we wanted, so we set up an audition at a rehearsal studio in Long Beach. Eric set up his drums, we were so excited, we’d been looking for a drummer for months.

I go up to check my mic, I have my fingers on my strings, and I started getting shocked. I literally flew at least 10 feet, almost behind the stage on the riser. Saliva was coming out of my mouth, I thought I was going to die. Eric tried to free me from my guitar, but he got jolted when he touched me. Considering we had just met, I thought that was really brave of him and showed his character.

Everyone in the building could hear me shrieking. Scott came up behind me and shouted, ‘Turn the power off!’ I jumped up in the air, in shock, freaking out. An ambulance came and took me to the hospital, and the band followed me. The doctor told me if I hadn’t been wearing shoes, or I’d been older, I would have died. It really changed my outlook on life.

After that, Eric joined Swing. We played a lot of dance clubs, and we could get away with it, because people would dance to our music. We started to get a following, but we knew we had to go up to LA. I dropped out of school at Long Beach State, and Robert, Eric, Britt, and I moved into an apartment in Culver City, while Scott moved in with his girlfriend Mary Ann.

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Britt Willits, Corey Hickok, Scott Weiland, and Erik Kretz on Scott’s 21st birthday in 1988.  Scott’s birthday was on October 27th, close to Halloween, so typically we would always try to get a limo, it was kind of a tradition.  We would dress up as clowns, sometimes like A Clockwork Orange characters.

We just started playing every club we could, with the Coconut Teaszer being a mainstay. We played with No Doubt early on, and Tom Morello’s band Lock Up. Bam Magazine also started to give us some media attention. When you were Bam’s pick of the week, you knew you were going to get signed. Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you name it. We ended up being the pick of the week.

When we played live, somewhere in the set we would do solos, and Eric would do a drum solo where he would get up from his drum set with his drumsticks and literally tap everything in the venue.  He would go tap the side of the mic stand, he’d even go into the audience.  People were like, ‘What the hell is this guy doing!?’  He’d then make his way back on stage, and slowly start to play, and then he would just go nuts.  He was so animated, the crowd loved it.

Robert would do a bass solo, and this is back when he would slap.  Everyone’s jaws would just drop, he could slap on that bass like nobody’s business.  It was incredible, and it completely captivated the audience.  Scott was really coming into his own as a frontman with Swing.  He started doing his James Brown and Mick Jagger moves, incorporating that into his stage presence.  So many times after we would finish playing we would have people go up to us, ‘You guys are going to make it.  Not only do you sound incredible, but you have the greatest stage presence.  You guys are going to be huge.’  That was a standard for us, and we felt it too, we had a chemistry on stage where we just fed off each other.  There was never a moment where people just sat there and watched us, people would be dancing, jumping up and down, they were always participating in some way.  It really helped fire us up on stage.

Our songwriting evolved as well.  When we started playing together, it was all my stuff, with Robert adding his licks to what I was writing.  Very quickly, it evolved to where Robert was bringing in ideas himself.  Robert had a great way of bringing in really catchy riffs, and my talent was to take those riffs and structure them in a song format.  As time went on, Robert wrote more and more, while I wrote less and less, but I was always helping a lot with the arrangements.  Robert is such a brilliant musician, he had so much music in his head, and just a plethora of licks.

“Ole Dixie” was a fun little country song we did, completely different from anything we ever did. Scott’s biological father Kent and stepmom Martha listened to old school country music, so he was a fan growing up, as was I. We were really into Dwight Yoakam as well at the time. One time we were goofing around in the studio, and we decided to slap it on the end of a demo.  We also did two really funky songs called “Dirty Dog” and “Love Machine.”  For “Love Machine,” we hired a woman to do backing vocals to get that 70’s soul sound, and we actually all did backing vocals on that song.

We really loved funk, but there was only so much we could do in that genre.  Our sound slowly moved in the 70’s rock direction, rather than our funk and 60’s soul influences.  Scott really started getting into The Doors and Jim Morrison.  When Scott would really get passionate about an artist he admired, it somehow became a part of him, and his own unique voice.

As we transitioned into a more rock sound, we didn’t have any more keyboard parts for Britt to play, so we let him go. We then changed our name to Mighty Joe Young as part of this transformation of our sound.  This is when there started to be some tension in the band, as there became a desire to have an anthem type lead guitar sound with what was going on with MTV at the time, with big solos. That type of playing just wasn’t in my musical makeup, and I didn’t see why I should change my style.

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Scott Weiland, Eric Kretz, and Corey Hickok perform live.

Two songs we worked on that were in our new rock direction were “Piece of Pie” and “Fast As I Can” (completely different songs from the tracks that later appeared on Core and Stone Temple Pilots).  “Piece of Pie” called for a lead, so Robert said: ‘Corey, we’ve got to do a lead for this song. I’ll tell you what, let’s get my brother Dean up here to just play the lead on it.’ Dean was this monster guitar player, but he was a foreman at a construction company, making great money.  I’d met Dean, we’d had fun with him riding jet skis down in San Diego, and he’d come to a few shows. He ended up coming in and playing the solo, and it was brilliant. After that, there was talk of Dean joining the band and making it a 5 piece, with me doing rhythm guitar and backing vocals. I said no.

I felt what we had been doing up to that point was great, and that we didn’t need anything else. Looking back now in hindsight, I see that what Dean brought to the band is everything they needed to get to the next level. But at the time, I felt a little differently.

Scott said, “Corey, we need this.” At the same time, Robert was progressing as a a bass player and musician at an incredible pace, Eric was so on the money, with the best chops, and then you had me, and I wasn’t progressing nearly as fast as them as a musician. There was some tension there, and I understand that. I also had a great job opportunity back home in Huntington Beach at the time too, so I was really at a crossroads. They could sense I wasn’t as dedicated as I once was.

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Robert DeLeo, Scott Weiland, and Corey Hickok perform live.

It was a difficult decision, but I told Scott that I was leaving Mighty Joe Young. We both cried. Since the beginning of high school, he had never played in a band without me. He felt like a part of his whole experience as a musician was gone, but he was definitely in great hands. Dean’s a monster musician, with the synergy between he and his brother, and Eric, they were a force to be reckoned with.

I told Scott, ‘My Dad’s offering me a business, I understand the pressure, bring Dean in. I’m done, but I’ll always be your best friend.’ Scott looked me in the eyes and told me, ‘Corey, I want you to know this. If I don’t make it in music, I don’t know anything else I’ll be able to do. You might have to support me someday.’ He was 100% serious. This was all he ever wanted. Since we began this journey, I saw something change in him, his whole demeanor changed as soon as he sang in a band situation. He never looked back. It’s what he was meant to do.

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Mighty Joe Young after Dean joined the band.

After I quit, Dean joined Mighty Joe Young on a temporary basis, but was hesitant to join full time because of the great job he had in San Diego, so they put out ads looking for a new guitar player. They started auditioning guitarists and were just laughing, the same thing that happened when we were looking for drummers a few years prior.

As Dean was beginning to play with the band though, the chemistry was undeniable. Just as I was leaving the band, “Wicked Garden” was being written. “Where The River Goes,” “Only Dying,” and “Naked Sunday” were also early songs they did with Dean. After a month or so, Dean finally agreed to join on a full time basis. He was the icing on the cake for the band, and I became their biggest fan. I was there for their early shows, the day they were signed by Atlantic Records, when they were writing and recording the songs from Core, and as the Grunge scene exploded.

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Mighty Joe Young’s original 1989 logo.

When it came to contemporaries, Scott had never heard of a band called Pearl Jam when he was writing Core. We were fans though of Alice In Chains when they came out, and Scott had great admiration for Perry Farrell, he thought he was mesmerizing and an amazing frontman. He loved Jane’s Addiction.

One thing that Scott became iconic for was his use of the bullhorn on stage, and there is a great story behind that. We were over at our buddy Gary Menke’s house one day, and Scott goes into the garage and sees a bullhorn. He says, ‘I want to start playing with this!’ Some time after that, I’m hanging out at Gary’s house, and Scott is on MTV. Gary says, ‘Hey Dad, you were asking where you megaphone was, there it is!’ His Dad Dale goes, ‘What the hell? I want my megaphone back!’ Word got back to Scott, so he wrote: ‘I heart Dale Menke’ on it. Dale let him keep it.

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Scott with his trademark bullhorn at a July 1993 concert in Berkley, CA

As Mighty Joe Young became Stone Temple Pilots, I remember feeling that everything I knew we were going to be, was going to be. With any type of career that takes drive and ambition to achieve, there will be naysayers. Whether you want to be a fireman or a doctor, then you get older and you find out it’s ‘1 in 10,000.’ When we were young, we had these people saying: ‘Do you know that 1 in 10,000 people make it in the music industry? Grow up! How are you going to make it?’

We said, ‘We’re the 1 in 10,000.’ Nothing ever penetrated Scott’s mind, he was laser focused. The chills I get remembering being at our 20 year high school reunion when they put the class of 1986 video on, and all of a sudden it shows me and Scott. We’re saying: ‘In 10 years, we’re going to be dominating the world, the biggest band in the music industry.’ Scott did it.

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Scott’s 1986 high school graduation photo, with his note to Corey.

When STP released Core in 1992, our local metal station KNAC picked up “Sex Type Thing,” but KROQ said it was ‘too heavy’ for the station. It became the number 1 song on KNAC. “Plush” was the next single, at the time STP were touring in an RV, and that song became a smash hit on rock radio. KROQ think they’re always the ‘hottest’ on alternative, but they had to swallow their pride and play STP after every station across the country had picked up “Plush.”

Once Scott became famous, and I was just a normal guy, every time I would see him, my goal was to try to take him out of that realm, because he called me so many times on the road and we had some very heartfelt conversations. Scott started to go into restaurants, and guys would come up with their shoes, and they’d put them on the table: ‘Hey, will you sign my shoes?’ For awhile he’d be like, ‘Okay, but that’s kind of odd.’ Then it got to a point where he couldn’t be seen in public.

He called me on the road, ‘Corey, I’m coming home, I want you to be at my house.’ Scott had just bought a home with his wife Janina, who is a great woman. She was there for Swing, Mighty Joe Young, and everything. So I meet Scott, we’re sitting at his beautiful house, and Scott tells me, ‘Corey, this is what I always wanted, but I feel like a puppet. I’m being torn. At 8 o’clock I do an interview, 8:30 pictures, then 9 another interview, then 10 I’m going to MTV.’ It was just a lot, and it was times like that that I would help ground him, and help him understand that this is what we were working for, and to just roll with the punches.

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Scott during STP’s early days.

We would see each other off and on because of Scott’s touring schedule, but when he would be in town, we would get together. I was over at his house one day in 1998 in Pasadena, and he told me he had a solo record coming out, 12 Bar Blues. He played “Barbarella” over his great sound system, and gave me an acoustic guitar and asked me to play along. He said, ‘I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you come and play with me? I’m going out to play David Letterman in New York, do you want to play?’ I said sure, and he invited me to rehearse with his solo band. Daniel Lanois was there, Martyn LeNoble, and Victor Indrizzo. The guitar tech gave me Dave Navarro’s 12 string to play, it was a lot nicer than the guitar I brought. We started playing “Barbarella,” and Scott stops the song halfway through and tells Daniel than I am going to be singing backups, like I used to in the olden days.

The next thing I know I’m flying to New York with Scott. When we get to David Letterman’s studio we were told we had to cut the song down, which complicated the arrangement and the beginning of the song. A person who worked for Letterman told me, “We’ve decided we’re going to put a click track in your ear, not the drummer’s ear, and when David says ’12 Bar Blues,’ on ‘blues’ you’re going to have to hit the first note to a click track.” So I hit the first note and it starts the drum track for him, and if I make a mistake, I butcher the whole song on live TV. We do it, and I pull it off, but it was quite the experience.

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Scott and his brother Michael before Scott’s interview on Howard Stern to promote 12 Bar Blues.

While we were in New York, we got wined and dined by Atlantic Records. At the restaurant, I go to the bathroom, and a guy walks up and asks me: ‘Hey, you’re here with Scott? Could you introduce me to him?’ It was Ben Stiller. So I introduced them, and Ben asked Scott to do a song for ‘There’s Something About Mary.’

Scott then asked me to join his band and come out on tour for 12 Bar Blues with him. This was my dream, but when I got to New York and I saw the schedule, getting up at 7AM, then going to Howard Stern at 7:30, and just being there for 3 days, it was so rigorous. For the first time I saw first hand what it does entail to be a rock star like Scott, and there really is a part to it that can definitely take a toll on you. You really need to have a foundation of some sort, because it can be very cold.

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Corey and Scott backstage at a June 2010 Stone Temple Pilots show in Irvine, CA.

After that, I would still see Scott off and on depending on his schedule. In 2009, he called me and said, “Corey, I need you to come up to LA, I’ve got the guys from VH1 Behind The Music here to do an interview with you.” I spent 2 hours with VH1, and the director thanked me for filling in the gaps from when Scott moved to Huntington Beach. It never came out. Apparently there’s so much red tape legally because of the many different musicians Scott worked with, that these guys all have their own publishing deals. They definitely have enough though to release the Behind The Music special.

Later that same year, Scott and I had one of our most memorable experiences as friends when we went to a Notre Dame football game. Scott’s dad David played football at Notre Dame, so Scott was a lifelong fan of Notre Dame’s football team. Every Saturday, no matter what, he was going to watch the game. In 2009, the coach Charlie Weiss heard that Scott had defended him on the internet, when a lot of people were calling for him to be fired. Charlie called Scott and asked him to come to the alumni game, and Scott asked me to go with him.

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Corey, Notre Dame’s athletic director, Scott, and Derek Mayes at a Notre Dame football game in 2009.

We stayed at the university hotel, and when we went into our room, and Scott was like a kid in a candy store, shaking his leg with excitement like he did when we were young. We’re talking about a rock star, where nothing surprised him any more. We met Charlie, who told us he wanted us to come on the field, and even let us park in his personal parking space. At the game, Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown came up asked for pictures with Scott.

At one point, Scott decided he wanted to go up to the college section and hang out with the kids. After the game, we ended up playing beer pong with some kids at a bar, and it wasn’t about drinking, Scott drank less than me, it was about Scott’s love for the school. We were invited to a house by seniors, and Scott was so appreciative of everyone we met. He loved the campus, and he wanted to be a part of it. We had the most amazing weekend. He was the old Scott. Scott left such an impression on everybody there, that the alumni director texted me the night Scott passed, 6 years after we’d met him.

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Scott and Tim Brown at the Notre Dame game in 2009.

As the years went on and I would see Scott in between tours, and in a beautiful way, I almost felt like a rock for Scott. He got to the point where he was around so many different people. As you become famous, you become this magnet that everyone attracts to. Everyone wants to cling to you, and they all start to become your best friend, and you don’t know their true motifs.

All of a sudden I’d see these new people, and I would be the same old Corey. I would see some uncomfortable stuff, and things I didn’t approve of, and I would be the first one to say something. They would be shocked: ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?’ I’d respond, ‘Yeah, I’m looking out for my best friend.’ It was a back and forth thing, where Scott would want to be around certain people, and then times where he would spend more time with me.

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Corey with one of his favorite photographs of Scott in January 2016.

I want to conclude by saying I’m truly blessed to have had a part in Scott’s musical journey, and will hold it close to my heart for the rest of my life.  Scott was a slice of the rock and roll revolutionary pie. He is a prominent voice for more than a generation, and his music has become the soundtrack of many of his fans lives. His ability to constantly reinvent himself and his voice inflections catapulted him to a level few have reached in rock and roll. How many musicians can you think of off the top your head that have been making music and remained relevant after 25 years? Scott will always be remembered as the “miraculous melody maker,” with his ability to write songs that stand the test of time.

Figuratively speaking, it was as if Scott was able to tap into a sacred realm of music, and it was the fans who got to reap the rewards of his rare findings. In time, I believe more of Scott’s contributions to music will be recognized as a major footprint for this generation. As a great friend, I’m terribly saddened he’s gone, but rest assured, he’s up in Heaven and playing among the best of them in peace. As his loyal fans pay their respects, I know Scott is looking down and proud of all of you for your heartfelt sentiments. On behalf of his close friends, we thank you for the love and support of a one of a kind, beautiful soul who will forever be remembered.

God Bless,

Corey Hickok

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Scott performing with Soi-Disant.

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From left: Scott, his high school sweetheart Heather Chapman, Geneva (David Allin’s girlfriend), David Allin, Ron Kaufman, and Corey Hickok.

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Scott with Ron Kaufman, our other great friend. At one time people called us the Three Musty Queers. All in fun of course. The three of us spent a lot of time together throughout high school and beyond.

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Ann Wilkens, Heather Chapman, Ron Kaufman, Corey Hickok, Claudia Stange, Geneva, and Scott.  Ann Wilkens is now the executive producer for KROQ’s Loveline.

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Scott, Heather Chapman, Robin Campbell, David Allin, Geneva, Corey Hickok, Ron Kaufman, and Liana on our 1986 high school graduation trip to Hawaii.

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Scott on the high school graduation trip to Hawaii.

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Scott and his first love Heather Chapman.

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We all went to a ‘Dynasty’ party in high school. This is Scott with Robin Campbell, David Allin’s cousin.

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Scott and David Allin.

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David Bowie was easily one of the most influential musicians of all time. Every era of music that has followed the 60’s/70’s classic rock era has featured artists who were influenced by Bowie. In the 80’s you had bands like The Smiths, whose frontman Morrissey definitely carried on Bowie’s sense of style and lyrical phrasing. In the 90’s, artists like late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland cited Bowie as one of their top musical influences, with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor even reworking “I’m Afraid Of Americans” to help Bowie have his biggest hit in years.

The 2000’s had bands like The Killers who helped revive Bowie’s dark glam rock sound, with Bowie giving one of his final live performances with Arcade Fire. In this article, we are focusing on the greatest Bowie covers performed by 90’s alternative rock artists. Rest in peace David.

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Suffragette City”

9. Scott Weiland – “The Jean Genie”

8. Alice In Chains – “Suffragette City”

7. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Space Oddity”

6. Chris Cornell – “Lady Stardust”

5. Scott Weiland – “Ashes to Ashes”

4. A Perfect Circle – “Ashes to Ashes”

3. The Wallflowers – “Heroes”

2. Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold The World”

1. Stone Temple Pilots – “Andy Warhol”

Stone Temple Pilots made a post on Facebook following the death of David Bowie yesterday asking him to send a message to their late frontman Scott Weiland.

STP wrote, “We love you David. Always have and always will. Thank you deeply for all that you gave us. Tell our Scott we love him very much.”

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STP bassist Robert DeLeo also posted further tribute messages on Twitter.

He also retweeted this:

David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer, his rep has confirmed. He was 69. He just recently released a new album titled Blackstar.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts.

This loss is crushing. With Scott Weiland’s death in December, I’ve lost two of my favorite singers of all time in just over a month. When I met Scott and interviewed him in December, I was wearing my Aladdin Sane shirt, and we discussed our favorite Bowie material. Now they’re both gone. Bowie was one of the most inventive singers of all time melodically and lyrically. Bowie created new worlds with his albums and songs, and was constantly reinventing himself and always staying relevant.

When I was driving home last night I was listening to “Under Pressure” and thinking about how sad it was that Freddie was gone and that I’d never see him live, but I thought, at least we still have Bowie, maybe I’ll get to see him live some day. Now that will never happen unfortunately.

As we reported all the way back in 2009, a Scott Weiland VH1 Behind The Music special was worked on for the network, but was indefinitely shelved later that same year, despite production being at least halfway finished for the television special at Lavish Studios featuring interviews and performances of Stone Temple Pilots and solo tracks. Instead, VH1 aired episodes focused on Lil Wayne and T.I.

While VH1 have not announced any plans to complete the special, one can only wonder if they may reconsider now with Weiland’s recent passing. The Behind The Music special isn’t the only unreleased Weiland documentary out there, as Stone Temple Pilots filmed footage for a documentary while recording Shangri LA DEE DA in 2001.

Mark Racco, the director of Scott Weiland’s side project The Wondergirls “Drop That Baby” video from the late 90’s, recently revealed that the Wondergirls are planning on releasing a previously unreleased track titled “Massive Heart Attack” featuring Weiland. Racco said the following on YouTube:

“Keep your fingers crossed I’m currently in negotiations to direct a new Wondergirls video for an unreleased track Scott wrote and performed lead vocals on called ‘Massive Heart Attack’ which in light of his recent passing be very enlightening as he appears to have predicted his own death in the song. the video will be for charity partly benefiting Musicares and partly for Scott’s children.”

Alternative Nation has also learned exclusively from a source that there are two unreleased tracks from Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts’ Blaster recordings sessions. There is no word though on if or when those tracks will be released.

You can listen to a clip of “Massive Heart Attack” below, which we originally premiered a portion of in 2013.

Alternative Nation wrote an in-depth piece on the Wondergirls in 2013 featuring an interview with Ashley Hamilton.

Once upon a time, a record label would mean a band’s avenue to success, or prove to be its undoing. The Wondergirls, an ambitious project spearheaded by entertainer Ashley Hamilton, fell victim to the furtive tactics of the industry. Nowadays, with the advent of the internet, the concept of needing a label is obsolete. With that in mind, Hamilton and his partners in the group are planning a comeback.

In concept, the band, the brainchild of actor/songwriter Ashley Hamilton, was a late 90’s/early 2000’s rock and roll dream team: the roster was filled by some of the most popular artists of the time, including Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Jay Gordon and Ryan Shuck of Orgy, Troy Van Leeuwen of A Perfect Circle, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. However, after recording a full length album, a string of mishaps led to the destruction of the band.

Outside of “Massive Heart Attack”, Other songs that were worked on in some capacity included “Go My Way”,”Cookie Monster”, “Every Time”, “Kiss and Tell (The Train Song)” and cover of Iggy Pop’s “Passenger”.

Ashley Hamilton told Alternative Nation, “It was one of those groundbreaking things, you knew it was going to be fucking huge. We had so many potential hit songs from that record, and we were so stoked.” Sadly, when the recording process was well underway, legal turmoil tore the band apart. “We started our record… the problem was that we were on so many labels, and [the labels] were fighting over money. We’re more than halfway done with the album, and one day we come in and Josh Abraham says there’s a problem… we should be finished in a couple of days, we’ll be back… that was the last of the project. People disappeared and went back to their own gigs, I didn’t have a gig. The thing was done.”

Any hope of releasing the finished music they had was lost when the master reels were lost in the shuffle. “Its just weird how it can just disappear and nobody can seem to know where it is. It just sounds weird to me.”

Mark Racco, the director of Scott Weiland’s side project The Wondergirls “Drop That Baby” video from the late 90’s, has revealed that the Wondergirls are planning on releasing a previously unreleased track titled “Massive Heart Attack” featuring Weiland. Racco said the following on YouTube:

“Keep your fingers crossed I’m currently in negotiations to direct a new Wondergirls video for an unreleased track Scott wrote and performed lead vocals on called ‘Massive Heart Attack’ which in light of his recent passing be very enlightening as he appears to have predicted his own death in the song. the video will be for charity partly benefiting Musicares and partly for Scott’s children.”

Alternative Nation has also learned exclusively from a source that there are two unreleased tracks from Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts’ Blaster recordings sessions. There is no word though on if or when those tracks will be released.

You can listen to a clip of “Massive Heart Attack” below, which we originally premiered a portion of in 2013.

Alternative Nation wrote an in-depth piece on the Wondergirls in 2013 featuring an interview with Ashley Hamilton.

Once upon a time, a record label would mean a band’s avenue to success, or prove to be its undoing. The Wondergirls, an ambitious project spearheaded by entertainer Ashley Hamilton, fell victim to the furtive tactics of the industry. Nowadays, with the advent of the internet, the concept of needing a label is obsolete. With that in mind, Hamilton and his partners in the group are planning a comeback.

In concept, the band, the brainchild of actor/songwriter Ashley Hamilton, was a late 90’s/early 2000’s rock and roll dream team: the roster was filled by some of the most popular artists of the time, including Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Jay Gordon and Ryan Shuck of Orgy, Troy Van Leeuwen of A Perfect Circle, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. However, after recording a full length album, a string of mishaps led to the destruction of the band.

Outside of “Massive Heart Attack”, Other songs that were worked on in some capacity included “Go My Way”,”Cookie Monster”, “Every Time”, “Kiss and Tell (The Train Song)” and cover of Iggy Pop’s “Passenger”.

Ashley Hamilton told Alternative Nation, “It was one of those groundbreaking things, you knew it was going to be fucking huge. We had so many potential hit songs from that record, and we were so stoked.” Sadly, when the recording process was well underway, legal turmoil tore the band apart. “We started our record… the problem was that we were on so many labels, and [the labels] were fighting over money. We’re more than halfway done with the album, and one day we come in and Josh Abraham says there’s a problem… we should be finished in a couple of days, we’ll be back… that was the last of the project. People disappeared and went back to their own gigs, I didn’t have a gig. The thing was done.”

Any hope of releasing the finished music they had was lost when the master reels were lost in the shuffle. “Its just weird how it can just disappear and nobody can seem to know where it is. It just sounds weird to me.”

Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother is one of rock’s most powerful modern voices, yet has possessed something of a tumultuous and unpredictable career. After the smashing success of 2005’s self-titled Wolfmother debut featuring enduring rock radio singles like “Woman” and “Joker & The Thief”, the band’s lineup imploded for their second release, “Cosmic Egg”. The band’s planned third album was ultimately released under Andrew Stockdale’s own name; however, Stockdale reconsidered the Wolfmother brand and used the “surprise digital release” format for Wolfmother’s third record, “New Crown”, released in 2014.

After that experiment, Stockdale recruited legendary producer Brendan O’Brien for the band’s next studio output, Victorious. This record, releasing in February 2016, marks the first Wolfmother “event” release since 2009, being hyped with the release of two huge-sounding singles, “City Lights” and “Victorious”. I recently had a brief opportunity to chat with Stockdale, who reminisced on some of his earliest influences as a vocalist and looked ahead to a promising career relaunch with Victorious.

Can you tell us a bit about Wolfmother’s undocumented recent Scott Weiland tribute, and your earliest memories of STP?

We just did a free show at the Great Northern Byron in memory of Scott, playing a bunch of covers including “Interstate Love Song”. I remember seeing STP on David Letterman in the 90’s and falling in love with them!

Being a vocalist is much like being an athlete as far as building and maintaining your vocal range. As a young guy back then finding your own voice, were there any artists you’d sing along to?

When I was a teenager, I’d sing Pearl Jam, The Beatles… Blind Melon was one of them. I’d sing along to Perry Farrell, and realize I was able to hit the high notes! I’d be playing guitar with my brother or something, and I’d be coughing up a vein or something. [laughs] From there, I just sort of kept going.

Flash forward to now and you will be working with Brendan O’Brien, who worked with Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, on “Victorious”. 

He’s done a good job of doing that “big” sound, viable for national radio… you know what I mean? He knows how to make that rock n’ roll sound in this day and age, when it seems like production has just been going through the motions.

You think you’ll be able to capture that stateside magic that Wolfmother’s 2005 album possessed? 

Victorious is going to sound fantastic on the radio anywhere in the world and it’s got the production people have come to expect. Ya know… some people need songs, some people need a haircut, some people need production!

A big moment in the years after that debut was your collaboration with Slash on his 2010 solo album, singing vocals on “By The Sword”. Can you tell us a bit about your experience in the studio with Slash? 

When you get to meet Slash, you also get to hang out with all the stars. When I went to LA to record I met Lemmy, Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper and all these icons. Wow, that was exciting. Dave Grohl was in the back room with a bottle of scotch, and when I walked in, he’s like, “Hey, you gonna come and sit?” [laughs] And I was thinking: “there’s no way I’m gonna say no to drinking a bottle of scotch with Dave Grohl!”

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I don’t think anybody could.

There’s a crowd of like thirty people around and he’s just telling stories. I had to do the Slash video the next morning…

Wow, that must have been difficult! [laughs]

[laughs] Difficult because I got to drink scotch with Dave Grohl? Yeah, I had to do the video the next morning, but Grohl was high on the priority list so I tried to do both at once. Slash… he doesn’t drink, and he’s completely straight.

Do you have any other dream collaborations?

Neil Young, Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, Eddie Vedder, Lenny Kravitz. [laughs] It’s not on my “to do list”, so to speak, I’m not the best at planning things out, but if I got the invitation from any of those people, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

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