Why Stone Temple Pilots Are Better with Chester Bennington

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Courtesy of Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington
You're looking at a happier, healthier band.

From day one, despite achieving mammoth levels of success during the grunge and alternative explosion of the 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots have been damned if they do and damned if they don't. Scott Weiland's throaty growl and bug-like sunglasses? How very Layne Staley of him. The band's riff-heavy sound on Core and Purple? Completely derivative of bands like Pearl Jam. The entire Tiny Music... experience? Hey, we all enjoyed it better the first time when it came from The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. No. 4? Ah, so this is what happens when you cannot carve out your own artistic niche and are forced to go back to the alternative rock anthems that got you on the map in the first place ... the same ones people criticized you for because of their lack of originality. Shangri-La Dee Da? More like I don't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole. And on it goes.

By Brian Palmer


Sometimes you just can't catch a break even when you catch a break, and haters are always gonna hate anyway, so either you deal with it or you implode. Weiland decided early on that imploding was the best idea ever, as his various run-ins with the law and struggles with substance abuse -- to say nothing of his diva-like behavior and the constant bickering that typified his relationship with the rest of the band --can attest. Despite being one of the singularly most interesting characters in rock 'n' roll, a dynamic singer and undoubtedly the biggest star of the band, he has been a constant distraction for them and has done more harm than good throughout their time together. Most of Elizabeth Taylor's marriages were less dysfunctional than STP's time together was, for crying out loud.

So what do you do when your lead singer is forever out of control and your band hasn't been a blip on the music radar for more than a decade (their 2010 mess of a self-titled comeback record absolutely does not count) unless it has been to talk about Weiland's latest meltdown? Why, you fire your current singer, get a new one and reinvent yourself, of course. This is what the rest of the band did when they replaced Weiland with Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington and renamed themselves Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, a move that was borne out of necessity as Weiland is currently suing them for misleading people into thinking that STP can actually be STP without Weiland. The band's decision to finally move on from Weiland is the best one they could possibly have made.

Replacing Weiland with Bennington is an upgrade of epic proportions for the band. First, there is that small issue of replacing one of the biggest egos in rock 'n' roll with a singer who has his head on straight. Bennington isn't about to go off on a power trip and isn't in danger of having run-ins with the law at any given moment, so there is stability there. And the rest of the band knows that Bennington is still committed to Linkin Park as well, so when it is time for them to record again, there won't be discord about creative differences and lack of commitment to the band. Some people think drama and destructive behavior are more interesting to read about, but if you actually give a rip about the band, then Weiland was -- oddly enough -- the weakest link and had to go, and Bennington was an excellent choice to replace him because he has more than enough chops and presence to fill his shoes.



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11 comments
shaqattackmike
shaqattackmike

HOW IRONIC THAT THIS GUY SAYS WHAT  ALOT OF OTHER MUSIC CRITICS SAY AND HES DUMPING ON ORIGINAL STP OF HAVING NO  INDIVIDUALITY. JUST LIKE COKE CLASSIC STP  WAS BETTER AS THE ORIGINAL, AND YES THEY HAD THEIR OWN STYLE DESPITE  WHAT ALOT OF THESE BANDWAGON (PARDON THE EXPRESSION) JUMPING MORONS SAY TO SEEM HIP.  JUST FOR THE  RECORD STP SOUND NOTHING LIKE PEARL JAM, ALICE, OR CHRIS CORNELL. AND NO THEY ARE NOT  BETTER WITH  LITTLE CRYBABY  WHINEY ASS CHESTER, THAT GUY SOUNDS LIKE A 8  YEAR OLD BOY CRYING CUZ MOMMY DIDNT GET HIM A POWER RANGER, HE THE PERPETUAL SELF HATING VICTIM WHILE WEILAND WAS EPITOMY OF WORKING MAN  TUFFNESS. THIS GUY SUCKS SEND HIM BACK TO 1998  WHERE HE BELONGS.

kfries1
kfries1

There's one:  Scott Weiland - 2013-03-04 Niagara Falls, NY
I deleted the truly terrible stuff ages ago except for that. But I just deleted it, thanks for reminding me. The junkie had many chances to straighten out his issues and hasn't. Time to move on without the druggie. There are a few on youtube where Weiland is obviously out of it and can't hold a note without autotune. You do know how many alleged singers use it, right?
As a former professional musician and a brief fan of STP back in the 90s, I'm appalled by the severe drop in quality from the abuser.
Your claims about vocal range after 20 or so years is laughable.

Would you like me to start with actual singers with talent? 

1. Tom Jones can still belt them out in his 70's.
2. Tony Bennett
3. Annie Haslam <- Her latest record with Renaissance is a revelation for a woman in her 60s.
4. What the hell, let's throw Rod Stewart and Bryan Ferry in...it's a drop but just to give an obvious philistine like yourself a reference point.
That's talent.
Don't kid yourself that Vedder or Weiland have that kind of talent. On second thought, continue to delude yourself.

Bad shows on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=weiland+drunk&sm=3
That wasn't hard. Typical junkie liar making clumsy excuses:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctWFSFlN7vE

PS: I'll gladly accept your apology.

kfries1
kfries1

I've heard boots of their live shows with Weiland over the years and the junkie simply doesn't have it anymore. I'm of the opinion he's been a loser since that horrible solo record 15 years ago. Velvet Revolver sucked, Weiland has been washed up and if the band actually cares about making something good they had to get rid of him.

OakCliffClavin
OakCliffClavin

Nope, this is akin to the Cars with Todd Rundgren or Van Halen with Gary Cherone, just a bad idea.  And I'm not feeling too sorry for these guys, I'm sure their royalty checks are pretty decent.

It's just an unwritten rule, the lead singer gets to take the old tunes (especially when they're mostly his lyrics). Morrissey can still sing the Smiths songs, Johnny Marr, not so much.

If they think they're a good band, change your name and write some tunes. Weiland could likely gig just fine without his STP material. These guys, no way.


bifftannen
bifftannen

Linkin Park is terrible. Chester Bennington is terrible. Scott Weiland is right, there is no STP without him.

Steve
Steve

What a fucking dipshit article by a dipshit author.


Having just purchased Tiny Music for about the tenth time the other day, I can confirm that you are a motherfucking moron of the highest order.


STP with Scott fucking kicks ass, and you are a pussy.  I bet you wish STP had a fucking record scratching DJ and that other homo rapping over Chester's singing, huh?

Core, Purple, Tiny Music, 4, fuck, the Shangrila album are all fucking awesome.


What a stupid, stupid fuck you are.

fartinton
fartinton

@kfries1Yes Velvet Revolver sucked. What the hell does that have to do with anything? How many singers wouldn't be desperate to find a way to make a living if a couple prick brothers ganged up on him and tried to replace you with the whiny voiced singer from LP?


Where are these boots where Weiland sucks? You can go to Youtube and see hundreds of videos of them performing live in the past few years- 20 years after they became famous- and he's still great. I've yet to see a bad performance from Weiland, high or not. Let's see where Bennington is 20 years from now. Actually the only other singer I know of that can belt out songs that well in his late 40s that he sung in the early 90s is Vedder.



fartinton
fartinton

@SteveHe is bro. He doesn't really believe it sucks though. He thinks Weiland should hang out with him and have a beer and he wants no part of it so he "sucks".


Okay, let's say Bennington's an okay singer. His voice is way too high pitched for STP songs. It's like replacing Eddie Vedder with Perry Farrell.

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