The first time I heard STP, I was enthralled. When I think back on the 90s, a lot of the soundtrack of my life had Stone Temple Pilots in it. Core came out in 1992; I was 11 but I was a MTV child, and listened to music well beyond my years. I remember the way Scott Weiland’s voice sounded the first time: melodic, gritty, sexy and loud. The video for “Sex Type Thing” was raw and scary, but I wanted more. I became a big fan of STP and stayed a fan. Scott was sexy and charismatic, different than other 90s alternative and grunge singers like Kurt, Layne, and Billy.
When Scott died, I felt a hole. I wanted, probably like all STP fans did, for him to overcome his addiction and come back to the band eventually. Thankfully, we still have his amazing music and music videos to keep his legacy alive. But unfortunately, he’s gone, and we all have to move on. Which is exactly what his former band mates have done.
Everyone has their opinion about bands keeping their name and moving on with new lead singers. Examples would be Sublime with Rome, and Alice in Chains with William DuVall. Hell, even STP has done this before with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. It’s been 2 years since Scott passed, and the band decided they were ready to continue their gritty grunge sound with a new singer. Enter Jeff Gutt. Jeff was a contestant on ‘X-Factor’ in 2012, so he’s no stranger to being on stage.
On November 14th, STP performed for the first time with Jeff at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Is Jeff a Scott? No. Is he a good singer? Absolutely. Reserved at times, he definitely doesn’t have the same stage presence as Scott. At times, he sounds similar to Scott, but most of the time you can tell it’s someone else. He needs more confidence as a lead man, but in time, it will come. When he sang the latest song ‘Meadow,’ his stage presence was better, because it was his song, not Scott’s.
I think Jeff deserves to be STP’s front man, and I think STP deserves to keep their name. They’ve been a band for over 25 years. They’ve worked hard, and they’ve stayed together. It’s not their fault Scott battled addiction and lost. Bands are never the same with a new lead singer; sometimes it’s great, like when AC/DC got Brian Johnson, and sometimes it’s bad, like when AC/DC got Axl Rose. I wish Jeff and Stone Temple Pilots the best, and I hope to see them at Rock on the Range next year. Who wants to buy me a ticket?
Check out Jeff’s performance of ‘Meadow’ with Stone temple Pilots for yourself: