When Chester Bennington was a teenager, he saw Stone Temple Pilots in Arizona and was inspired by their live show. “I’ve heard a lot of bands out there I liked, but there were not that many bands that came out in a live setting and just crushed it better than their records,” said Bennington.
During a Stone Temple Pilots interview and live performance with Kevin & Bean, morning show hosts on KROQ (a Radio.com station), Bennington admitted to looking up to vocalist like Al Jourgensen from Ministry, Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, and even Scott Weiland, Stone Temple Pilots’ controversial former vocalist.
Joined by drummer Eric Kretz and brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo, the new incarnation of Stone Temple Pilots (who made their secret debut at KROQ’s Weenie Roast this past year) played a few songs off their recently released five-song EP, High Rise, and talked about how they came together.
When Bennington said he was so nervous for his first two shows that he wore sunglasses onstage the whole time, the brothers laughed and remarked, “It’s funny to hear that Chester gets nervous because Chester could actually stare down Chuck Norris.” Bennington admitted that he gets nervous but it’s because he might be “slightly a little bit of a control freak” and when he feels like he doesn’t have control over anything he kind of “freaks out.”
“Then I have to remind myself, I play music for a living,” Bennington said. “Even if it’s horrible, I’m in a band. I’ve got life figured out pretty good.”
The members of Stone Temple Pilots knew in their “heart and bones” that “if there was one person that could do this justice” it was Chester. “There was no one else who came to mind,” said STP. “There were no other names on the table.”
During their performance at the Weenie Roast, the band released their single “Out Of Time” and it was a “perfect storm” for their tour with Bennington at the helm. Now the band has released a five-song EP called High Rise via 13Star–which Bennington said is indicative of both his time-crunch with Linkin Park and the current state of the music industry.
“You know, we’re going to keep writing as much music as we can, but we’re going to really laser focus on these five songs and put them out and go on the road and tour. The last thing we wanted to do was go on this big tour and not have music to back it up shortly thereafter,” said Bennington.
He laughed saying that Stone Temple Pilots will be the first ever band to release a “double EP.”
“I think that’s the way the music industry is going anyway. People buy music in single serving sizes now and it’s almost an exercise in futility for a band to think that they have to make a whole record,” Bennington said. “No one is going to pay attention to an entire record anyway.”
Dean agreed, “Growing up in the ‘70s, there was a great listening experience there; it took double albums and a lot of marijuana. The triple fold was great like Rush Archives because you could put your weed up there, sort the seeds down, and then roll on the third fold.”
Giving new meaning to the title High Rise.
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles