Stone Temple Pilots Singer Scott Weiland on Christmas Album: ‘Why Not?’
When it comes to Christmas surprises, Scott Weiland‘s decision to record ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ an album of holiday standards, could be one of the most unexpected presents of all time. But while on the surface the Stone Temple Pilots frontman and yuletide cheer don’t seem to go together like frankincense and myrrh, Weiland sees nothing odd about the pairing. When asked why he decided to release the album, he fires back with a simple: “Um, well, why not?”
Why not, indeed.
Weiland, talking to The Sudbury Star, continues: “Well, you know what, man? People don’t know me. They know what someone’s opinion is. And they know my songs. But they really don’t know me. Christmas, ever since I was a kid, was a big thing. It still is a big thing.”
In fact, Christmastime may have held some of the singer’s first musical experiences when he was growing up. “My memories of Christmas are very joyful,” he says. “It was a special time. I remember we would wake up in the morning, and my father would put on the record player and play old albums. He would usually start out with orchestral versions of classics and chorals. Listening to those songs is something I always remember.”
Later on, before STP had a record deal, Weiland and bandmate Robert DeLeo recorded a version of ‘White Christmas’ as a present. “We had no money, so we gave it to our families for Christmas,” reveals Weiland. “I gave one to my parents, one to my grandparents. They said that was the best present they ever got.”
Now Weiland is giving that present to all his fans. A version of ‘Winter Wonderland’ is the first single off ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ and he even made a video for the track (check it out here).
The album includes holiday standards like ‘Silent Night’ and the aforementioned ‘White Christmas’ performed in a broad range of musical styles, from big band and bossa nova to reggae and jazz. It’s a far cry from the gritty grunge that first put him on the map, sure, but not as unlikely as one might expect.
“Rock ‘n’ roll pays the bills,” admits Weiland, “but I have a lot of different musical tastes. And if I were just stuck in one genre, I wouldn’t be doing this gig anymore.”