Stone Temple Pilots Announce First 2018 Tour Dates, Jeff Gutt Discusses First Tour + Joining the Band
Ever since Stone Temple Pilots hit the stage last month with new vocalist Jeff Gutt, the anticipation has been high for what comes next. The band already debuted the new song "Meadow" and now comes word of the first booked tour dates for the group since making the singer official.
Stone Temple Pilots will hit the road March 2 in Santa Clarita, Calif. and start primarily on the West Coast, getting themselves road-tested before hitting the stage in April and May at the Welcome to Rockville, Fort Rock and Rock on the Range festivals. Guitarist Dean DeLeo says of the tour, “We are thrilled to see all of you and share in the music that belongs to all of us.” Tickets for the tour will go on sale this Friday (Dec. 8) at 10AM PT at this location, and with exception of the festivals, each ticket purchased will come with a redeemable digital copy of the band's new album when it arrives early in 2018.
Ahead of the tour announcement, we had a chance to speak with singer Jeff Gutt about what he's looking forward to most about seeing the world with his new bandmates. He also spoke about his invite to audition to the band, his thoughts about comparisons to Scott Weiland, that first performance at the Troubadour last month and gave us some insight into the work on their new disc, calling it the "most rewarding record I've ever been a part of." Check out the chat below and see the new tour dates at the bottom of the post.
You weren’t one of those who submitted when they opened auditions. You actually received an invite. What was your introduction to the band and your thoughts on being asked to try out?
When Robert was on tour with Hollywood Vampires and in Detroit, someone told him about me. They were pretty far along in the process of weeding through audition submissions. I also had a friend of mine that I contacted to have him send them my info and music. When I got the call to come audition in person I was incredibly excited and humbled. Meeting the band on that first day was crazy. Just seeing their faces for the first time in person made me a little nervous but I knew I couldn’t show any of that. It’s all on video somewhere so hopefully it’ll be available at some point. Kinda want to see it myself.
While the band’s music I’m sure is of great interest to you, once meeting the guys what else did you first bond over?
Besides the music we first bonded over just stories of my past and how I grew up as a guitar player and little things like that. I’m not the most open book even when I need to be so it was a process of getting to know each other and who we are as people -- even more than just being musicians.
Seeing your first show at the Troubadour, one of the first things that struck me is that not only do you have the voice, but you’ve got a stage presence and bravado that reminded me of Weiland. As the new vocalist, it has to be difficult. How much do you want to reflect what Weiland did and was within the band and how much do you try to put your own stamp and be yourself within the scope of STP?
While I have much respect for him as a writer, I don’t really aim to emulate Scott onstage. But I also can’t be fearful of the comparisons. If I start thinking about all the things I need to stay away from to NOT get the comparison I’ll be left with nothing. I’m a huge fan of Scott and of course remember how he felt the music onstage. I always just try to be me but sometimes it’s unavoidable.
What about Weiland did you admire?
The thing I admired most about Scott was his fearlessness. Of course his voice, lyrics, and stage presence have always had an effect on me as they have most STP fans. But it was his fearlessness that I admired the most.
While STP is your highest profile gig, it’s not as if you’re new to this game. I remember Dry Cell back in the day. How much did things like your time there and other projects help prepare you for stepping into this role?
It's pretty crazy because I feel like everything in my life has prepared me for this moment. Whether it be Dry Cell and being signed to a major label with them, to touring and even walking away from music because I found the business of music wasn’t why I started at six-years-old. After my extended hiatus I found myself at the age of 36 and knew the TV route could get me back out there with the biggest splash. Plus I really needed to prove to myself that I had “the goods.” So I stood in line with 9,000 people and made it all the way to second place with no dancers or choreography. I purposely only wanted it to be about my voice.
During the Troubadour show, you gushed about your love for “Still Remains.” That was a pleasant surprise to hear that song. Can you tell me about your history with the track and what drew you to that song?
Yes, I absolutely love that song. While Core had a profound influence on my art of music experience, at the end of the day it’s the melody and lyrics to "Still Remains" that makes me feel what he’s saying. His (Scott’s) voice is so honest and beautiful on that song that I felt it the first time I ever heard it.
Do you have personal favorites within the STP catalog?
The great thing about the STP catalog is it’s diversity. While this makes it more tricky going forward I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tapping into the “characters” Scott used for each particular song is part of my journey. I’ve been doing this for 25 years since I played my first public set of music. When I used to sing other people’s songs I took a lot of pride in using the characteristics that made a particular voice work (in my opinion) and infuse it with my own touches. Obviously there’s some that I’m better at than others.
It was great to have your son on hand at the Troubadour show. What does he think of dad and does it register with him that his dad is part of this historic rock band?
I’m so happy he could be there. I haven’t seen him much in the past year but we are incredibly close. Being that he’s nine I don’t think he understands the full scope but that’s likely a good thing. I don’t want him getting a big head.
Loving “Meadow.” Take me into the studio for that one and if you can tell me how that one came about and what inspired it. And was it the definite pick for the first song you wanted to put out there?
During the process of auditioning we got into the studio and they had six songs of just music they showed me. I did those six on the first day and "Meadow" was one of those. I don’t really want to give away too much about the meaning behind the song, but it was chosen as the first single for a few reasons. I’ll let the people of earth figure out the rest. Isn’t that the best part anyways?
Having a chance to get into the studio a bit with these guys, you mentioned trying to learn the dynamic. How has the working relationship been and have you picked up certain things in how the guys work that was new or exciting to you?
Whenever going into a new venture, whether to be STP or Dry Cell or going on a TV singing show, I tend to be more quiet and (for lack of a better word) doing my own reconnaissance, understanding the band dynamic and who does what and how do they gel together before I can figure out how I could fit and make the most impact.
Is there a timeline for the new music in 2018 and anything you can share about what to expect from the direction?
The record will be out in the spring of 2018 but exact dates aren’t available yet. This record is full of amazing songs and vibes that I feel are really missing in the spectrum of today’s music. It has that STP feeling even though I’m singing. But I also didn’t come in trying to change everything. It was the most rewarding record I’ve ever been a part of. I feel like it healed some things and also brings new ingredients into the fold of such an iconic band.
I know you’re starting to book dates. What are you looking forward to in terms of getting to see the world with these guys?
I’m super stoked about the tour. I haven’t been on a professional tour like this in a while. Sure I’ve done some runs and even toured some amazing places around the world, but this is Stone Temple Pilots! I love being onstage and can’t wait to bring the catalog as well as the new record to the fans of STP who have been waiting. It won’t be the same as it was with Scott or Chester obviously, but that’s a good thing too. Mainly I want to see new generations of fans enjoying it and learning about the two singers who’ve proceeded me. I can’t bring them back but I can help keep their memories alive and that’s important to me.
Well said. Thanks for your time…. I wish you all the best and am thrilled to have Stone Temple Pilots back out there again. As I said before, I think they made a great choice and wish you the best of luck with everything.
Thanks so much for the kind words and I’m glad you were at the show. Take care.
As a reminder, Stone Temple Pilots tickets for their initial 2018 U.S. tour will go on sale this Friday (Dec. 8) at 10AM PT through the band's website. See all of the stops listed below.
Stone Temple Pilots 2018 U.S. Tour Dates
March 2 - Santa Clarita, Calif. @ The Canyon
March 4 - San Diego, Calif. @ Observatory
March 8 - Pasadena, Calif. @ The Rose
March 9 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ House of Blues
March 10 - Phoenix, Ariz. @ Marquee
March 12 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Fillmore
March 13 - Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace of Spades
March 15 - Portland, Ore. @ Roseland
March 16 - Boise, Idaho @ Knitting Factory
March 17 - Billings, Mont. @ Pub Station Ballroom
April 28 - Jacksonville, Fla. @ Welcome to Rockville*
April 29 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla. @ Fort Rock Festival*
May 20 - Columbus, Ohio @ Rock on the Range*
* Tickets do not include digital album
Stone Temple Pilots, "Meadow"