Rob: As a young kid, our outlet wasn't video games, it was music.
Eric: Because it was Pong! You couldn't spend more than 20 minutes doing that! (laughs).
Rob: It was music, prog rock. I realized that prog rock was a definite outlet, but it wasn't the foundation of a good song. So the challenge for us is taking musicianship and combining it with well-written songs. That's the link right there, you know?"
Dean: That's where I think STP touches, where no one else has touched. You know, you listen to songs that Robert has written, the chordings, these incredible jazz-oriented chordings but in a rock format. I think a lot of guitar players don't have that knowledge, first of all. There's not a lot of people who construct a good guitar solo these days. There's no f**king roots man, especially in the pop rock genre. The guitar players these days are just f**king pathetic.
After the band's third record, Tiny Music . . . Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop, interruptions due to Weiland's heroin use came to a head, and the band collared singer David Coutts to do a record under the moniker of Talk Show. Knowing these guys and their acute analysis of their sound, they'd probably flay me alive for saying this. But Talk Show was pretty similar to an STP record, if a little more sublime, psychedelic and vocalized with a flair for Queen.
Dean adds his take: I would have to say the Talk Show record is very melancholy to me. Eric really put a lot of lyrics onto that record. With STP there are these parameters we stay in; there is this blueprint. It's this thing that just works, and we don't stray too far from it. With 12 Bar Blues for Scott, he was just able to play any instrument, do anything he wanted; it was just a tremendous outlet for him. As was the Talk Show thing for us. We got to write a song from the ground up, music, lyrics, melody, and that was pretty cool.
Would you ever do anything again with Dave?
Dean: The question is, will Dave ever do anything with us?
Rob: For some reason now, I feel like we just should have made the record, and made the record period. We did try to take it out on the road. And at that point we realized that we're putting this guy into a position where he's got big shoes to fill. And we weren't trying to copy anything. If we were, we would have gone out as STP, which the three of us have every right to do legally.
Did you ever consider doing that?
Dean: Absolutely not, never.
Eric: The label sure did.
Dean: Working with a guy like Scott, in each element, be it in the studio or in a live application, he's the best, man. And just that chemistry of the four of us was drastically missing when we tried doing Talk Show live. It was completely unfulfilling in a live application. I'm extremely fulfilled with the record, however. I think one of the most beautiful songs I ever wrote appears on that record, 'Fill The Fields'. But it served its purpose at the time.
Rob: It was very therapeutic for us.
So given the three year gap between No. 4 and Tiny Music, have the roles within the band altered at all? Rob: No, everybody is doing pretty much the same thing. We write the songs and we let Scott run with it lyrically and melodically. That's what I was talking about before; it's our blueprint. Scott expressed early on that he would have a hard time singing our lyrics, and we respected that.
Eric: And the difference between this record and Tiny Music was that Scott was much more prepared on this record. Dean: He was really fighting for his sobriety on this record. He was really there, man. I think the record reeks of that too. Hopefully he is out of jail in February if he is a good boy, and we can get out on tour.
The Stone Temple Pilots Story Page 4