Stone Temple Pilots Has Chester Bennington As Their New Vocalist
Stone Temple Pilots are a rarity in the chaotic industry of rock & roll. They’ve been around since 1986 (originally under the moniker Mighty Joe Young) and until recently, have managed to keep their line-up static. Yes, they managed to maintain their core line-up since their inception (although they split up for five years in 2003), which is a pretty impressive feat considering that most bands often have rampant line-up changes, almost on a regular cycle.
Unfortunately, Stone Temple Pilot’s iconic frontman Scott Weiland, had a bad run-in with the media, which caused a downturn in the band. A laundry list of mostly associated drug problems were exposed to the public through various incidents, showering him in a lot of negative spotlight, until finally the band had to remove him from the equation. While it is incredibly unfortunate to see something like this disrupt the flow of a band that otherwise, have had relatively few problems it was an understandable necessity. The remaining members, including brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo did what was required to keep their band alive, which is amicable.
Now however, they have the hard task of not only bringing a new singer into the fold, but convincing their fans that he is the right fit. They’ve selected, somewhat surprisingly, Chester Bennington, of nu metal legends Linkin Park fame, to front the new era of Stone Temple Pilots. They revealed this a while back now through a series of “surprise live performances” which involved them playing a new song called “Out Of Time“. That song is now finally available for download through their own website. You can gain access to it just by putting your email address on their mailing list. The site also includes a small clip of the band recording together.
Opinion seems to be divided as to whether Bennington is a good enough replacement. On the one hand, longtime fans are understandably going to find it difficult to get themselves acquainted with a new vocalist, especially due to the band’s impressively long and distinctive run. Regardless of Weiland’s personal problems he has always been the heart and soul of the band, so it’s a considerable void to fill. Not to mention, Bennington doesn’t have the best reputation – people love to hate on nu-metal and many think a man with his background is ill-fitting to replace Weiland.
On the other hand though, Bennington is a talented musician with strong vocal capabilities. He seems relatively harmless and unlikely to disrupt the harmony of the band, I imagine that Bennington is probably just pretty humbled to be there in the first place, and grateful that he has been afforded the opportunity of being able to strike out to an even bigger fanbase.
That said, listening to “Out Of Time” you can’t help but feel that perhaps Bennington is trying a little bit too hard to sound like Weiland. This transition is going to be very awkward for everyone, including him, to come to terms with the fact that the frontman of Linkin Park is replacing Scott Weiland in Stone Temple Pilots, so “Out Of Time” feels like a”safe” song to try and placate fans and put their fears to rest. It only seems semi-successful at this juncture (some have accused it as sounding like Karaoke or a cover band of Stone Temple Pilots), but then it’s a jarring change and people are going to feel cheated regardless of how they chose to unveil him. One can’t help but wonder if creating a “riskier”, more unique song would have made a greater impact and showed fans that this really is a NEW and FRESH era to the band, but that may have caused further alienation. Either way, as Bob Dylan would say: “The Times They Are A’ Changing“.
Stone Temple Pilots are currently working on their seventh album.
What do you guys think? Is Bennington a worthy replacement to Weiland? Does he not deserve the Stone Temple Pilots crown? Do you like the new song? Sound off in the comments!