Steve Baltin of RollingStone.com recently conducted an interview with Robert DeLeo and Chester Bennington of the new version of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS.
Regarding his decision to join STONE TEMPLE PILOTS as the replacement for Scott Weiland, the LINKIN PARK singer said: "I think that this is happening at the right time. From an outsider, this is something I expected was going to happen. For us the transition has been about as smooth creatively as a band as possible. And the fact that we all get along so well, we enjoy each other's company, we have the same work ethic and we're all enjoying what we're doing, it's a trip in a lot of ways. At the same time I have the chance to write songs with two of my favorite songwriters that have ever written, Robert and Dean [DeLeo]. Writing songs with these guys, that's something I can check off my list of shit to do."
He continued: "One of the things I've enjoyed the most about this process is seeing these guys have a good time doing it, and everybody's talking and we're all smiling. I've seen this whole process become fun for these guys again and see the joy that everybody is having when we're doing band-related stuff. So that, to me, is a really great reward . . . The depth or the length at which I think these guys have been operating for the last 10, 15 years, they've put their dues in and they've really tried to make it work. This was the choice they had to make, and if it wasn't me it was going to be somebody else. STP is moving forward without Scott 100 percent, whether I say yes or no. So I'm just glad that it's me, because I am such a big fan of the band — I know the songs as well as these guys know the songs, maybe even better than some guys know the songs. And I do my best to honor the legacy of the music. We just want to go out and fucking play and have fun doing it — play rock and roll really loud and smile."
Speaking about STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' split with Weiland, Robert said: "It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band. There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That's as big as it gets. But we really didn't have any other choice. I don't want to get too into that right now because of legal things, but Dean, Eric [Kretz, drums] and I have been saddled by someone for a long time. We've always looked out for Scott's best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn't care to be friends with us . . . And I don't think we had any other choice. We knew that was what we wanted before we thought about getting another singer. I think Scott's made it very clear, his path and his decisions on what he's done with or to this band. So when you're in that situation, Dean, Eric and myself would rather move ahead. I want to have fucking fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I'm around people that don't fucking get that, then I want to be around people who get that."
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS will release a new five-song EP called "High Rise" on October 8. The disc will be the second release featuring Bennington following current single "Out Of Time", which emerged last spring and went to No. 1 on the rock chart.
The band fired Weiland in February and sued him in May, accusing him of using the band's name to advance his solo activities, while claiming that his poor performances, late arrivals, and addiction struggles harmed the band's career.
Weiland has countersued, claiming that the band cannot use the STONE TEMPLE PILOTS name without him.