Stone Temple Pilots Reveal Jeff Gutt as New Vocalist at Los Angeles’ Troubadour Show
Stone Temple Pilots have their guy! The band kept their new singer under wraps over the last month, but have finally played their first official show with Jeff Gutt fronting the band. The band put on the show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles with the audience made up of fans who were subscribers to SiriusXM along with several media outlets.
Just last month, bassist Robert DeLeo told Rolling Stone, "We've been working with someone – I don't want to name names yet – and we're making music. I don't know if he's well-known or unknown; I don't look at him as 'well-known.' But we're writing music and we're hopefully looking at finishing a record and putting it out soon."
Fans packed into the Troubadour to witness the unveiling and the band got right to work. The now bleach-blonde Gutt took the stage with spiky hair, wearing sunglasses and a plain black shirt with a "Hello, My Name Is Jeff" sticker attached. Gutt's name has been bandied about in the past as a possibility for the group, but they've also done a good job of throwing fans off the trail a bit as well.
Gutt was a one-time contestant on The X Factor and played in the band Dry Cell, and he seems like a great fit within Stone Temple Pilots. His lower register resonates well with what fans had come to love about the Scott Weiland-led Pilots era of songs, and he has the confidence and stage presence in equal amounts as well. Fittingly, the first song of the night was STP's "Down" which opens with the lines "Pleased to meet you / Nice to know me." As he pointed and rallied the crowd during the song, even putting his hands behind his ears to elicit more response, the audience definitely began to take to the vocalist and by the conclusion of the second song, "Wicked Garden," there was a celebratory applause.
After the third song of the evening, the band addressed the blonde-haired elephant in the room for the first time, telling the audience that they'd be seeing a lot more of Jeff, who introduced himself to the crowd. The band dug deeper into their catalog for songs like "Coma" and "Piece of Pie," but mainly stuck to the favorites. "Plush" got a stellar new arrangement with Dean DeLeo's guitar and Gutt's vocal taking center stage for nearly three quarters of the song, giving each a stellar showcase, before Robert DeLeo's bass and Eric Kretz's earth-shaking drumming brought things up briefly. Dean also worked in some slide guitar mastery disguising a bit of the "Big Empty" opening before that first recognizable moment. And tracks like "Interstate Love Song," "Vasoline" and "Sex Type Thing" felt fresh as ever with Gutt on vocals.
"No one will ever fill Scott's shoes and I'm not trying to - he's a legend. But these songs deserve to be performed and people want to hear them. I'm just honored that the guys chose me to help them continue to build this band's legacy," Gutt said in a statement.
The evening also featured one raucous special guest, as Gutt welcomed fellow Detroit icon Wayne Kramer and his red, white and blue guitar to the stage for a blistering rendition of MC5's "Kick Out the Jams." Stone Temple Pilots also debuted a brand new track titled "Meadow" during the night. The slick new rocker being serviced to radio features an instantly catchy lick from Dean DeLeo that rides the groove laid down by brother Robert's bass. The song will appear on the band's next album. All in all, it was a solid first night for the new look STP, with the audience chanting their name after the final notes rang out.
"We wanted someone who would not only do our earlier songs justice, but would also write new songs and carve out a different path forward with us. It took some time, but we found our guy," Dean explained in a statement about Gutt. Oddly enough, Gutt did not come to the band from their open audition singer search, as he received an invite to try out by Robert DeLeo after DeLeo and Gutt had performed with Hollywood Vampires in Detroit.
"Talk about a happy accident," Robert said. "It was clear right away that Jeff had the range to sing vocally challenging songs like 'Piece of Pie' and 'Interstate Love Song.' But we soon discovered that he also has a great ear for melody and knew how to write a song."
"The chemistry was there from the start, and Jeff kept coming up with one great melody after another. We ended up finishing 14 songs, which is the most that Stone Temple Pilots has ever recorded for an album," added drummer Eric Kretz.
Stone Temple Pilots enjoyed their greatest success with Scott Weiland as their frontman. The band's first stint with Weiland started with 1992's Core album and continued through 2001's Shangri-La Dee Da before they split. In 2008, the band reunited with Weiland and issued a self-titled album in 2010 before parting ways with Weiland again in early 2013. Linkin Park's Chester Bennington joined the group and recorded the High Rise EP with the band, but the time crunch balancing both bands and family life eventually led Bennington to exit in the fall of 2015, which led to the band opening the search for a new vocalist.
The Jeff Gutt era is underway for the band, with a new album expected in early 2018. Stay tuned.
Stone Temple Pilots Live With Jeff Gutt + Set List
2. Wicked Garden
5. Interstate Love Song
7. Big Empty
8. Still Remains
10. Kick Out the Jams (with Wayne Kramer)
11. Sex Type Thing
12. Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
13. Piece of Pie
Stone Temple Pilots, "Meadow" Artwork
Stone Temple Pilots at West Hollywood's Troubadour
Stone Temple Pilots Albums Ranked