In 2015, Scott Weiland, the original Stone Temple Pilots frontman, died of an accidental overdose. After Weiland left the band, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington replaced him for a few years, but Bennington — who’d also parted ways with the band — took his own life earlier this year. Still, Stone Temple Pilots are going to keep going. Earlier this year, before Bennington’s death, the surviving members of the band announced that they were seeking a new singer and holding open auditions. And last night, STP unveiled their new singer at an invite-only show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
That new singer is Jeff Gutt, a Detroit native and former contestant on the singing-competition show The X-Factor. Gutt actually didn’t submit music online. Instead, bassist Robert DeLeo heard about Gutt after playing a show in Detroit with the supergroup Hollywood Vampires and invited Gutt to audition. Gutt joined up with the band on the final day of auditions.
In a press release, guitarist Dean DeLeo says, “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.”
For his part, Gutt says, “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.”
Stone Temple Pilots have already recorded a new album with Gutt, and its coming next spring on Atlantic/Rhino. The band is also planning a North American tour. Gutt played his first show with STP at the Troubadour last night, but phones weren’t allowed, so there’s no footage online yet. (There is, however, some bootleg audio, if you click around for long enough.) At that show, Gutt debuted “Meadow,” the first STP single with him on vocals, and STP have now shared that song. It’s a perfectly solid piece of radio-rock that, if you heard it blind, you probably would not peg as a Stone Temple Pilots song. Here it is:
According to this Billboard review, the crowd at the Troubadour was not that excited about Gutt. But he’s apparently been writing songs with STP for the past year, so it’ll be interesting, at the very least, to see what else they come up with.