STP React to Being Called Pearl Jam and Nirvana Ripoffs

"I don't think we ever made records for critics."

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STP React to Being Called Pearl Jam and Nirvana Ripoffs

The members of Stone Temple Pilots commented on critics calling them Pearl Jam and Nirvana ripoffs upon the release of "Core" back in 1992, with bassist Robert DeLeo telling Yahoo (via Alternative Nation):

"I don't think we ever made records for critics. That wasn't our whole point of doing what we were doing.

"We were trying to make the best music we could make, the best songs we could make. I think with the landing of Nirvana, I think there was no way around - the whole Seattle thing, we were just excited about making a record.

"We didn't really know what was going to happen, it's pretty much out of your hands after you do that. You don't know who is going to buy it, who's going to like it, who's not going to like it.

"Talking to some of those critics these days, they're like, 'Sorry. I didn't really listen to your record. I just went off what everyone else was saying.'"

Guitarist Dean DeLeo chimed in:

"I remember seeing some reviews, it looked like there was just a mirror between them. Like this person didn't even listen to the record, he's just repeating what that person is saying.

"But there was so much excitement in our bubble, that it was what it was. We knew what we were doing, we knew what we had, and more so than what we kind of contributed on 'Core,' we all kind of knew what we had in our pocket for the forthcoming albums."

Robert added:

"I remember doing interviews back then and saying, 'Don't criticize us off our first record, criticize us off our fifth record.'

"Which had meaning to it, it meant we weren't just going to make one record and go [down]. We made that clear with Atlantic Records, of having a career, doing five records, six records, or 10 records."

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mud Martian
    Pearl Jam and Nirvana are world's apart in terms of sound and style, and I don't see how STP sounds like either one of them, let alone both of them. They share similarities with all of the music coming out at that time.  That's about all there is to it.
    The whole "grunge" genre was always a bit of a misnomer, Pearl jam, Nirvana, Alice in chains, soundgarden sound nothing alike. Maybe alice in chains and soundgarden have some similarities in terms of the dark undertones and the dissonant riffs and the signature changes, but other than that all these bands were very distinct. 
    Really glad you said that, totally agree. The grunge bands always got lumped together just cuz they were from Seattle but they're honestly completely different, esp Pearl Jam & Nirvana. They had long hair, lived in Seattle, & wore flannel. That's about all they had in common. Whenever people write off grunge for being formulaic & all the same thing (a common description from some metal fans), I wish they'd actually listen closely & explore each band's work because each has a completely different sound.
    totally dude. I love all the grunge bands precisely because theyre so different. Nirvana had a punk-rock type of ethic about them, blended with some sabbath and beatles influences. Pearl Jam is more straight ahead rock. Alice in chains is more of a doom or sludge metal type of sound blended with some southern rock influences. Soundgarden is more sabbath-like, almost doom metal and stoner metal. 
    I think they really found there own sound on their second album.
    What an amazing album that was. Definitely one of my favourites from that era 1994 had Jar of Flies, Superunknown and Purple, it was definitely the peak year of 90s IMO
    Most people don't even realize that STP released a demo album under the name Mighty Joe Young before Pearl Jam even formed.
    And if you compare Mighty Joe Young to Mother Love Bone, one might say that Stone and Jeff ripped of Robert and Dean when they formed PJ... Clearly didn't happen, just being a dick.
    Vedder used to live in San Diego in the MJY era before moving to Seattle and joining Pearl Jam. Is it possible that maybe he'd been to a couple of their gigs and subconsciously ripped them off? Of course!
    Many critics do take back what they said about STP's early days. They were largely just following the herd and later said STP made some of the best songs of that era. Their first 4 albums are still go to rock records for me.
    I happen to recall many people thinking Creep was a Nirvana song titled "Half the Man I Used to be" as recently as the early 2000s even, so I don't think we can fully blame just the critics here; many every day folks thought Scott's voice sounded a lot like Kurt's on several tracks from Core. I do think they definitely found their own distinct sound and proved themselves to be much more than a mimic of grunge bands from that era though. Also, how cool of a response is it to say they don't make records for critics? I like that. I tend to agree more often with critics than people much of the time, but that's a cool way to think about it. Looking forward to hearing new material from STP!
    Yes because there's no possible way STP wrote any music before 'Ten' came out in August 1991 and just didn't get a chance to release it until 1992.
    Nirvana atleast had good songs. I'd be pissed about the pearl jam comparison if I were them. 
    First of all, rule number one is never listen to critics. Everyone is so fucking opine about what they think they know but they don't. I always say to someone who criticizes, " Let's see you do it better and more original." Secondly, many of these critics aren't even musicians or have ever picked up an instrument in their lives. If Stone Temple Pilots is a rip off of Nirvana and Pearl Jam why are most of their tunings in Standard where as Nirvana had different tunings such as CGCFAD or DGCFAD?   If you look at the power chord arrangements there are some similarities to the power chords but the sound is completely different.
    They all messed around with alternate tunings. That's a really, really weird and superficial way to look at it. Then again, your criteria for criticism is completely out of whack. I don't think you get how opinions work, there is not a burden on anyone to do anything "better and more original", ESPECIALLY on the basis of an opinion. If you eat something you find to be terrible, do you make a million excuses about why you're not a chef and thus unqualified to judge what's in your mouth? If you suffered a botched surgery, would you hold off from giving your two cents about the surgeon because you never went to medical school? You don't have to take someone's opinion as gospel, but your approach is childish.
    I think your response is childish and immature. Did you even read what I wrote?  Of course I understand how opinions work I have studied history and politics my whole life. I was critiquing how critics view art.
    He very clearly read what you wrote, and his response makes perfect sense.  Did you even read what he wrote? Are artists selling their material solely to other artists?  No?  Then guess what, we all, as consumers of art, are by default critics.
    I responded very clearly to what you wrote. I'll say it again, if your first response to someone who's critical of something amounts to "Let's see you do better", you don't get it. A person need not pick up an instrument to have a critical opinion about something. It's not necessary to be a literary scholar or published author to be critical of literature. I am really glad that you've studied history and politics your whole life. That's a really neat aside.
    Mr Winters
    Music and film critics often strike me as some of the most arrogant and conceited people on Earth, like they're more worried about the rich language and writing they're using to review or criticize something than about actually making any points.
    They 100% ripped off Nirvana and Pearl Jam on the first two albums. Hell, I've seen "Plush" attributes to Pearl Jam in karaoke booklets! Later on, they tried to become this throwback 70's Zeppelin/Aerosmith tribute act, complete with the boys wearing bell bottoms and the like. They've really never had their own identity.
    How exactly did they rip off Pearl Jam considering STP released a demo album before Pearl Jam even formed? Several of the songs on that demo album ended up being on Core such as Naked Sunday, Wicked Gardenand Where the River Goes. The demo album as a whole also sounds similar to Core. That demo album also predates Nevermind, and Nirvana was largely unknown before releasing that record.
    dawirok · Oct 08, 2017 10:00 AM
    This is the worst advertisement for anything I've ever seen.  I have no idea what the hell is happening here other than anybody can get paid a very strangely specific number in a month.  
    I'm pretty sure the ridiculous characters were to make sure only the most gullible people clicked it.
    Being from San Diego, it was pretty evident that Lucy's Fur Coat was a major influence, from the the word name to the way Weiland would first dance like LFC singer which was also pretty much a rip off from Joy Division's Ian Curtis, rock and roll is about borrowing and creating your own thing.
    This is just typical BS. If anybody ever followed the band in the first place they could clearly see that they grew as a released album after album you're never going to find another STP you'll never find another Scott Weiland it is what it is and they can't take that away from them no matter what they say
    Well this song has a bit at 1:30 that's a direct borrow from Nirvana's Stay Away, but I don't know if they've really done actual rip-offs beyond this? There was a hundred bands back then that all sounded like a copy or mix of each others.