After working with Weiland for over 18 years and releasing five albums, the remaining members - brothers Dean
and Robert DeLeo
on guitar and bass respectively and drummer Eric Kretz
- have moved into the next chapter of the band with Chester Bennington
. Back home after a four-week tour to road test the new lineup, guitarist Dean DeLeo talked about "High Rise" and what it’s been like to work with and without Scott Weiland
UG: Did you come to the realization a long time ago that either Scott Weiland had to get it together or it was going to end?
I think everyone did whatever they could. I'm talking wives, brothers, friends and everyone.
It was very sad because you made some remarkable records with Scott. He was truly a great singer and lyricist.
He absolutely was, man. His lyrics were (amazing). In my humble opinion and it's easy for me to be biased. Everything he brought forth when we were all kind of running on all pistons per se - and that didn't really last very long - but when we were up and runnin', I don't think there was anybody better, man.
What about Chester and what you were feeling when Scott left?
I dunno, man. It really wasn't talked about much. When we kinda came to the rude, rude reality that it couldn't go on the way it was, there was no one talked about. We really weren't in that place. Like we didn't really discuss it; there was nothing discussed. It was just we knew things couldn't go the way they were. That's what we did know.
When was Chester's name first brought up?
One day I just said, "I think Chester is the person to do this."
Immediately Robert and I are going, "That is amazing."
What was your idea about the direction you wanted to take "High Rise?" Were these ideas you’d been collecting along the way?
They weren't. Unlike most every other session we've done - I don't know how many records there are collectively but everyone talks about eight or nine - it was material that was laying around. I wrote "Dare If You Dare
," which appeared on the last record ("Stone Temple Pilots
") previous to "High Rise," around the Talk Show
(Dean's solo band) days. "Big Empty
" I wrote when I was about 17 years old. So unlike every other session, the songs for this session were written during that session.
You wanted "High Rise" to be something brand new?
It goes back to we weren't trying to recreate Scott you know. We'd be fools to try to recreate that. That's like to me? What we did together was scripture. And I think what Chester understood and understands is that he just wants to be respectful of the catalog and of the legacy and not try to recreate anything. This is a new thing kinda - you're comparing a baritone to a tenor, man.
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