Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo has gone on record to discuss what really happened when a singer reportedly turned down the offer of joining the band.
Speaking to Detroit radio station WRIF, DeLeo talked about the incident, in which Highly Suspect front-man Johnny Stevens publicly tweeted (below) that he’d be contacted by the band about a gig and had turned it down.
Straight up dean deleo called me and asked me to join but I said no. That's not a joke. https://t.co/5bSypzfx64
— HIGHLY SUSPECT (@Highly_Suspect) November 7, 2015
In the interview – broadcast yesterday (February 11) – DeLeo set the record straight around the incident, which occurred in November 2015 when Chester Bennington left the group.
“The way John tells it is not actually what went down. I did reach out to John. We spoke, and I think John is an immense talent. Great, great singer. But I did not offer him a gig” writes Blabbermouth of the incident. “I merely asked if he was interested in possibly getting in a room, and God bless him, he stuck to his guns, and he had the courage and the confidence to stick with his band, and you know, those guys are up for a couple of Grammys.”
“One thing that really saddened me about that is it was very early on. It was all the way back in August, when I spoke to John, man to man. You know, I don’t use that term loosely. Man to man I asked for his confidentiality in this, and well, it shows you what kind of man he is” DeLeo continued.
Highly Suspect are nominated for 2 awards at the 58th Grammy’s, including Best Rock Album for ‘Mister Asylum’ and Best Rock Song for their sigle ‘Lydia’.
Read more: The Stone Temple Pilots release touching tribute to former band member Scott Weiland
On February 5, Stone Temple Pilots announced an open audition for a singer to replace Chester Bennington, who will return to his role as frontman of Linkin Park.
The band have posted instrumental-only versions of their tracks ‘Interstate Love Song’, ‘Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart’ and ‘Vasoline’ to their website, alongside a message that states:
“We are officially announcing that we are seeking a new vocalist to front Stone Temple Pilots. We’ve already heard from many talented people, but want to make this an opportunity for many more so we’ve set up a way for you to do just that.
“If you think you have what it takes to front this band, record with this band, and tour with this band, we would dig hearing from you. No one will ever “replace” Scott, that was never the intent. The intent is for Stone Temple Pilots to continue on, to evolve, and to do what we do… make music! We look forward to seeing you.”
The band’s earlier and founding frontman Scott Weiland passed away in December, and Bennington has ruled out a return.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Dean DeLeo explained a little about the process, as well as talking about Weiland and Bennington.
He said “We kind of came to the realization a while back that the situation with Chester was not really allowing us to do all that we would have liked to have been doing. His involvement with Linkin Park and, of course, his family limited the time that we had with him.
We’ve played with a lot of singers over the last several months, and we felt that we’d be doing ourselves — meaning Robert, Eric and I — a disservice if we didn’t allow all the talent that is out there to become a part of this. So, good or bad, we opened the floodgates.”
As for the person they’re looking for, DeLeo said “we’ll know when it’s the right person before they’ll even open their mouth, just when they walk into the room. We’re looking to be moved by somebody.
“You know Glen Campbell said to me a long time ago, “Dean, you got to live it to write it” — and you kind of know when that person walks into a room. I want to be hit in that place in my soul where music buries itself. That feeling, man. That’s what we want.”
DeLeo also refers to Weiland as “one of the greatest singers” and says Bennington “approached the stage each night like it was his last night alive.”
If you’re thinking of applying, Stone Temple Pilot’s audition is set to close in somewhere between 30 and 60 days.