Stone Temple Pilots React To Proving Pearl Jam Ripoff Critics Wrong

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Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo reacted to a question about STP standing the test of time despite critics trashing them in the early 90’s in a new The Record interview.

At this point, an eavesdropping publicist tells me to quit dwelling on the past, for crying out loud.

Which is my cue to point out that, despite the critical slams of their early days — when they were painted as “fifth-rate Pearl Jam copyists” — STP is one of the last real rock bands standing.

With eight No. 1 rock hits, including “Plush,” “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song,” anchored to an era when songs had cultural clout, this grunge/glam/hard rock hybrid has a legacy that reaches farther than a random play selection on someone’s Spotify playlist.

Not surprisingly, critics are finally coming around, with STP now recognized as “the best straight-ahead rock singles outfit of their time” (allmusic.com) and Weiland cited by fellow rocker Billy Corgan as “one of the great voices” of his generation.

DeLeo, modest and low-key, takes it in stride.

“I don’t even think about it,” he confides without missing a beat. “If I was caught up on that, I think I’d have to go to therapy.”

It’s not about ego, he points out. For bands like STP, music is “part of the soul.”

“As long as this band has something to say, we’re gonna do it. When that stops, we’ll pack it up. I don’t look at music as a business that I’m gonna retire from.

“I don’t know if I’ll be putting out records when I’m 80, but I’ll probably be writing music still … (laughs) … maybe it’s gonna be soundtracks to exercise videos — I don’t know.”

Robert DeLeo discussed playing a Lollapalooza 1992 gig in Phoenix and meeting Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell in a 2002 KNAC interview.

“I remember the first gig we played as STP, and it was second stage in ’92 at Lollapalooza in Phoenix. I remember after we played, walking up to Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell who were talking together, and I said, ‘Hey’ and introduced myself and talked a little about my band, and those guys just stood there looking at me and didn’t give me the time of day. They just looked at me like, ‘What do you want asshole?’ It was just unbelievable, I guess, at how naïve I was. It’s hard for me to walk around with a chip on my shoulder like a lot of these bands were doing at that time. It’s a different atmosphere now. I feel like we’re the old guys.”

He was then asked by KNAC if he ran into Vedder or Cornell after the 1992 incident.

“No. There are so many nice guys I’d rather talk to. The guys from Staind and Godsmack are really cool.”