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Interview:
Stone Temple Pilots at MIchigan Lottery Amphitheatre, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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It's nearly two years since Stone Temple Pilots revealed Clinton Township's Jeff Gutt as its new singer — the group's third during its 30-year history, following late predecessors Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington.



Gutt's arrival lit a fire under the Grammy Award-winning hard-rock troupe. Last year, with the one-time finalist on "The X Factor" board, STP released "Stone Temple Pilots," its first new full-length album in eight years. It's also been touring nonstop and, Gutt tells us, has another album ready to go even as it plans an expanded reissue of its 1994 sophomore set "Purple" next month.



Meanwhile Gutt, who counts STP as one of his favorite bands and Weiland and Bennington as key influences, is having the time of his life helping the group add to its already formidable legacy.



• Gutt, 43 — who was born in Marine City and was part of the bands Dry Cell, Rival City and Band With No Name before — says by phone that he's still "the new guy" in STP but is finding that audiences are acclimating to him. "I think I'm always going to feel like the new guy when it comes to walking out on stage and having all these people looking up and saying, 'OK, let's see how the new guy does....' I kinda get that feeling every time. But I go out there and I lay it all out and give them 100 percent out there, and I kinda feel like everyone walks away feeling it works."



• Among his favorite gigs so far with STP, Gutt — a single father of one, 11-year-old son Talon — counts the group's July 24 stop at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, his first performance back home since joining the group. "To play in front of your home crowd with a band that you grew up listening to is definitely a moment," he recalls. "All my friends were there and people that helped me out when I was broke. It was cool to look out and see all those people. It was definitely something I'll remember forever." STP also performed at this year's Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle, where Gutt had previously sung the National Anthem with another group.



• As much as he's enjoyed performing with STP, Gutt says writing with the band has been a real charge. "We're just always, always, always writing. There's always new stuff. That's when you forget that there are other people (fans) out there, and it's just us in a room writing songs. Writing songs with your heroes is kind of a cool thing to do, especially when they listen to you as well. It's pretty gratifying."



• STP has, in fact, finished another album that may surface during 2020. "We were supposed to do just a few songs and we ended up doing a whole record ’cause we had so many ideas. So instead of choosing which five or six we were gonna put on an EP, we just decided to record an entire album. It's acoustic-based but there's other instrumentation going on, too. It's very beautifully and there's a lot of different things that really happened on a Stone Temple Pilots record before. It'll be interesting to see how it comes out and how it's received. To me it's an amazing record. I love it."



• On Oct. 18 STP will release a deluxe version of the six-times platinum "Purple." Gutt doesn't appear on it, of course, but he sings many of its songs on stage with STP and says the album was a favorite of his. "It's an amazing record. 'Core' (STP's debut) was one of my favorite albums of all time, and then 'Purple' came out and it really showed me how a band can grow and change and I loved it as much as I loved 'Core.' It really showed me how diverse you can be as a band. That was really a huge thing for me when it came out."



Stone Temple Pilots, Rival Sons and Warbly Jets perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27 in the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metropolitan Pkwy., Sterling Heights. Tickets are $29.50 and up. Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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