Chris Pizzello, Associated Press
Dean DeLeo, left, and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots.

They were one of the biggest bands of the '90s, fronted by one of rock's most flamboyant and volatile singers.

From 1987 to 2003, Stone Temple Pilots amassed 15 top-10 hits — including six No. 1s — sold more than 35 million record worldwide and won a Grammy. During that same period, lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested numerous times for drug possession and did stints in rehab.

The members of STP officially went their separate ways in 2003 (they last played live together nearly three years earlier), and Weiland went on to front the Velvet Revolver supergroup featuring former members of Guns N' Roses.

But now, Weiland, brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz are back together and ready to tour this summer.

Speaking to the Deseret News by phone from Southern California prior to the tour's start, Dean DeLeo said even though the band hasn't been active for awhile, he's hesitant to use words such as "break up" and "reunion."

"I don't think we ever broke up," DeLeo said. "We needed time apart for sure. Call it what you want ... a vacation, whatever. We were shoulder-to-shoulder pretty much nonstop for 14 years. It took its toll, man. But it was really evident absence makes the heart grow fonder, man."

During his brief time with Velvet Revolver, Weiland stayed mostly out of legal trouble, but he was arrested in late 2007 for driving under the influence. In early 2008, there was word that STP would reunite for a handful of shows. In March, during a Velvet Revolver concert in Glasgow, Scotland, Weiland announced that it was the group's final tour. A couple of weeks later, Weiland and Velvet Revolver officially parted ways (and exchanged verbal jabs in the press), and a full-scale STP reunion went into high gear.

DeLeo said the members of STP had kept in touch with Weiland during his tenure with Velvet Revolver.

"We talked a lot over the past few years. I think in life we kind of know what's going to happen," he said. "For me personally, I really enjoy playing music with these guys. Have I wanted to get back together? I surely have. We all stayed in touch. This definitely didn't come about last week. Scott and I talked nine months ago about the possibility of doing this. Once people found out the four of us were in a room together, the process (moved very quickly)."

DeLeo said there was an effort on everyone's part to make the reunion work, including Weiland, whom he said was "truly up" for the challenge of hitting the road. Ironically, just a few hours after the News talked to DeLeo, Weiland was sentenced to eight days in jail and an 18-month alcohol program for his 2007 DUI arrest. He served less than a day in jail and was released.

But DeLeo was confident the reunion tour would be different than the tours of the '90s. For one thing, all the band members have families now.

"It's a much different climate when we all get together," he said. "Life has changed. Life has surely moved on, man, as it does with everyone. I like to think of it as progress. We all became parents."

As an example of backstage life today, DeLeo said prior to the band's first return appearance, drummer Kretz was scrambling around looking for his drum sticks. Turns out his son had taken off with them.

Nevertheless, reviews of the tour so far have been decidedly mixed. STP took the stage over an hour late in New Jersey and Connecticut. Several fans on the group's own message board called the New Jersey gig the worst concert they'd ever seen. The next night in Boston, however, the band received rave reviews from critics.

Not only is the band hitting the road, but if DeLeo has his way, STP will be recording again soon.

"I'd surely like that. I would absolutely love to make another record. I'd love to make five more," he said.

During the last part of April, the DeLeo brothers and Kretz got together for some practice sessions before being joined by Weiland.

"Some songs came easier than others. Thank goodness we have copies of the albums," DeLeo joked.

For the current tour, DeLeo said the band had been rehearsing up to 25 songs and hoped to pull out some that had never been played live before.

If you go . . .

What: Stone Temple Pilots

Where: E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive

When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

How much: $45

Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499


E-mail: [email protected]