SPIN.com Q&A: Scott Weiland
The alt-rocker talks about a new STP album and his first solo tour in 10 years.
After nearly three months on the road behind his new album Happy in Galoshes, Scott Weiland will bring his first solo tour in a decade to a close this week. And while a breather is certainly in order, Weiland is already preparing for his next endeavor: A new Stone Temple Pilots album, which, he tells SPIN.com, the band will begin recording this spring for release in early 2010.
In the Q&A below, Weiland discusses his tour, his latest solo album, and the beginnings of STP’s upcoming reunion record.
SPIN: Launching your first solo tour in such a long time, do you feel like you had something to prove?
SW: It’s felt freeing. It felt like less pressurethan the STP tour. I feltconfident. I was excited about it and when you’re really lookingforward to something, you don’t feel that sense of pressure. Also, I’vechanged the way I look at things. When I put out a record or single Idon’t allow myself to set up expectations like, “This song must be anumber one hit. Its got to sell X amount of records.” I have falleninto that trap before. Things just happened and it’s better to not setyour expectations high. And that’s what happens when you have a longcareer — not every album is going to be record setting.
SPIN: Do you have the same camaraderie with this backing band as you do with STP?
Scott Weiland: Yes, definitely. We sort of decided from the first show that we’re going to approach it differently, and just sort of freeform jam a lot and let those jams leap from song to song. And it really opened up the band, creatively — it’s like how jazz musicians would approach the songs. Where you just sort of feel it out. These jams were sort of like space jams, they would just lead off however long we were vibing it, anywhere from four to 10 minutes.
SPIN: Any difficulties along the way?
SW: There were some shows on the first leg of the tour where we werekind of stiff.But it was the very beginning. We’d only had three rehearsals as a whole band, so it was all new. I had only played the songs on the record — that’s a little different than working songs out live. With a new group of guys it changes the chemistry, and you’re going to play things live a little differently.SPIN: The songs on Happy in Galoshes are far more personal and introspective than anything you’ve ever done. Do you ever feel like you’re giving away your secrets?
SW: No, but this record was really a peek into my relationship with my wife. I remember, I was talking to the guy that I’m writing my memoirs with, and he said, “You know, it kind of reminds me of that Marvin Gaye record Here, My Dear, which he gave to his wife when they divorced.” So it was sort of like that kind of record for me. And there are some songs about my brother’s passing. And there are older songs about my drug addiction. It’s been six years since I stopped doing heroin, and what I started realizing at that time was that I had become sort of trapped in my own lyric writing, where everything started seeming overindulgent — I was overindulgent in my own apathy. So I started going back and listening to my favorite lyricists, like Bob Dylan, and started trying to write outside my own perspective.
SPIN: Is there a new Stone Temple Pilots record in the works?
SW: Yeah. Those guys [DeLeo Brothers] have already been writing the instrumental music. It’s a different process than doing stuff solo. I write a lot of the music, melodies, and lyrics myself and with Doug [Grean, guitarist]. Really, it’s a two-man process. But with STP, Robert and Dean write the chords and riffs and then they bring stuff to me.
SPIN: Have they brought anything to you yet?
SW: No, except for the stuff we jammed at sound check [on the last tour]. And some of that was really cool. And those things were recorded; we brought a little Protools rig that was at the front of the house. So any little nuggets that popped out, we’d have on tape. So when I’m finished doing my thing, I’ll hear what kind of ideas they have. And in the spring we’ll be ready to record.
SPIN: So are you guys hoping for something in 2009?
SW: STP will have a new record out in early 2010.