By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One of the most successful U.S. rock groups of the 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots, will play shows in Brazil for the first time next month including Circo Voador in Rio de Janeiro on December 11th. With a string of platinum selling albums plus a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1994, and public rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle dramatics, Stone Temple Pilots’ became one of the 1990s alternative stadium rock giants.
Although regularly slammed by critics over the years who deride them as a rip off of the more acclaimed grunge scene cohorts, such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, the band are beloved by fans for their chugging guitar riffs and anthemic hits.
Formed in San Diego in 1986, after lead singer Scott Weiland and bass player Robert DeLeo met at a Black Flag concert. While chatting they discovered they were both dating the same woman, so they ditched the girl and started a band with Robert’s brother Dean on guitar and Eric Kretz on drums.
The band achieved instant success with their first album Core in 1992, which displayed their initial grunge rock sound with hit songs ‘Plush’ and ‘Creep’. Their second album Purple (1994) cemented their commercial popularity debuting at number one in the U.S., selling millions in the first months of release alone and spawned the huge rock radio hit, ‘Interstate Love Song’.
The magnificently titled third album Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop released in 1996 marked a shift in musical influences, displaying more 60s garage band inspiration. This time period however, is more marked by Weiland’s much publicized drug problems and run-ins with the law.
In and out of trouble with the police and drug rehabilitation centers, Weiland’s personal problems meant a quiet time for Stone Temple Pilots during the late 1990s with Weiland and other members working on side projects. Their fourth album, No. 4 in 1999 returned to a harder rock sound blending metal and psychedelic influence and scored them one of their biggest hits with the song Sour Girl. and was followed up in 2001 by the less successful album Shangri-La Dee Da in 2001.
In band fighting and Weiland’s continuing battle with his demons led to another separation, during which Weiland fronted rock supergroup Velvet Revolver with ex Guns n’ Roses members, and the DeLeo brothers formed Army of Anyone. Following Weiland’s dramatic onstage departure from Velvet Revolver and Army of Anyone’s announcement of an ‘indefinite hiatus’ Stone Temple Pilots reformed in 2007 and have been touring on and off since.
The Brazil dates are part of the international tour following the release of their new self-titled album Stone Temple Pilots in June this year. Earning some solid reviews for its solid alt-rock sound with diverse influences, including the faintly Brazilian beat toned track ‘Samba Nova’.
Despite rescheduling shows in September, Weiland’s odd onstage rants, and speculation about lip-syncing, reviews of recent shows have been positive with Weiland’s eccentric musings and Stone Temple Pilots big rock hits making it a great night for fans.
Having canceled shows in 2008, the band finally debut in Brazil next month with a show in São Paulo’s Via Funchal on December 9th before coming to Rio on the 11th. Carol Murray, a Carioca rock fan is one of the fans excited about the gig: “I had the pleasure of seeing Velvet Revolver in Rio and Scott is an impeccable showman. He gives 100 percent of himself every time” she says. “I think that even if the show is bad it will be historic. It is the first time the band here, the fans are very happy and anxious. I’m sure that STP is also eager and like all bands that pass through here will be delighted with the warmth of our audience.”
For tickets at R$100 plus booking fee, and further information, visit ingresso.com.br.