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ERIC KRETZ Says JEFF GUTT ‘Beat Everybody Out In Every Area’ To Land STONE TEMPLE PILOTS Singer Gig

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Sunday, 01 April 2018
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Ty Jordan of Winnipeg radio station Power 97 recently conducted an interview with STONE TEMPLE PILOTS drummer Eric Kretz. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the reaction to the band's new music with new vocalist Jeff Gutt: Eric: "It's been great. We got off a three-week tour here in the western part of the U.S. and every show was sold out and the crowd was just chanting 'STP' so loud and they were singing not only the older songs, but we're playing two new songs as well, 'Meadow' and 'Roll Me Under'. Seeing people singing every word, taking pictures of Jeff up front there, just celebrating the resurgence of it all. It was really wonderful. It was bigger than what I anticipated. We all felt great adulation by the end of the tour. It's like every show! Then, one city in particular, Boise, in Idaho, my god, I had to cover my ears, they were yelling so loud. [Laughs] They were fantastic. Their enthusiasm for the new music as well, which is really exciting to see. It's just nice to see the enthusiasm from everyone. Everyone's behind it. It's so nice in this time and age where people have so many opinions on stuff, it's great to see people say, 'I just want to see four guys play rock and roll.' And man, we just bring it the best we can. It's so nice to see the audience. It's exciting as well." On whether he feels STP has something to prove to naysayers who think they shouldn't continue with a new lead singer: Eric: "I'd say yes and no. Being an artist, you always want to prove to people you can achieve great things and you always want to outdo yourself from the last project, so that's part of the internal and the personal side of it. As far as some of the Internet trolls, they're always going to be there. They're hilarious; they should start giving out awards to some of them because they can be quite creative with their hate, not only towards us, but towards anybody. Eventually, it's really nice because with music, you can just let the music do the talking. Some people just criticize us, but they listen to the records, especially the new one, and they say, 'Wow, this is really good. This really fits. I think I'll go check them out.' And the people come to the shows, like I said, they've all been sold out. They've been coming out and going, 'I'm really happy that the band is moving on and doing so well and is presenting itself so well.'" On whether STP documented the audition process for their open lead singer position: Eric: "Yeah, we had a film crew out there and it will see the light of day at some point. Some stuff is very respectful because some of the people who sang were just incredible. Some sounded great, at least as far as the submission, then they got in the room and it was, like, 'Oh my god! How did you get in here?' [Laughs] Those will probably be the most enjoyable to watch because some people, the nerves really got to them or they just weren't prepared for that much volume to be thrown at them. It was a long process and Jeff, we did the worldwide submission, so there was many, many hours of listening to people's submissions, but I would say the majority of them were referred to us by friends in the business. We got to play with some extremely talented singers but, unfortunately, weren't right for the band, and Jeff beat everybody out in every area, especially the writing process; Jeff, just hands down, won that one. The new album shows what he's capable of when he's together with the right group of musicians." On why STP chose Gutt as their new lead singer: Eric: "He was just the right fit. He can sing the catalog great and his voice is naturally similar to what our previous songs were like. It's not like someone trying to imitate it. His voice is naturally aligned with Scott's [Weiland] voice from earlier on. Then, when it came to presenting him with new material, because every time we get together in a room, we start writing stuff, stuff just starts coming out and he was one of the few singers that would instantly start chiming in with really great melodies. 'Oh, we should change it.' 'How about we do a major [chord] right here?' 'This melody would go up here.' So, he was instantly collaborating with us. Unfortunately, a lot of singers aren't able to do that. They might be practiced in what they do, but when it comes to improvising or writing right on the spot, some people don't have the vocabulary for that. Jeff had such a plethora of it. It was oozing out with everything that we presented. That is where he stood out heads above everyone else." STP's self-titled seventh studio effort and first with Gutt was released March 16. Gutt made his live debut with the band last November in Los Angeles. The band recently did its first round of dates in support of the new album and next plays on April 14 in Tucson, Arizona.

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