Taking into account that Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland has refused to do interviews for STP's reunion tour, we hopped into our musical time machine and traveled 10 years into the future, where, on the verge of reforming STP for a third reunion tour, not much has changed with the notorious frontman.
CityBeat: How are you feeling?
Scott Weiland: Great. Never better.
So, three times is the charm when it comes to rehab and reunion tours?
I know I've let down a lot of people in the past with my behavior, but I finally feel like I'm in control of my own destiny—both with myself and with the band—but I don't want to talk about me.
OK, so why reunite Stone Temple Pilots for a third time?
I thought the need was there. The people wanted it. After we cancelled our last tour [in 2013] halfway through, there was this feeling of incompleteness, like we'd just left our fans hanging. It just felt like the novel of Stone Temple Pilots wasn't finished.
So it had nothing to do with the fact that, after what many considered a disastrous reunion tour and comeback album in 2008, demand for tickets to your shows seemed to dwindle?
No way. That 2008 tour was the promoter's fault. People would have come if they had known we we're playing.But good seats were more than $100, and then you failed to show up for half the shows, so don't you think that people just got weary?
I don't set the prices for tickets, and I had strained my vocal chords at one of the first shows, so it couldn't be helped. But this time, we're playing fairgrounds and Indian casinos. These shows are going to be intimate in a way we haven't been since the '90s. Now, can we please talk about the new album?
Sure. It's a double album, yes?
Yes. It's called Goofus and Gallant.
Why does that sound familiar?
It was a comic strip that was in that children's magazine, Highlights. Basically, it was a cartoon depicting two boys: Gallant doing the right thing and Goofus doing the wrong thing. When I was a kid, that used to be my favorite part of the magazine, and so when it came time to record new material, I wrote a lot of it from that side of my psyche, where I don't care what people think. And some material was from a redemptive side, where I wanted to do the right thing. One disc is Goofus; one disc is Gallant. The two sides of me.
Yes, I remember the strip. Would you say you've reached a point in your life where, like Gallant, you're feeling more selfless, contrary to your image?
Yes, definitely. And it shows in the music. I was always so bitter about other musicians getting all this attention for what I saw as being holier-than-thou. Even Eddie Vedder, before he died, was so focused on the causes he believed in that he lost focus on what he did best: music. I'd rather help people through my music.
Yeah, but Eddie Vedder was killed by a sherpa assassin in Nepal while marching for peace. Britney Spears teamed up with Sen. Tom Morello and helped pass national legislation improving daycare centers. Even Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse cleaned up and played some benefit shows. I think maybe people are quick to judge you because they don't see you owning up to being a dick.
I don't know how to. Like in the first single, “Pobody's Nerfect,” I talk about not knowing how to help myself, much less other people.
So in your own words, that line from your first solo album, “Grab a scale and guess the weight of all the pain I've given with my name / I'm a selfish piece of shit.” Would you say that's still accurate?
You know what, man? I don't have to take this shit! My publicist said that this was going to be an interview about my music. Those are the terms I agreed to.
But Scott, that question was about your music.
I wanna talk about new stuff, man.
OK, well how does it feel to be coming back to San Diego, where it all started?
It feels good. San Diego has always been home for us in a lot of ways since we started out playing strip clubs there. The fans have always shown us love. Well, except for that one time.
In 2013? Well, you did show up two hours late and then played for less than an hour.
Hey, if people don't dig it, they don't have to come. And this time around, it's not going to be like that. People are going to hear their favorite songs.
So Gallant will show up? [At this point, the interviewer can no longer contain his laughter.]Fuck this [hangs up].Stone Temple Pilots play Sunday, July 27, with Wolfmother at Concerts on the Green (at Qualcomm Stadium). Show starts at 7 p.m. 619-220-TIXS.