Stone Temple Pilots' publicist walks into the room with a plate fill of pills. She places them in front of bassist Rob DeLeo.
"I take all of these vitamins," he announces, proudly eyeing the half dozen multicolored vitamins. "This is what I take daily...but, I'm missing ginseng."
Rob's brother, Dean-who also happens to be STP's guitar demon-is always the joker. "This is called Placidil, it can take the pain away from a horse with a busted leg," he chuckles, lifting the largest pill.
Drummer Eric Kretz grunts at the bad pun. There's so much to learn from the members of Stone Temple Pilots. They're sitting there, rather confidently in a suite at the Chateau Marmount hotel in Los Angeles, celebrating the release of the most recent album, No.4, while their lead vocalist, Scott Weiland, detoxes in jail because he couldn't quit drugs. Hard times with the frontman have forced the rest of STP to develop much inner strength. For, Rob, Dean and Eric life in STP is a bittersweet balance between heaven and hell.
Hit Parader: Did you ever think that success would be this way?
Dean DeLeo: In movies, yeah. Sometimes I think of our situation is the epitome of what massive success is all about. It's really what you are happy with. The good and bad are all right there. I feel very fortunate. Look at the big picture, we've had a tremendous amount of success, and life's pretty good. You've got to take the high road.
HP: A lot of other people would just be angry and frustrated over what happened with Scott.
DD: We were. I can't say we never had that.
Rob DeLeo: I had that from about 1994 to about 1997. It's only been the last couple of years that I've learned to live in peace.
HP: It must be frustrating to create an album as sublime as No.4 and then have your singer dragged away, as the Los Angeles County Jail did with Scott.
DD: It's hard.
Eric Kretz: It's also hard to see what he's doing to himself. It's painful. You try to help, but there's not much you can do.
DD: It's really hard to see what Scott's going through. What he says on this record really sums up what he's going through. For us to sit here and try to articulate on it is completely ridiculous. Listen to what he's talking about in the lyrics on No.4, it is so poignant.
HP: Did your time away with Talk Show and Weiland's solo project bring renewed energy to STP?
RD: Definitely, we all learned the word chemistry with the Talk Show record. We learned lessons there, especially when we got on the road-it wasn't the same kind of energy there. We realized how much a part of each other we all were.
HP: How did you handle the Scott scenario during the recording process? Was he sentenced to jail while you were making No.4?
DD: It was pending-he was working his way towards it. We knew. We did a show on August 12th, and his court date-we all knew he was going to be sentenced-was not until September 10th, but we wanted to do a gig in Vegas on August 12th, and they said, "Okay, Mr. Weiland, you're going to leave the state. Well, we want you to turn yourself in on August 13th."
RD: It was a really surreal week. We went from the elation of doing one of the best shows we've ever done, to the next morning, watching our singer being taken away by a 200 lb. Baliff. It was a trip, man. But, none of us were shocked by the verdict, including his own parents.
HP: What do you guys do now?
RD: You have to realize that if Scott was out of jail now, and we were going to play on a tour, who says he's going to be around? Life is life.
EK: That's why we try to look at this is a good thing.
DD: The only thing we can't do right now is gig. We're thinking that Scott is going to be out in February, and if the universe wills it, we hope to be on the road this spring.
RD: With Tiny Music, we didn't go out and tour on that record until a year later.
EK: I can't go right now anyway. My passport is sitting at a very famous movie stars house and we can't even get it.
RD: Whose house is it?
EK: Jeff Goldblum's.
RD: What's it doing there?
EK: It got sent to the wrong address and ended up at his place. All these people know, his manager knows, and he's like (adops goofy voice) "Yeah, I'll look for it."
DD: Goldblum is probably eating lunch at Hugo's right now. "Get Goldblum down here, get him down here right now. I don't care if he was 'The Fly." I want Goldblum down here right now."
RD: We'll send you a postcard from Cologne, Germany.
HP: Are you guys big in Europe?
DD: I actually wanted to title this record, "Big in Europe." The rest of the band wasn't having it. Honestly, though, we haven't been there in such a long time, and we never got to travel in Europe, we were always on a very rigorous work schedule. There was one day in Paris we really got to bop around. We had a day off.
EK: And there was one day in Barcelona when the sun came out.
DD: Last time, we were over there on this European tour for eight weeks, we saw the sun twice-and that was because we flew above the cloud line.
RD: I bet if you're vacationing there, its has the potential to be a very beautiful place.
EK: You walk into your friend's apartment and it's 500 years old-ceilings and columns.
RD: But when we're in Europe, we're on such a rigorous schedule, it's almost like we're on Mars.
EK: Check out this scenario: You wake up, and you're on the bus, but you're in the middle of a mall, and you're in a new country. You don't know where to eat. You don't have the currency.
DD: You don't know how to turn the lights on, flush the toilet, and you forgot your 110/220 converter-you're messed up! You can't even make a margarita man.
EK: Maybe I don't need my passport.
RD: You'll have by the time you need it. All things will come to STP in good time.
Hit Parader Magazine-- April 2000 Number 427; Pgs: 32-33