Chester Bennington conquering a ‘new divide’By Joseph R. Atilano
When Chester Bennington appeared alongside Stone Temple Pilots and performed a number of their hits at the Los Angeles radio station KROQ’s annual Weenie Roast, it caught everyone by surprise and took a while for music aficionados to understand exactly what was going on. Needless to say, people were confused whether this was still Stone Temple Pilots or should even be called that. Without STP’s original lead singer Scott Weiland, the band didn’t seem complete.
However, as I got to watch Chester Bennington’s performance, it was nearly flawless and he seemed to have “gelled” with the other members right away. If that performance was a preview of how the remaining original members of Stone Temple Pilots will co-exist with their new frontman, then this will be one “happy” band and I don’t mean that in a “Grateful Dead type of way.”
Why? It is no secret that Scott Weiland has battled drug problems and has had several relapses that have resulted in the band facing a bleak and uncertain future. And to add to that the DeLeo brothers have made it public that Scott Weiland was sabotaging the band’s 20th anniversary tour because he was always either late for the performances or he wouldn’t show up at all. How can any band have a lead singer who wasn’t there when he was needed? That was simply unprofessional.
I think what the DeLeo brothers did is what they believed was necessary in order for them to be able to continue on as a band. While others are still baffled seeing Chester Bennington as the new frontman of STP and even with the mere thought of it, it isn’t as farfetched as it appears to be. Why? Because Chester Bennington had been very vocal in the past about his appreciation for Stone Temple Pilots as a fan when he was still in his teen years. And come to think of it, who wasn’t really a fan of STP, especially in the 90′s? Almost everyone who was into rock music in the 90′s has heard their songs which are now classics like “Plush,” “Interstate Love Song” and “Vasoline,” just to name a few.
That is why it is not hard to see why Chester Bennington is elated and downright excited—”just like a kid”—to be the new lead frontman of one of the bands that he grew up listening to. Who wouldn’t be anyway? Especially for those who aren’t ignorant about good music?
As I watched several interviews conducted with Chester Bennington on YouTube since the time he joined STP, I could see the gleam in his eyes as he recalled the first time he had heard STP on the radio and just being able to have watched them perform live on numerous occasions. To be the new lead singer for STP is a certainly a dream come true for Chester Bennington. I also got to read the interview conducted with Chester Bennington done by Rolling Stone. It was a good interview and even if it didn’t really shed any new light on how Chester Bennington was exactly recruited and hand-picked by the DeLeo brothers to be their new frontman.
It did reaffirm though Chester Bennington’s role in the band STP which Chester said he does not treat as a side project but as a semi-permanent role that he will be giving equal priority to as he will to Linkin Park.
When you go through the ranks of all the mainstream modern-rock bands in the 90′s, Stone Temple Pilots is one of those bands that is high on almost everyone’s list and, rightfully so, it is. Even though STP first rose to prominence during the years of the Nirvana phenomenon thus they were categorized as a Grunge band, in the years following, they have become one of those bands that have developed more of a classic rock vibe about them. Stone Temple Pilots’ sound evolved over the years that they released new studio-releases, thus earning them more respect and admiration from their peers.
Chester Bennington has conquered his inner demons for more than a decade already and since then he has taken better care of his health. That is what the remaining original members of Stone Temple Pilots needs right now. They need a healthy lead singer and they have that in Chester Bennington.
Stone Temple Pilots will continue making music. Indeed, Chester Bennington was the best and most logical choice to be the new frontman for STP. But don’t take my word for it. Go check out their live performances uploaded on YouTube and listen online to their first brand new single ”Out Of Time.”
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