After many delayed starts, the Under The Southern Stars concert series will commence the first live festival tour featuring international bands since the pandemic started in early 2020. The SCENEzine team was invited to a press conference featuring all the bands and caught up with Dean Deleo, guitarist from Stone Temple Pilots

SCENEzine

Welcome back to Australia; what does it feel like to be here in the land down under after two years of delays?

Dean Deleo 

It has been two years in the making and our third attempt to make it happen, but I am thrilled to be here. A bit saddened at the reasons behind why we couldn’t be here a lot sooner – been a heck of a couple of years, and hopefully, that’s behind us and I’m very happy to be on tour again. 

SCENEzine

You are on tour with Bush, Cheap Trick and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I can’t imagine this is your first time touring with any one of these bands?

Dean Deleo

No, we did a huge tour with Cheap Trick to support our record. So we get to completely and utterly call those guys our pals now, and you know it’s guys like that I can blame for doing what I am doing now. Those Cheap Trick records mean so much to me, and I love them to death.

Back in around 2000, we did a very extensive tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and we did a massive tour with Bush back in the summer of 2019, so we kind of all know each other, and I love every member dearly. 

SCENEzine

We haven’t seen Stone Temple Pilots since the 2011 Australian tour. Do you have any fond memories of that tour?

Dean Deleo

Yes! I think it was Perth, and the weather was beautiful. I immediately wanted to head out and meet some of the native beasts of Australia. So we visited this zoo where all the animals are out, and you can walk amongst them and immediately I was in the middle of twenty Kangaroos – man, so cool!

SCENEzine

I couldn’t believe it when I found out that your seminal album CORE is thirty years old this year. Plush is its biggest hit on the record any memories of the writing of that song?

Dean Deleo

That’s one of the songs Scott and Robert primarily wrote; Robert, all the guitar parts I merely played, but when we were making that record, we were our own worst critics, and there were many goalie nets to go through.

So each of us, along with Brendon, were in a very creative space-making that record, and it was conducive to how it came out. It was a beautiful setting, and we made it at a place called Rumbo, and “Captain” Daryl Dragon from Captain & Tennille owned it, and one day Toni came down one day with some freshly baked cookies and was like “okay boys, now make some hits!”

SCENEzine: Wow, who would have thought that Captain & Tennille would play such a vital part in the making of “Plush”? My mum would be blown away.

Dean Deleo: I tell you also that all of us involved in making that record and where we were at with that point in our lives felt we had been waiting for that moment forever.

SCENEzine

In Australia, we have a music program called RAGE, and it would be the source for catching all the latest and greatest music video clips. I will never forget the first time I saw Sour Girl, and I was caught in tractor beam – I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen; any memories to share from making such a great clip?

Dean Deleo

Yeah, we had Sarah Michelle Gellar, and we were very honoured she wanted to take part in it, and that was Scott’s idea, by the way.

SCENEzine: So she was a fan then?

Dean Deleo: Yeah, she was on set with her husband Freddie, and they were so sweet and pleasant. It was a long day of shooting which, of course, she would have been used to, and I remember walking in seeing the set and being really knocked back by it. The clip was directed by this great guy, David Slade, and what is interesting is to film that slow motion but have the song play at regular speed, you play the song at double speed…so Scott was moving twice as fast, so when the music comes down to speed he is moving at half time, cool right?

SCENEzine

You have a new album out, and off it comes the track Thought She’d Be Mine, which you wrote with new singer Jeff Gutt; how was the writing process?

Dean Deleo

Jeff certainly knows his way around a song and has a great sense of melody. It is such a pleasure to bring somebody a piece of music, and they capture the essence of it – not only melodically, but lyrically – and Jeff has a real knack for tapping into that space where Robert and I were whilst writing the song. 

SCENEzine

In 2013 Stone Temple Pilots performed All The Young Dudes at a David Bowie Tribute performance, and on stage with you was the late Chester Bennington, Slash and Duff; how was that performance for you?

Dean Deleo

That song is an integral part of the rock ‘n’ roll songbook, and it was interesting because Chester wasn’t hip to that song. But, still, he was like “alright, I will give it a go”, and he sang that beautifully. I love the way he sang that and having Slash and Duff there, it just doesn’t get any better, you know.

Oh, and you know what felt even better that night, especially for Robert was meeting Tony Alva; he was there, and Robert is a mad skateboarder and meeting one of his heroes just made the night something else for him.

SCENEzine

It has been so long for international bands to come and tour. The last few years have been hard on tours for bands worldwide; how does it feel to be out there on the road again? 

Dean Deleo

I will tell you, man, the older I get, the more challenging it gets to leave home, having to leave my kids behind. I say this with an immense amount of gratitude that at this stage of my career and my life that I can get to come out, sit down, talk to you, and come to your beautiful country of Australia and play rock ‘n’ roll, and that is something I will never take for granted. But, still, I can’t lie; being away from my family for thirty days is hard.

SCENEzine

Thank you so much then for coming out and being a part of this Under The Southern Starrs concert series. Any message you want to say to the Stone Temple Pilots fans of Australia before you go?

Dean Deleo

I will tell you a funny story I love about our Aussie fan base and that we released this lead single Creep, and the B side was Cracker Man, but here in your Aussie ways, it was changed to Cracker Jack and we were like “what the hell man” – but found it so funny.

So we want our fans to know we love you all dearly, and we are very appreciative of you all for just listening and hope to see you all at the shows.

Interview by Chad Heard

www.underthesouthernstars.com.au

***All previously purchased tickets are valid for 2022 see website for details.***

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