Behind the Band Name: Stone Temple Pilots (STP)

First introduced in 1954, STP became the go-to for various automotive lubricants and motor oil products in America. Still in business today, its oval-shaped company logo with “STP” capitalized in white and patriotically surrounded by red and blue, remains an iconic symbol of car care.

Videos by American Songwriter

Inspired by those STP motor oil stickers from their youth, when singer Scott Weiland—who sported an actual STP sticker on his bike as a kid—brothers Dean on guitar and bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz were forming a band, they revisited that sticker from their past.

[RELATED: Behind the Band Name: Imagine Dragons]

Landing on STP as the band’s acronym, it still had to stand for something.

Stone Temple Pirates?

Initially calling themselves Swing when they first formed in 1989, the foursome tried out Mighty Joe Young but had to scrap the name after learning another artist had already grabbed it. Then, they remembered STP.

Playing around with a collection of different phrases at first, including “Stone Temple Pirates,” they eventually settled on Stone Temple Pilots.

Becoming one of the most successful bands of the 1990s from their 1992 debut Core and hits “Creep” and “Plush,” STP released Purple in 1994 with “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song,” followed by their third album, Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, in 1996 with more hits, including “Big Bang Baby,” “Lady Picture Show” and “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.”

The band released two more albums, No. 4 in 1999 and Shangri-La Dee Da in 2001, before splitting in 2003.

STP released six albums with Weiland, who died in 2015 at the age of 48. Weiland last recorded with the band on Stone Temple Pilots, released in 2010, before he was dismissed from STP in 2013.

Still STP

Following Weiland’s departure in 2013, the band recruited Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington as their singer and temporarily changed their name to Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. Sticking with the band for a few years through their 2013 EP, High Rise, Bennington also died shortly after Weiland in 2017 when he was just 41 years old.

Along with the DeLeo brothers and Kretz, today Stone Temple Pilots is complete with vocalist Jeff Gutt, who has released two albums with the band since 2018.

[RELATED: Behind the Album: ‘Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop’ —Stone Temple Pilots]

“We have such deep love and respect for [Chester and Scott], but as far as moving forward, that’s a whole different topic,” said Kretz in a 2018 interview. “Every day, we talk about Chester and Scott, how much we appreciate them as artists, as humans, and what they contributed, and the times we had together.”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Leave a Reply

HARDY Embraces Country and Rock on ‘the mockingbird & The Crow’