SCOTT WEILAND & THE WILDABOUTS – BIO
Now, it might have been serendipity, or perhaps the stars aligned. There could be a cosmic, divine plan in place, or even a patron saint for artists feeding creativity like an ancient oracle foreshadowing the future. However, it's actually simpler than that for Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts. It was just an indescribable feeling in the room shared between four seasoned musicians. Isn't that how all timeless works of art begin though?
Past the feedback buzz, cigarette smoke, and lyrics inked on the page, Scott saw a clear vision for his third full-length solo album and first studio outing with The Wildabouts—Blaster. There were no questions or reservations. The record needed to unabashedly, unequivocally, and uniquely embody the spirit of rock 'n' roll.
Oh does it ever...
“I knew I wanted to make a rock record,” proclaims Weiland. “It all just came together. It’s got a distinctive sound, but it also can entice those Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fans who have stuck by me. Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth. I’ve made art records, and then I’ve returned to being in a band. This is a hybrid. You might say there’s an indie alternative feeling, but it’s not too precious. These are vintage sounds done in a new way. What we’ve come up with is really heavy, slinky, and sexy. There’s a lot of fuzz. The best way to describe it is ‘Furry’.”
“Furry” seems completely apropos given the natural, almost primal connection between the singer and his bandmates guitarist Jeremy Brown, bassist Tommy Black, and drummer Danny Thompson fostered by years of jamming and touring together. After their highly successful Purple At The Core tour in 2013, the musicians hunkered down in Weiland’s Southern California studio and rehearsal space to write and record what would eventually become the album. They quickly conjured a fertile creative chemistry.
“I started thinking a lot about the relationships in the band and where the nucleus was as far as musical ideology and influences go,” he says. “I wanted to write with these guys and not make it simply a solo album. It may have my name in front of it, but we’re The Wildabouts. We have a common bond in terms of the music we like. It’s a lot easier to create when that exists. It’s four guys, and everybody brings his own ideas to the table. We’re all friends, and there’s nothing like making a record with your buddies. It’s a new beginning.”
In order to properly capture that, the band enlisted the talents of producer Rick Parker [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club]. With Parker at the production helm, the music assumed its own identity, cascading between seductive distorted grooves and bright inimitable melodies. “With Rick, it’s been very streamlined,” adds the frontman. “He’s an amazing producer. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best and most famous producers, and he’s just as good. His musical, production, and engineering chops are phenomenal. There’s a lot of distortion behind these really cool riffs. This feels organic. We decided to get back to making a back-to-basics blues rock ‘n’ roll album together.”
That's why the title Blaster fits so well. He declares, "We chose a boombox for the cover because the image and sound are retro, but modern and, always, LOUD."
The first single "White Lightning" sparks up Blaster. Merging a revved up riff with Weiland's immortal croon, it instantly captivates. "It's a musical homage to the film Lawless—moonshine, jalopies, and the whole scene," smiles the singer. "It's got a sludgy, bluesy stomp from start to finish, yet there are ethereal elements that take you on a journey. When I wrote the lyrics, I had just watched the film."
Maintaining that energy, “Beach Pop Rock” wields a summery swing. A psychedelic guitar snap gives way to an enchanting vocal melody courtesy of Weiland. “It’s a song I actually wrote on guitar as well, and I finished it out with the other guys,” he recalls. “I had the melody and lyrics stuck in my mind for a long time before I even worked on it. There’s a little Beach Boys and Ramones in there as well as a quirky Ween vibe. It’s a throwback to the simple days of romance and rock ‘n’ roll.”
Then, there’s “Way She Moves”. It slides between a spiraling riff from Brown to more signature crooning that’s as seductive as it is soaring. “We just started jamming on that initial idea, and it came together in one night,” continues Weiland. "It's a slink, sexy modern-sounding track even though it pays tribute to T-Rex. My wife inspired the lyrics. I feel this song could attract a whole new audience because of how current and fresh it sounds."
The group got the chance to nod to their idols further with two undeniable covers—"Jean Genie" and "20th Century Boy." Both allow the musicians to flex their chops as Weiland's voice reaches impressive heights. "We do 'Jean Genie' live all the time," he says. "I was interested to see how it would sound on record. It's no secret I'm a huge Bowie fan. '20th Century Boy' is a song I've always wanted to cover. I actually wanted STP to do it, and it never happened. As soon as I played it for the guys again, we all agreed it would be great for the album.
On the other end of the spectrum, “Circles” paints a shimmering love story over smooth guitars and a hypnotic beat. “Lyrically, I wrote that as a love song for my wife,” he smiles. “It’s got a transcendent feel, but it’s still very much rooted in American rock yet with a country twist.”
However, adding that new twist is what Weiland has done best throughout his entire career. The multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and author has cumulatively sold over 44 million records worldwide with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. He’s garnered two Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Hard Rock Performance”—in 2005 for “Slither” and in 1994 for “Plush”. Stone Temple Pilots’ Purple debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 a feat also accomplished by Velvet Revolver’s Contraband. Weiland’s voice has driven some of the most recognizable hits in rock ‘n’ roll history including “Sex Type Thing”, “Wicked Garden”, “Creep”, “Interstate Love Song”, “Vasoline”, “The Big Empty”, “Sour Girl”, “Down”, and more. He released his memoir Not Dead & Not For Sale in 2011 to critical applause. Still, his most powerful music is yet to come with the release of 2014’s album. At the end of the day, Weiland once again delivers for the millions worldwide who have supported his art. He leaves off, “I’d like for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fans be attracted to this as well as a whole new fan base. It has that energy. It’s unexplainable. We’ve made an album that can resonate. It feels serendipitous because it’s a rock record, but it’s also fresh. It’s everything we wanted it to be. It’s a rebirth.” — Rick Florino, May 2014
SCOTT WEILAND 2015 BOILER
Reinvention remains an art form for Scott Weiland.
After multi-platinum success with alternative rock luminaries Stone Temple Pilots, he went on to front Velvet Revolver alongside some of the most legendary musicians in rock, carving a second legacy in the process. In between, he released two critically acclaimed and artistically provocative solo albums 1998’s 12 Bar Blues and “Happy” in Galoshes in 2008. His voice propelled some of the biggest hits in rock history including “Sex Type Thing”, “Wicked Garden”, “Creep”, “Interstate Love Song”, “Vasoline”, “The Big Empty”, “Sour Girl”, “Down”, and more. In addition to cumulatively selling 44 million records worldwide, he’s garnered two Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Hard Rock Performance”—in 2005 for “Slither” and in 1994 for “Plush”.
However, 2014 sees him undergo his most powerful reinvention to date with The Wildabouts. On their first official studio album Blaster, Weiland, guitarist Jeremy Brown, bassist Tommy Black, and drummer Danny Thompson elegantly infuse raw rock ‘n’ roll with a poetic, passionate, and pure perspective. Produced by Rick Parker [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club], it’s as unadulterated as it is unique.
It’s Scott Weiland reborn.