After firing vocalist Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots this past February, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz announced their new singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park at KROQ’s annual Weenie Roast in Los Angeles last month. He is turning out to be a perfect fit, as the newest track from this incarnation of STP is flying up the charts.

On May 18, the band played a 40-minute set performing well known Stone Temple Pilot tracks and premiered a new song, “Out Of Time,” the group’s first track since 2010.

“Chester has a one-of-a-kind voice that we’ve admired for a long time,” said guitarist Dean DeLeo in a press release. “We know Linkin Park will always be his priority, but we thought it would be cool to try something together. We managed to find the time to record a song and we’re all really happy with the result.”

“I’ve loved STP since I was 13 years old and they’ve had a huge influence on me,” explained Bennington. “When the opportunity came up to do something creative with them, I jumped at the chance. The guys in Linkin Park have been incredibly supportive of me undertaking this project while I’ve continued to work on new music with LP.”

Former STP vocalist Weiland has since repeated his initial claim that he hasn’t been fired, saying in a statement: “Like everybody else out there, I read about my band and their recent performance this past weekend with a new singer. To tell you the truth, it took me by surprise. And it hurt.

“But the band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that. First of all they don’t have the legal right to call themselves STP because I’m still a member of the band.

“And more importantly, they don’t have the ethical right to call themselves Stone Temple Pilots, because it’s misleading and dishonest to the millions of fans that have followed us for so many years.”

“Like any band that’s stood the test of time and made music for more than two decades, STP had a special alchemy – the four of us together were greater than any one of us apart.”

He finished: “I don’t give a fuck what they call themselves, but it’s not Stone Temple Pilots. I’ll see you out there on the road this summer where I’m touring as ‘Scott Weiland’ with my band The Wildabouts. But don’t give up on STP. I know I haven’t.”

I don’t think the new STP is listening, as the band subsequently performed at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on May 30th for the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert, which honored Bennington and legendary skateboarder, surfer and musician Tony Alva. The annual event raised funds For MusiCares’ Addiction Recovery Services. Slash, Duff McKagan, presenters Anthony Kiedis, Mike Shinoda and Andy Dick were also a part of the show.

As far as more new music from STP, Bennington told Rolling Stone that this is not just a musical fling: “When you get together and put a new piece in, there’s a whole different energy. For us the creative juices have just been flowing – we’ve been writing, we have tons of great ideas. Next week we’re going back in the studio and hammering out some more music.”

“We don’t have a label,” he said. “Everything we’re doing is on our own, so we’re just taking it one track at a time. We would love to sit down and hammer out a record, but the reality is we’re gonna make music, we’re gonna make a lot of it, and we’re gonna be in a position to release a single at a time, go out and really give people music the way they want to get it,” he said. “It is a good position to be in, and for us, all we care about is going out, making the legacy as great as it needs to be, as great as people expect it to be, and coming out with new music that lives up to that standard.”

Unless Weiland lawyers up like no one in history has before to put a stop to this, the new version of the band will be making their own mark as well.

Stone Temple Pilots Chester Bennington

It is always fantastic to hear great musicians in any setting or playing any genre. It is amazing when three of the finest in their fields can come together to create some musical magic, and that is just what The Winery Dogs have done. The amazing new power trio featuring rock veterans Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), having recorded a new album of stellar material, have now signed with Loud & Proud Records. The Winery Dogs’ self-titled debut album will be released in North America on July 23rd. The Winery Dogs was self-produced and mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther).

The band have already released three videos from the new album, ‘Elevate’, ‘Desire,’ and ‘ I’m No Angel’ which can all be seen below. I don’t know what track I like more, hey are all so good.

In a press release on The Winery Dogs’ signing, Mike Portnoy commented, “I am so excited about The Winery Dogs and am proud and honored to be working with two of the greatest musicians on the planet! Richie Kotzen is such an unbelievable talent, as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. I think The Winery Dogs will finally get him the attention and recognition that he so richly deserves. And what can be said of Billy Sheehan that hasn’t been said already? He is one the true pioneers of the instrument and a legend. I am looking forward to working with the great staff of Loud & Proud Records, some of whom I worked very closely with during their time at Roadrunner and my time with Dream Theater. I look forward to continuing that relationship with The Winery Dogs!”

Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky added, “The debut by The Winery Dogs absolutely rocks and we are very excited that Loud & Proud is their label partner. This body of work showcases not only their renowned skills as musicians and vocalists, but also the depth of their talent as songwriters. Billy, Mike and Richie delivered some of the best performances of their illustrious careers and I am confident this album will be recognized as one of the truly great rock albums of the year.”

Touted as one of the best guitar players in the world, Richie Kotzen also possesses a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and is highly regarded as a gifted songwriter. With guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, Kotzen has built a remarkably diverse 20-year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. A prolific songwriter, Richie has written several songs that have gone on to become hit singles around the world and he continues to appear in countless books, magazines and websites, being acknowledged as one of the top guitarists in the world.

Mike Portnoy is one of the founding members of Dream Theater, with whom he played drums for 25 years, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. Portnoy’s long list of awards include 26 Modern Drummer magazine Reader’s Poll Awards, including Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine’s record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (twice), Best Educational Video/DVD and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (seven times) while in Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold. He also holds the distinction being the second youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (at age 37) and is currently the youngest in the magazine’s Hall of Fame. DRUM! Magazine named him Drummer Of The Year for the last two years in a row (2011 & 2012), and he won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for Drummer Of The Year in 2011.

As a founding member of Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan forged his place in hard rock history. Mr. Big’s trademark virtuosic musicianship with stellar vocal harmonies and earned them numerous hit songs, including the ubiquitous “To Be With You,” which was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in 15 countries, propelling the band to major international success and record sales in the multi-millions. Sheehan was voted the Best Rock Bass Player 5 times in Guitar Player magazine’s Readers Poll, earning him a spot in their Gallery of Greats along with Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Eddie Van Halen and more, and he has won several Reader’s polls around the world. He won the prestigious Player magazine (Japan’s #1 Music mag) Reader’s Poll for Best Bass Player an unprecedented 14 consecutive times and Burrn! magazine’s (Japan’s #1 heavy metal mag) Readers’ Poll five times. His hands and signature are preserved in cement on the Rockwalk at Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA.

Stay tuned for U.S. tour news, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Winery Dogs track listing:

1. Elevate
2. Desire
3. We Are One
4. I’m No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
9. Damaged
10. Six Feet Deeper
11. Criminal
12. The Dying
13. Regret

Winery Dogs 2

Deep Purple are up next with their latest single called ‘Vincent Price’. It comes from the new album ‘Now What?!’, the 19th studio album from the band and first new studio album in 8 years.

Guitarist Steve Morse said about the track, “The song is compact and funky. I like the way it opens up with Don (Airey) doing this great horror movie keyboard part. Actually, he used to play for silent movies, so he knows that stuff backwards and forwards.

“The riff sparked the lyrical content of the song and the title. Ian (Gillen) always likes to spice things up and get light when he can, so he went in that direction. He’s the guy who doesn’t try to be ‘heavy metal.’ The riff is straight-ahead heavy, so that’s covered.”

The video features a young couple making their way into a spooky mansion, with a Vincent Price look a like as their tormentor. It even features some damn nice pole dancing that the Vincent character is really enjoying, at least until he is exposed to sunlight. It all wraps up in a wax museum kind of way, with the band as participants. An entertaining and well made video to go along with a solid track from Deep Purple.

The band are currently touring Europe, and will be into the middle of August. No U.S. dates have been announced for 2013 as of yet. Let’s hope will see some dates later this year, but it looks like the window is small as they will have one European date in October, then will tour Russia in November.

Deep Purple Vincent Price coverDeep Purple Now What album cover

Las Vegas hard rockers Five Finger Death Punch are back in a big way with their kick ass track ‘Lift Me Up’, featuring guest vocals from Rob Halford of Judas Priest. The track continues to expose the band to more and more people, as FFDP are poised to take their massive success to an even higher level.

The band’s new album ‘The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1’ is due out July 30th. The deluxe edition features 14 new tracks, with a bonus 15 track live CD, ‘Purgatory [Tales From The Pit]’. The album is the first release of two new studio albums. The imagery for both upcoming studio albums was created by legendary comic book artist and illustrator Greg Capullo (Batman, Spawn).

Having already played a few major festivals in Europe this month, the band have their touring schedule locked in for the rest of the year. The Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour along with Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Machine Head, Amon Amarth and more kicks off June 29th in San Bernadino, CA. They follow that with a tour of Canada in September with Escape The Fate and more, then will tour Europe with Avenged Sevenfold during November and December. It’s going to be another big year for FFDP, that will carry into 2014!

Five Finger Death Punch The Wrong Side of Heaven album cover

Great White recently posted a video for their latest track ‘Shotgun Willie’s’ that was filmed on the recent Monsters of Rock Cruise. It shows the band in a relaxed rocking atmosphere, connecting with their fans.

The track is the fourth single from the band’s album ‘Elation’, and while I will always feel connected to the Jack Russell Great White era, Terry Ilous (XYZ) has added his own vocal talents on an album that can stand and rock on its own merits. This is probably my favorite track from the current incarnation of Great White, and it showcases the great musicianship of the band, including Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards), Audie Desbrow (drums), bassist Scott Snyder and long time guitarist Mark Kendall.

Great White will be touring for all of 2013, sharing the stage with the likes of Enuff Z’nuff, Night Ranger, Slaughter, REO Speedwagon, Queensryche, Stephen Pearcy, Bret Michaels and Stryper. Look for a date near you and check ’em out:

Great White Elation