Robert DeLeo, bassist and principal songwriter of the iconic band STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, has released two digital bonus tracks from his critically acclaimed solo album, "Lessons Learned".
DeLeo recorded covers of two Gordon Lightfoot songs, "Affair On 8th Avenue" and "Your Love's Return" with Pete Shoulder on vocals.
"Gordon Lightfoot is one of the sculptors of a musical era that I cherish and hold so dear to my heart," says Robert. "I covered these two songs out of respect and relating to Gordon's willingness to convey his vulnerability in his songs. I decided to leave Gordon's songs off 'Lessons Learned' so my musical journey and personal experiences would be my own."
Robert played virtually all the instruments on the album, complemented by guest musicians and vocalists, all of which lend to the undeniable intimacy of the music.
"Pete Shoulder is one of my favorite singers," says Robert. "His voice captures the same elements that great singers of the past have emotionally stirred up in all of us."
Like so much of DeLeo's body of work, "Lessons Learned" is the kind of record that feels so alive in the present and instantly soundtracks the moment for the listener.
AllMusic describes "Lessons Learned" as a "rich, reflective record, one that serves as comfort during moments of contemplation." Guitar Player says, "DeLeo proves himself a crafty and accomplished finger style guitarist as well as brilliant tunesmith."
Last March, Robert spoke to AXS TV's "At Home And Social With" about his solo album. The 56-year-old musician said: "Through this pandemic, there's been a lot of time and a lot of free time. And it gave me a chance to pick up all my acoustic instruments and kind of talk to them a little bit and see what they had to say back. And before I knew it, I had a bunch of songs together of my own — acoustic-based songs. And I had some friends of mine, who are very talented, do some vocal stuff. So I have different vocalists — about five different vocalists — through the record, and great, great, very talented people helping me out with this."
In February 2022, DeLeo revealed on his Instagram that his solo album would include a guest appearance by Kara Britz, who has worked as a backing singer on NBC's "The Voice" and has backed up country artist Blake Shelton, as well as piano playing by producer, engineer and mixer Bill Appleberry and cello playing of Dave Eggar.
In the summer of 2021, DeLeo discussed his solo album in an interview with Bass Player magazine. At the time, he stated about the set: "It's all acoustic bass, and I got a chance to sharpen up my acoustic guitar skills too. I wound up finding a guitarrón — you know, the Mexican bass? I found one that was converted to four strings and it was fretted, and it sounds unbelievable. I've reached out to people that I really wanted to write and collaborate with."
DeLeo has been discussing the possibility of releasing a solo album for at least the last two decades. Back in 2002, he said that he was "compiling a number of songs" that had not made their way on to STP records, "not because they're bad songs, [but] just because they never found a place. Though they're different from STP, they still mean a lot to me," he explained.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS features three original members — Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz.
Singer Jeff Gutt, a 46-year-old Michigan native who spent time in the early-2000s nu-metal act DRY CELL, among other bands, and was a contestant on "The X Factor", joined STONE TEMPLE PILOTS after beating out roughly 15,000 hopefuls during an extended search that began more than a year earlier.
Original STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland, who reunited with the group in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus but was dismissed in 2013, died in December 2015 of a drug overdose.
Chester Bennington, who joined STP in early 2013, departed nearly three years later to spend more time with his main band LINKIN PARK. Bennington committed suicide in July 2017.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS released their first all-acoustic album, titled "Perdida", in February 2020. The disc was Gutt's second with STP. His recording debut with the group was on its self-titled seventh album, which arrived in March 2018.
Photo credit: Duke DeLeo