Q&A with Jeff Gutt of Stone Temple Pilots


By Sean Dowdell
Photo by Kim Ciluffo

We were able to catch up with Jeff Gutt, the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, for an engaging conversation led by Sean Dowdell, CEO of Club Tattoo. Throughout the engrossing interview the two discuss all things music and ink.

Gutt was given the torch nearly three years after the passing of longtime STP frontman Scott Weiland. Before taking the helm of one of the most successful bands of the ’90s. Gutt was dubbed as one of the most “influential” “X Factor USA” contestants of all time.

In 2018, just four months after taking the lead role, Gutt co-wrote every track on their self-titled release, effectively kicking off their comeback. “Stone Temple Pilots” was their first album in eight years.

Before we jump into the tattoo questions, we would love to hear about how you went from performing on the “X-Factor” to joining Stone Temple Pilots.

I was in a band that had just been signed and eventually shelved, I was bitter and broke. I started looking at the reality singing shows and thought to myself, I think I could beat them at their own game. So, I studied a bunch of material and eventually went on and sang “Hallelujah” only to get booted shortly after.

I was asked to return the next season and ended up as the runner-up on that season.

STP had announced they were looking for a singer, but I was on tour overseas and didn’t see a path for me. Upon my return home a few months later, they still hadn’t found one. I called a friend, Rene Mata, who arranged for me to connect with them and audition in LA. I flew out in the middle of recording a record and gelled instantly with them.

Do all of the members of STP have tattoos? Are there any that stand out?
I know Dean DeLeo (guitar player) has a couple, but I’m not sure of everyone else.

What was your first tattoo?

It was a Japanese symbol on my shoulder that means “the storm.”

What was your most recent?
“STATUTUM MCMLXXVI” on my chest done by CJ at Club Tattoo.

What’s your favorite style?

I love all types of art, but the one I got on my back that still needs to be finished is a piece of art by Boris Vallejo. Unfortunately, my artist Chuck died shortly after starting it.

Photo by Kim Ciluffo

Do you have artistic interests other than music such as painting or writing?

I love to paint and curate art in my own home. I like feeling like I live surrounded by different art.

What are you currently working on?

I have been writing some solo songs recently.

Is “Perdida,” from 2020, the newest STP album? Do you have another album in the works?

Yes, that is the most current album we’ve put out. We aren’t working on a new album at the moment, but I’m sure we will start on one soon. I’ve mostly been touring with STP.

What’s one of your favorite moments on tour?

Playing with the band along with Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. That was like, “Is this really happening?”

What is your favorite STP song to sing?

“Dead and Bloated” and “Wicked Garden” are my staples.

Last question, Jeff, do you plan on getting more tattoos?

Yes—a tribute to my son, maybe incorporating his birthday, and more when significant people in my life pass.

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