MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to Loudwire about his past association with STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and his thoughts on ex-STP singer Scott Weiland’s death.
Mustaine’s relationship with Weiland goes back more than two decades when STONE TEMPLE PILOTS opened for MEGADETH on the 1992 “Countdown To Extinction” tour, not long after the release of STP’s debut album, “Core”.
Mustaine tells Loudwire (see video below): “It’s really peculiar the way things went down with me and Scott, because I was in Finland doing a ‘rate a record’ thing for a magazine one time and they had given us the ‘Core’ record to review. And I was listening to it and I thought, ‘Either this is a really bad joke or these guys are gonna be massive, because they’ve got a sound that’s very similar to a lot of the great bands that are in the alternative scene right now, but I don’t know if it’s a parody or if it’s the real deal. And the more I listened to it, the more I really grew to respect his vocals, and I thought that Robert [DeLeo, bass], his playing was really great too. They were called MIGHTY JOE YOUNG at the time. And I talked to our manager and I said, ‘I wanna take these guys out.’ And the manager said, ‘Well, you know, people just aren’t digging on ‘em.’ And I was, like, ‘I don’t care. I wanna take ‘em out.’ So in 1992, on the ‘Countdown To Extinction’ tour, we took STONE TEMPLE PILOTS out. And they were doing pretty good, and there was something that was just off a little bit. And I said, ‘Hey, do you guys mind if I help you with your setlist?’ And we talked a little bit about rearranging the songs and climaxing and settling down into a groove in the middle. And there was one part… it was really funny… They have an instrumental song, and Scott just stands out there on the stage, and I said, ‘What’s this song?’, knowing full well what it was. And he goes, ‘Well, it’s an instrumental.’ And I said, ‘And? Why are you standing out there?’ I said, ‘Go off to the side of the stage.’ And I told him the song where he does — I think ‘Crackerman’, with the bullhorn thing — ‘use that as your opener because it’s kind of cheeky and it’s a cool way to kind of start the set.’ And they took off after that. Their setlist was great. The pulse, the timing and everything was perfect.”
He continued: “he thing that I regret was at the end of the tour, I told him, I said, ‘Look, Scott, you’re gonna be huge. You’re gonna have money, you’re gonna have drugs, you’re gonna have pussy, and it’s gonna be everywhere.’ And I said, ‘If you do anything, stay away from heroin.’ And I probably should have said, ‘Do as much as you can,’ because he did the exact opposite.”
Mustaine added: “The sad thing is that anybody that knows Scott and that was around him was aware of what was going on. Just like the guy that was in MILLI VANILLI, they took him out of rehab and put him on the road, and he wasn’t even done with the rehabilitation process. And he died.
“No song, no performance, no amount of money is worth a human life. And I think that the music industry suffered a tragic loss. But as much as the onus is on Scott for doing it, there are other people that are responsible for that.”
Weiland was found dead on Thursday, December 3, while on tour with his solo act, THE WILDABOUTS.
Following his death, police found cocaine, Xanax, synthetic opiates, sleeping pills, Viagra and medication used to treat Weiland’s bipolar and schizophrenic diseases on the bus and in the singer’s bedroom.
Cocaine was also found in bassist Tommy Black’s bunk, and the bassist was arrested on possession charges but later released.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and VELVET REVOLVER issued statements on his passing, while musicians and fans around the world have also posted tributes.