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Stone Temple Pilots back with new album

By Denise Quan, CNN
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Reunited Stone Temple Pilots give each other space
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Stone Temple Pilots release their first album in nearly a decade
  • Lead singer Scott Weiland looks healthier than in years past
  • After tensions tore them apart, the group reunited, giving each other space
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Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The mood is light in the hotel suite overlooking the Pacific as members of Stone Temple Pilots chat about their kids, weigh in on a proposed video game and debate the merits of the new and improved Domino's Pizza.

These days, all is good in STP land.

The quartet is releasing its first album in nearly a decade. The lead single, "Between the Lines," currently sits at No. 1 on Billboard's rock songs chart for the fourth week.

Not bad for a veteran band that managed to transcend the '90s with such radio hits as "Plush," "Interstate Love Song" and "Lady Picture Show."

"I really don't consider us a veteran rock band," Scott Weiland says. "I think that leans more towards retirement." He chuckles, as do the others.

At 42, the vocalist looks healthier than he's looked in years.

He's gone from 135 pounds to 170, and seems to have put his cycle of drug busts and rehab behind him. "It's a whole different thing now than it was when we were in our 20s or in our early 30s. I think of some of the tours we were on, and they were a little rambunctious."

Bassist Robert DeLeo concurs. "What we did onstage was kind of what it was like all the time."

In 2002, long-simmering tensions pulled STP apart. Weiland went on to front another high-profile group, Velvet Revolver, with former members of Guns N' Roses. Meanwhile, the DeLeo brothers formed Army of Anyone with former Filter vocalist Richard Patrick. Drummer Eric Kretz laid low, concentrating on his Bomb Shelter recording studio in Los Angeles' loft district.

Then in 2008, came news Weiland had left Velvet Revolver and would be touring again with Stone Temple Pilots.

The reunited bandmates took things slowly, giving each other space. In fact, their self-titled sixth album was recorded in three separate studios. "I've had mine for about 13 years," Weiland says. "Eric's had his for a long time, and Robert built one at his house. We would tour, then go back and work on the record again. It was back and forth, back and forth."

Robert DeLeo says, "I think we have an understanding that the music that we create with each other is much deeper than talking every day on the phone."

His brother Dean elaborates. "We know each other so well. We know each other's likes and dislikes. We kind of grew up together."

Weiland admits they still have their disagreements, but "if you say something to someone that you regret, you make amends to the person. Say sorry."

Drama in bands has always been a double-edged sword. It may detract from the music, but there's no question it piques public interest.

"I think there's probably tens of bands who are equally as good as the Stones, but they always made headlines, that's for sure," says Weiland, who's certainly been the subject of many a headline himself.

Sitting next to him, Dean DeLeo thinks for a moment and nods.

"I'd like to think that it starts with the music. There's people who go through life from here," he says, putting his hand to his forehead. "And there's people who go through life from here," he says, clasping both hands over his heart.