Stone Temple Pilots have revealed their new singer – former The X Factor contestant Jeff Gutt. He fronted the band for the first time at an invitation-only show last night (Nov. 14) at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California.

The group are reportedly scheduled to release "Meadow," their first single with Gutt as their lead singer, later today. In the meantime, Eddie Trunk shared a clip of the new STP lineup performing "Down" from 1999's No. 4 album.

STP had been without a frontman since the departure of Chester Bennington in 2015. He’d replaced Scott Weiland in 2013 after the original vocalist was fired. A public search for a new member resulted in 15,000 applications, and the band confirmed last month that a choice had been made.

Rumors suggested Gutt had been selected in November last year, two months after he auditioned, but the band insisted “no decision” had been taken. They’ve now said that he was formally hired in May this year, and that he’s spent several months writing and recording with colleagues Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz.

Bassist Robert DeLeo revealed he’d encountered Gutt while he was touring with the Hollywood Vampires in Detroit, MI. “After the show there was a musician who said, ‘Hey, man, you should check this guy out.’ And that’s where I kind of heard of him first; it was through that guy. And it just happened that it came together like that.”

“My name is Jeff,” Gutt said after DeLeo’s introduction on SiriusXM (listen below). Summarizing his career he explained: “I’ve had close chances of success, and sometimes politics and people don’t work out. I used to be in a band called Dry Cell, which was on Warner Brothers about the same time as Linkin Park, and that’s how I knew Chester.” He admitted he’d become “disenchanted” with the industry and observed he’d done “odd jobs” while he wasn’t working in bands.

“Haven’t we all,” Dean DeLeo said, later noting that, as a result of Gutt’s appearance on the 2013 The X Factor final, “Jeff has performed in front of more people than Robert, Eric and I combined.”

Gutt compared the role to joining Led Zeppelin, adding: “To me, they’re my Led Zeppelin.” He explained: “I had heard about [the auditions] but I was on tour in the Middle East with my band at the time… And then when I got back, I was driving and I heard, I can’t remember what song it was, but a Stone Temple Pilots song came on the radio. So I called my buddy in New York who knows everybody in the music industry, and I was like, ‘Hey, did they ever find a singer?’ And he was like, ‘You know what? I’ll send ‘em your stuff right now.’ And three days later, I got a call.”

He added that he felt that he’d secured the position “before I even got in the room, to tell you the truth, just because if you don’t feel that way, you’re probably not going to get it. You have to be confident. I mean, not cocky confidence – but I know my s–t. I know what I’m doing. I’ve studied my craft, I’ve studied Scott and the people Scott studied, and other singers of the era. I’ve really put a lot of time into that, and if you’re not willing to do all of that, you’re not going to be on the level to even be around these guys.”

Gutt was a runner up in the third season of The X Factor after performing songs including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Radiohead’s “Creep” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”

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