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Stone Temple Pilots back with new lead

US grunge rockers Stone Temple Pilots are back with a new frontman, chosen in an audition of 15,000 applicants after their previous two singers died.

The band was a leading force in the grunge scene of the 1990s, led by the voice of Scott Weiland, who died of an overdose in 2015.

The troubled Weiland had already been replaced before his death by Chester Bennington, the frontman of Linkin Park.

Bennington left Stone Temple Pilots amicably and earlier this year committed suicide.

Stone Temple Pilots marked its rebirth on Wednesday with the release of the song Meadow and said an album is expected next year. The fast-paced guitar track features the voice of Jeff Gutt, the 41-year-old singer from the defunct California nu-metal band Dry Cell. Stone Temple Pilots had put out a call for a new singer and received around 15,000 submissions but Gutt was invited to audition after bassist Robert DeLeo was introduced to him while playing in Michigan.

Gutt told Rolling Stone that he had considered Weiland a model as a singer since first hearing Stone Temple Pilots' debut album Core in 1992, when the new frontman was a teenager.

"So walking in on that first day, it was crazy. I mean, you have dreams about things like this," he told the magazine.

Guitarist Dean DeLeo, who is the bassist's brother, told Rolling Stone that Gutt was well-equipped to sing the parts of Weiland and also to take the band forward musically. - AFP

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