Dean and Robert DeLeo established themselves as masters of the riff from the time they began making music with Stone Temple Pilots in the early ‘90s. By the turn of the next decade, the guitarist and bassist siblings were looking to move on to their next project. For a minute, it appeared that Chris Robinson could be their captain for that journey.

The Black Crowes singer was also searching for his next move as his band went on hiatus following the tour for 2001’s Lions. “We sat down and tried to write some songs and stuff and had a nice time, but nothing really came of it,” Robinson told AL.com in 2018.

The singer-songwriter was seeking a different trip, looking to move away from the “riff-rock oriented” sound that he further described as “scarves and necklaces and whatever rock ‘n’ roll,” noting that the DeLeo brothers were “great at it, and they’ve written some great songs.”

Jamming with the STP duo gave Robinson some needed perspective on what he didn’t want to do. "I was like, 'I don't want to scream and yell over loud guitars,” he said. “I want to tell these stories, and I want my singing and my poetry to have a different relevance to the music.'"

Dean DeLeo tells UCR now that it was an “incredible” experience making music with “a singer or a guy that can really deliver.” Robinson certainly fit that mold. “I can’t say enough about him,” the guitarist says. “He is incredible. Just absolutely amazing.” He says Robinson’s comments regarding the volume of their jam sessions paint an accurate picture. Still, he was impressed by the singer’s power.

“We were playing pretty loud, man,” he says. “I could hear his voice as loud as it was coming out of his mouth as it was through the speakers. Like, that’s how much air he was pushing.”

DeLeo now summarizes the time the three spent together as “a really beautiful few weeks.” “It just didn’t come together,” he notes. “We were all a little too busy at the time and had other things going on. But we did get together for a couple of weeks and wrote a bunch of songs, and kind of recorded them onto cassettes live in the room. It wasn’t bad.”

Robinson eventually made his solo debut with 2002’s New Earth Mud (which include one cowritten song with Dean DeLeo) and a band of the same name; he followed that with several Crowes tours and Chris Robinson Brotherhood before reconvening the Black Crowes in 2019.

After forming Army of Anyone with Filter singer Richard Patrick and releasing an eponymous album in 2006, the DeLeo brothers also returned to their full-time band, resurrecting Stone Temple Pilots in 2020 with new singer Jeff Gutt. They returned to the road earlier this month for their first tour since the pandemic.

Listen to UCR's Complete Interview With Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots

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