The Rolling Stone Blog

Listen: Scott Weiland’s Version of ‘Winter Wonderland’

The Rolling Stone Blog

Scott Weiland and Christmas music are probably not things that most
people associate together in their minds. But the Stone Temple Pilots
frontman - whose album of Christmas classics Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
hit shelves earlier this week - says he's always loved holiday
standards. "I've been listening to these songs my entire life," he tells
Rolling Stone. "It was a great honor to do this album."

The album features standards like "White Christmas," "Silent Night"
and "I'll Be Home For Christmas."  Many of the songs were cut with a
large orchestra. (You can hear a stream of "Winter Wonderland" below.)
Weiland's vocal style varies wildly between tracks. "I've never recorded
something commercially before where I'm crooning," he says. "But if you
listen to my solo albums it shows that there is such a major difference
in the music that influences me and the way that I use my voice. I look
at my voice as an instrument. My two favorite singers, John Lennon and
David Bowie, had very different voices that they used depending on the
vibe of the song." 

Some of the tracks stick to familiar arrangement, while others are
more daring. "We wanted to do a reggae-ish version of 'Silent Night,'"
says Weiland. "And there's a sort of swigging version of 'What Child Is
This?' and we have a bossa nova, Sixties kitschy version of one of the
songs. It all worked out quite amazing." 

The mere existence of this album may shock some of Weiland's fans,
but he hasn't gotten any such reactions yet. "All the feedback I've
gotten has been very good," he says. "My memories of Christmas time are
very special, especially as a youngster. These songs, however they are
stylized, have been done and redone by so many different people - yet
people love to listen to them every holiday season. It's something that I
want to just be part of."

Stone Temple Pilots have a mini-tour of South America lined up in
November, but when that wraps Weiland is going to perform six Christmas
solo shows. "It's a theater tour and it will be very classy," Weiland
says. "We'll bring a small part of the orchestra with us and then we
will go to the music union and find other players to supplement the rest
of the orchestra. Then we're doing two morning TV shows, two afternoon
shows and two late night shows."

An American Stone Temple Pilots tour was postponed last month due to
Weiland's continuing throat problems. "My voice was shot," Weiland says.
"I've been on the road nonstop ever since I got in with Velvet
Revolver. We over-toured this last STP record. Sometimes it begins to
feel like you're punching a clock. A lot of times I told them that we
had to stop because my voice was giving out. Finally, an ear, nose and
throat specialist put a camera down my throat. One of my vocal chords
was strong - like overly strong - but the other one was very weak. He
was afraid that I was going to do irreparable harm."

Weiland finds the whole situation very frustrating. "This isn't about
any finger pointing, but there was a lack of communication," he says.
"Things slip by and they slip through the cracks, and that can't happen.
There would be no Christmas record and no STP records or concerts if my
voice was destroyed."

When the STP tour ends and Weiland finishes all promotion for the
Christmas record, he's looking forward to a long break. "In the last
eight years, I've barely ever had more than two months off," he says. "I
want to spend time with my kids and I want to have a personal life."

Click to listen to Scott Weiland's 'Winter Wonderland'

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