High Rise is the first studio EP by American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on October 8, 2013 through Play Pen, LLC. It is the first release by the band without former lead vocalist Scott Weiland, who was fired from the band in February 2013. It instead features guest musician Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on lead vocals, and the band is credited on the EP as Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. However, this would prove to be the sole release to feature Bennington before his departure from the band in 2015.
On February 27, 2013, Stone Temple Pilots fired their lead vocalist Scott Weiland. Weiland responded to the firing with his own statement, "I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press. Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out." He later made several claims that he was still legally a member of the band and that the band had no right to perform under the Stone Temple Pilots moniker with another singer. They replaced Weiland with Bennington on lead vocals.
The firing resulted in legal action. The three remaining members (guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz) sued Weiland to prevent him from calling himself a former member of STP. Weiland counter-sued the other three members for wrongfully attempting to expel him, for misleading the public by referring to their performances with Bennington as STP, and to dissolve the band STP. Both lawsuits were later settled out of court, allowing the Bennington-fronted band to continue using the STP name.
On May 18, 2013, Stone Temple Pilots performed their debut concert with Bennington, appearing as special guests at the 21st Annual KROQ Weenie Roast, benefiting Heal the Bay. They performed their first single with Bennington, "Out of Time." The next day, the band released a free digital download of the song via their official website. The updated website also featured new promotional pictures of the band including Bennington. Coincidentally, Bennington had exclaimed years before in interviews that singing lead vocals for Stone Temple Pilots was his lifelong dream. Weiland's former Velvet Revolver bandmate Slash has praised the band's decision to replace Weiland with Bennington.
Bennington said in May 2013 of new material that the band would not likely record a full-length studio album in the near future, explaining: "We don't have a label. Everything we're doing is on our own, so we're just taking it one track at a time. We would love to sit down and hammer out a record, but the reality is we're gonna make music, we're gonna make a lot of it, and we're gonna be in a position to release a single at a time, go out and really give people music the way they want to get it." This explained the band's decision to release an EP as opposed to a full album.
On October 3, 2013, Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington's complete stream of the EP can be seen and heard on Pandora Radio for Pandora Premieres, including the singles "Out of Time" and "Black Heart" that are featured on the EP officially.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave High Rise a favorable review, writing that "these songs are expertly sculpted, playing upon the kind of riffs and melodies that made the group alt-rock titans in the '90s, and still sounding somewhat irresistible even when they're po-faced." In its review, Sputnikmusic questioned the band's decision to not change its name and said that with Bennington on vocals, "it's clear by the opening track...that this is a completely different band." However, the site gave the album a 3.0 "good" rating and stated that tracks "Same on the Inside" and "Tomorrow" "contain both the hooks and the riffs that made [STP] such a great band to begin with." AlternativeNation.net also praised the album, writing that "High Rise is pop rock bliss and should please STP fans who have enjoyed the band’s ventures into poppier territory."
Montreal Gazette gave High Rise a mixed review, awarding it 2.5 out of 5 stars, stating that "High Rise gives us the springy, bass-driven songs we've come to expect from STP. But again, the results are inconsistent...basically, High Rise is almost the STP we remember."
High Rise debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200, selling 13,520 copies in its first week.
"Out of Time" was used as the official theme song to WWE's Hell in a Cell.
All songs written and composed by Chester Bennington, Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz.Band
Chester Bennington – lead vocals
Dean DeLeo – guitar
Robert DeLeo – bass, backing vocals
Eric Kretz – drums
Production by Stone Temple Pilots
Recorded at Homefry Studios
Recorded & Engineered by Russ Fowler
Assistant Engineer: Jared Hirshland
Studio Guitar Tech: Bruce Nelson
Studio Drum Tech: Jarrett Borba
Mixed by Ben Grosse at The Mix Room in Burbank, California
Mix Assistant: Paul Pavao
Mastered by Tom Baker at Baker Mastering in Calabasas, California
Original “Check It” Image Art Work by Chester Bennington
Band Photo by Chapman Baehler
Layout Design by Great Daane Graphics
Published by ChesterChaz Publishing (BMI)/Brain Tan Music (ASCAP)/I, Myself And Me (ASCAP)/Fast Fog Music (ASCAP)
Chester Bennington appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records