I recently found this pretty cool Robert DeLeo interview at www.basswriter.com/journalism/bpstories/Web-DeLeo.doc Mentions amongst other things his influences and equipment (the latter somthing I've especially been after for a while). Thought someone else here may appreciate it too, I'll paste it here to save having to download and open the doc file. Robert DeLeo of the Stone Temple Pilots Soul At The Core, November 2001 By E.E. Bradman Everything Im doing is a Jamerson rehashit really is. There would be no Stone Temple Pilots without Robert DeLeo. From the beginning, his distinctive songwriting and soulful, multi-instrumental contributions helped make the band stars. When critics called them imitators who had hopped on the grunge bandwagon, DeLeo predicted theyd be around long after the Seattle scene died. Hey, its our first album, he told a reporter. Judge us on our fourth or fifth. Well still be here. Nine years later, DeLeo has much to be proud of. STP has survived both changing trends and singer Scott Weilands drug addiction to sell more than ten million records, all of them boosted by DeLeos low-end aesthetic. Shangri-La Dee Da, the bands fifth release, showcases Roberts skills as a player and writer, and the albums warm bass tone might be the best-recorded of his career. From his full-bodied presence on Hello, Its Late and Rocco-style 16ths of Regeneration to the Moog vibe of Too Cool Queenie and aggressive attack of Long Way Home, DeLeo continues to indulge his love for Motown and Philly soul in a modern rock context, often with delectable success. Born on February 2, 1966 in Montclair, New Jersey, DeLeo was raised in Point Pleasant Beach, on the shore near Asbury Park. Right from the beginning, his was a 70s AM-radio world. I was hearing a lot of different kinds of music, probably because I was the youngest one in the family. Cat Stevens would be playing in one sisters room, Id hear Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the other sisters room, and my older brother, Dean, would be playing Led Zeppelin. I heard Larry Graham and the stuff Bootsy was doing with James Brown, and it just blew me away. Songs like the Spinners Its a Shame, Al Green, and players like John Paul Jones, who brought a James Jamerson style to rockthats what got me interested in bass. DeLeo started on guitar, and by the time he was in high school, he had grown enamored with progressive rock. I listened to John Entwistle, and I got into Chris Squire, whose tone I loved. By the early 70s he was already switching to roundwounds and going through guitar amps. He wanted to be heard! I learned Steve Howes Mood for a Day [from Yess Fragile] in tenth grade. But there werent many cats my age I could play with, because they didnt really know how to play. When his brothers cover band needed a bass player, 16-year-old Robert picked up a Fender Precision, a Sunn head, and a 1x18 cabinet. For our first gig I had to learn 30 songs in two weeks: The Real Me by the Who, Red Barchetta by Rush, and anything from Yes to U2 to Duran Duran and the Beatles. No lessons, no theoryit was all by ear. It was natural. And being six foot two, I just felt more comfortable with the bass. Toward the end of high school, Roberts parents divorce prompted him to withdraw into music; eventually, he joined his sister out West and tried playing full-time. He wound up selling amps for Mesa/Boogie and working at Sunset Custom, which would later become Schecter Guitar Research. [Guitarist] Les Paul once said an instrument can be your therapist and your girlfriend, and my P-Bass was the thing that got me through high school. When it was over, I got away from Jersey, saved my money, and bought a StingRay. I knew I wanted to do music, but I was frustrated. Robert met Weiland at a Black Flag concert in 1986; the two found drummer Eric Kretz in a music ad, and Deanwho had followed his brother to Southern Californiajoined shortly afterward. Stone Temple Pilots was playing around San Diego by 87. After a few funk-rock detours (it was the 80syou had to play either funk-rock or be in a hair band), they were signed to Atlantic in 1992. The grunge and hooks of Core, released that September, made them celebrities within a year. Two years later, Purple debuted at No. 1 and went multi-platinum with hits like Roberts Interstate Love Song. By 1995, though, Weilands heroin habit was beginning to grab more headlines than the bands music. They barely made it through next years Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, a critical and commercial success that showed the band exploring pop and psychedelic directions. By 98 Weiland had a solo album, 12-Bar Blues, and the rest of the bandas Talk Showreleased a self-titled CD with another lead singer. STP reunited for 1999s No. 4, mixing nu-metal attitude with characteristic Pilots pop style. Energized by Shangri-La, Weilands sobriety, and new management, Robert and the band finished a brief European jaunt in September and are currently headlining the Family Values Tour. DeLeo, who has already begun songwriting collaborations with Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Sheryl Crow, has other plans beyond the touring life. Theres going to be a time when playing songs like Down might seem quite silly. I dont know about the near future, but I see myself getting more into producing and songwriting. Of course, I really enjoy playing bass, and itll always be a fun challenge to incorporate my bass playing into the songs Ive written. Your bass parts on songs like Sour Girl [No. 4] are clearly inspired by your R&B listening habits. Thank you! Dean actually came up with the feel for that bass line. I dig the way Al Green did that feel; the Spinners did it, too, on songs like Could It Be Im Falling in Love. I modeled Wicked Garden, also from No. 4, after Rocco Prestiait sounds like a simplified version of a Tower Of Power line. I used a back-pickup, staccato sound for Trippin, too. How could you listen to What Is Hip and not go, Holy ****! Same for Verdine Whitecheck out Getaway and Shining Star. Everything Im doing is a Jamerson rehashit really is. There are also many John Paul Jones-isms in your playing. The way he played those melodic, Motown- and Philly-style lines in a rock band made Zeppelin sound so sophisticated. I could just play the root notes, but I love the challenge of playing those soul lines in a rock format. Led Zeppelins secret, key ingredient was the funk. John Bonham had a big James Brown influence, and John Paul Jones took a lot from Jamerson. The most overlooked Zeppelin album is probably PresenceBonhams playing is so funky, and John Paul Jones is just wicked on the 8- and 12-strings. Coming out of your funk-rock phase, did you purposely avoid slapping? I became a little more interested in getting the song across, and I found that with STP, slapping didnt do anything for songwriting. It was my way of humbling myselftaking away the flash and focusing on the songs. Do you write on bass? I consider myself a songwriter and a bass player, but nine times out of ten, I sit down and work it out with a guitar or a piano. I always come up with a chordal structure and then figure out how I want that to move. Its fun to add bass later because I have the freedom to move around whats already there; I listen to what the drummers doing and work around that. I heard that Paul McCartney recorded the bass after all the other instruments were tracked, and thats why the bass sounds so good on all those records. It was the last thing down. How did you approach the first couple albums? I didnt put a lot of thought into my bass playing on Core. I cant say I was 100% there on that record. I was very angry at that point in my life, and the guitar was expressing my anger a little easier than the bass was. When it came time to put my bass tracks down, I felt like I just put everything I had into arranging each song. But those songsSin, Plush, Creepwere the proud moments of my early songwriting. For Purple, I was still concentrating on songs. I knew what I wanted from my bass playing, but I didnt quite know how to get it. I consider myself a player, too, and sometimes I could have expressed that a little differently. But Im not complaining. Youve put a lot of energy into songwriting and arranging. It started simply enoughI just wanted to know where chords would lead. It was all experimentation and accident and learning by ear. One of the first things I played on bass was a major 7 chordit was nice and I liked the way it worked. I listened to Gershwin, and the way Cole Porter put chords together. And getting a home studio in the 80s really allowed me to learn how to craft songs. I learned that arrangements can make or break a song. How do you switch hats from bassist to arranger to songwriter? Theres a totally different perspective when Im writing and playing guitar. When Im playing bass, its not about the notesits all about the feel. When I start thinking about the notes, thats when I get myself caught. The feel dictates the notes. But your note selection gives you away as an arrangeryou seem conscious of where everything goes. It really comes down to being a music fan. I enjoy listening to jazz chord structures and the way chords go together, for example, and I borrow from that and try to put it into a rock format. Thats been one of the secret formulas of my writing: trying to fit jazz-influenced chords into a song with a rock beat. What prompted the trips into pop and psychedelia on Tiny Music? I wanted to raise the bar a bit and show more of our influencesalbums like the Beach Boys Pet Sounds and the music of Burt Bacharach and Astrud Gilberto. Songs like And So I Know, which has a bossa nova feel, were new for us. Overall, Tiny Music was a bold album for us. The record company wanted us to write another Interstate Love Song or another Purple. Did you try a new direction for No. 4? We went back to our roots after Tiny Music. We learned a lot during the making of Talk Show, and Scott learned a lot making his recordmostly, we learned how much we meant to each other. With songs like Church on Tuesday, which is very McCartney, we were saying, This is STP, and this is what we do. We wanted to go out, perform the songs, and prove that were one of the greatest live bands. Were detuned songs like Down influenced by alterna-metal? Not really. Weve been detuning for yearson Core we did it for Piece of Pie. The real place I got that from was the Move, which was doing drop-D tunings on songs like Brontosaurus with Jeff Lynne in the 70s. Do you go for a darker, fatter tone to offset Deans bright guitar sound? Yes. I dig the keyboard-bass sound and feel Stevie Wonder and Bernie Worrell get with their left hands. They were big influences on songs like Too Cool Queenie and Hello, Its Late on the new album. Listen to the way 70s AM-radio songs were mixedtheres some serious low end on that R&B stuff! Theres good low end on STP records, too, and Im proud of that. With all the band history behind you, what did you want for Shangri-La Dee Da? We wanted to explore new musical and emotional territory, and we were definitely influenced by 60s and 70s popgreat songs that were written to be hits by people like [Philadelphia International songwriting team] Gamble & Huff. Do you feel your bass playing has improved as much as your songwriting since Core? I was actually a better player back then. As Ive matured, however, Ive realized technique doesnt make a good song. Being in a band is tough enough as it is, but trying the write the best songs possible and leave room to show off a little bitand do it in three and a half minutesman, thats a challenge. But I enjoy it. Landing Gear Since 1997, DeLeos main bass has been the Schecter Robert DeLeo Signature Model-T. He built the first prototypes himself while working at L.A.s Sunset Custom, which later became Schecter Guitar Research. When I moved out to California in 88, I bought a Music Man StingRay because of Louis Johnson. I loved the tone of that bassthe low end and the snap on the topbut I wasnt really into the midrange. I wasnt slapping anymore, and I wanted to create something that could be heard in a rock format. When I started working at Sunset Custom, I put together a J-style version of what I use now, with a thumbrest that marked the position of that one Music Man pickup. I used that on Core. Later, it seemed like the PJ setup was more the voicing I was hearing for the bands sound; this bass just made a lot more sense that way. It took awhile to get there. Schecter has a 5-string version of the Model T, but Robert doesnt play it. Im old-fashioned. I dont know if I could get around on a 5. In the studio, DeLeo has also used an unidentified upright, a 50s Danelectro Longhorn baritone guitar, 66 Fender Precision, 70s Fender MusicMaster, 76 Rickenbacker 4001, G&L L-2000, and an Orlando, which Robert describes as a Japanese bass from the 60s thats like a Gibson version of a Vox Beatle bass. Robert uses SIT strings, gauges .50-.105. His live rig consists of three 2x12 and three 4x10 Eden cabinets, an old Alembic F-1X preamp, and a QSC MX 1500 power amp. His favorite studio setupcopped from Chris Squire producer Eddie Offordsplits his signal between a 67 50-watt Marshall Plexi guitar head/69 Marshall keyboard 8x10 and a 59 Bassman with a custom 1x15. That bass tone stands the test of time. I crank it uptheres a lot of guitar to cut through, and the Marshall gives me midrange. Its that nasal, honking sound. Youre gonna hear guitars, no matter what. But if the music isnt happening, the first thing you say is, Wheres the bass? You dont ever ask about the guitars. I ride [producer] Brendan OBrien during the mixes: Put that bass up! Generally, hes on my side.Pilots Log: DeLeo on STPs CDs Core, 1992 I was green. I knew what sound I wanted to get; I just didnt know how to achieve it. That record was just a J-Bass version of the Model T, a G&L L-2000, and an Ampeg SVT 8x10. I used them because theyre reliable. I also used this 60s hollowbody called a Limgar on Creep. Purple, 1993 I recorded most of Purple with my Schecter J-Bass and the live rigthree 2x12 and three 4x10 Eden cabinets, an old Alembic F-1X preamp, and a QSC MX 1500 power amp. I might have used the 66 P-Bass. I liked the tone I got live, but it just didnt translate in the studio the way I wanted. Pretty Penny was my first attempt at upright, and for Big Empty, I played the Orlando. It records great; I used flatwounds. Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, 1996 For STPs most musically diverse album, Robert used a variety of basses, effects, and setupsthough his Marshall/Bassman setup saw the most action. Brother Dean DeLeo played a funky, octaved bass line on the opener, Press Play, using a Hagstrom 8-string with a pick. Robert picked up a 50s Danelectro Long Horn baritone guitar for Pops Love Suicide and a Fender MusicMaster (played through an MXR Phase 90 pedal) for And So I Know. Ever the Yes fan, Robert used a 76 Rickenbacker 4001 for Art School Girl. No. 4, 1999 If you sat in a room with the amps and heard the tone on Down, youd go, Man, that sounds like poopielike the blob rolling into town! But in the context of the song, it takes on this life of its own. I used a SansAmp Bass Driver DI to grind it up a little bit. On I Got You I used the 66 P-Bass with my Marshall and Bassman. I always wanted to have the tone I liked from those early Andy Williams and Englebert Humperdinck records: the sound of flatwound strings on a P-Bass with the tone all the way up. Robert also used his Orlando on Atlanta and the 66 P-Bass for Sour Girl. He cites the big, wide sound of Pruno as an example of his favorite Marshall/Bassman tone. Shangri-La Dee Da, 2001 Days of the Week is a poppy song, so I tried to get as much girth and hair on that track as possible. The bass is pretty fat. We actually recorded Hello, Its Late as a shuffle during the Purple sessions; we built it with a click track and me playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano. I tracked the bass on the Orlando with flatwounds that have been on since 93, and I used a bit of SansAmp distortion. For the beautiful solo on Lonely Again, DeLeo played up near his Model-Ts 12th fret and used the Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synth. I love that thing. I had a lot of Electro-Harmonix effects when I was a kid, but they all broke. I got one just before we started recording, and it played a good part on this album. I also used it on Transmissions from a Lonely Room.