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Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Interstate Love Song"

Stone Temple Pilots - "Interstate Love Song" (1994)

This song spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks list. Not record breaking, but pretty impressive.

Great traveling song. The song is credited to Robert DeLeo and Scott Weiland, DeLeo was the band's basist and wrote the music, while Weiland wrote the lyrics. Many on the songs on the album were written by bassistt DeLeo, or his brother, guitarist Dean DeLeo, or by both of them. Weiland wrote all of the lyrics on Purple, an album that gave STP a huge following and three big singles. The bass does take a prominent roll in the song, both in the quiet more introspective sections, and in the louder parts where the brothers double each other in an almost Punk way. Robert DeLeo has said that when he was writing the song he based it on a bossa nova theme, particularly the works of Carlo Jobim. You can hear the beat in the drums right at the beginning. After that it's hard to really call it bossa nova, but it is a fun song for a bass player for sure.

The chorus includes the phrase '/leaving on a Southern train/" (Weiland), so many people on the internet have including the song in the southern rock genre, but I'm not really hearing it. Southern rock is rock influenced by country, bluegrass, or some other roots music. This is based in a Brazilian dance style and aside from that lyric and the electric guitar opening sounding sort of like a slide guitar, I'm just not buying it as Southern rock. Weiland is the vocalist on the track, so the harmony in the chorus is him multitracked with himself. I actually like the opening section, before the guitar gets fuzzy and the lyrics kick in. Nothing against Weiland, I think the whole song works, but after the intro it is really just a grunge song with a slightly different drum and a prominent bass player. The intro however is a perfect little 'what-could-have-been' if the pressures of a record label to make grunge music hadn't been so strong on this sophomore effort.

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