Army of Anyone’s self-titled debut has been earning enthusiastic reviews since its release in November for its hearty, hook-filled collection of straight-ahead rock. The disc is bringing some overdue attention to guitarist Dean DeLeo and his brother, bassist Robert DeLeo, who formed Army of Anyone with former Filter frontman Richard Patrick.
The DeLeos were two-fourths of Stone Temple Pilots, the rock band that enjoyed a string of hit albums during the 1990s, before singer Scott Weiland moved on to front the band Velvet Revolver in 2003. Weiland was always the focal point of Stone Temple Pilots — both for his singing and for an ongoing drug habit that led to several arrests and trips to rehab. But Army of Anyone’s music, with its stirring guitar riffs, fills, and solos, sounds quite similar to the rockier music of Stone Temple Pilots, suggesting that the DeLeo brothers never got the credit they deserved.
Dean DeLeo is not going to complain about any lack of credit for his role in STP or look at the Army of Anyone as some sort of artistic vindication. “No, no, no, man, that kind of thinking has never ever crossed my mind,” he says. “I feel very fortunate for STP’s accomplishments and opportunities to make that music with Robert and with Scott and [drummer] Eric Kretz … it was just one of those instances where some guys got in a room and there was chemistry.”
DeLeo doesn’t deny that any musical similarities between STP and Army of Anyone are more than just coincidence.
“What if our previous band was called the Bug? You’d say oh, it’s the Bug sound,” he says. “That just happens to be the name of our band, because it’s Robert and myself. Stone Temple Pilots just happened to be a name the DeLeo brothers were in. I think it’s more of a Robert and me thing going on. Whether it was STP or this, we just simply do what we do, man.”
Army of Anyone, which also includes drummer Ray Luzier (David Lee Roth’s band), is one of the rare “modern supergroups” that lives up to its billing.
The partnership between the DeLeo brothers and Patrick forged after the three musicians got together for what was supposed to be a writing session in Sept. 2005 for a proposed fourth Filter album. Almost immediately, the trio began writing what would become the song “A Better Place.” By the end of the day, Patrick had pretty much decided to pull the plug on the Filter record and Army of Anyone was essentially up and running.
Armed with the acclaimed new album, Patrick, the DeLeo brothers, and Luzier are busy building their chemistry as a live act. So far, DeLeo likes what he hears.
“The live shows have been really fun to play,” he says. “It’s been awhile for Robert, Rich, and I … it was very, very simple for all of us to get back on stage and play, and the material translated quite nicely to a live situation.”
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