Scott Weiland is a rock star renewed.
In March, Weiland and his band The Wildabouts released “Blaster.” The well-received album’s riff- and melody-imbued songs earn a place alongside Weiland’s work with the supergroup Velvet Revolver and mega-selling Stone Temple Pilots.
Weiland and The Wildabouts — appearing Thursday, May 21, at Southport Hall — discussed what kind of album they wanted to create before they entered the recording studio.
“I was very clear on the types of sounds I wanted to get,” Weiland said last week. “And the guys in my band were all on the same page. It was a pretty easy record to make. It just flowed with a really good vibe all the way through.”
“Blaster” song “White Lightning” sends forth leering, heavy guitar riffs. A Rolling Stones groove propels “Way She Moves.” There’s also a melodic, guitar-layered love song, “Blue Eyes,” and monster-evoking guitar and Jon Bonham-inspired drums in “Modzilla.”
Stop-and-start recording sessions made “Blaster” more of a challenge to make than it might have been. Weiland and The Wildabouts would write and record a handful of songs and then leave for a tour. They repeated the process until the album’s completion.
The staggered recording sessions, however, gave the band a chance to play the new songs in public. That helped the music evolve.
“Playing the songs live was a big benefit,” Weiland said. “And it inspired us to write other songs.”
Prior to “Blaster,” Weiland, a proven artist and songwriter who has sold more than 44 million records with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, thought he needed to learn something new about writing.
“Most of my earlier songs are about me and my experiences,” he said. “And there are songs on ‘Blaster’ about myself and my experiences. Most of them have to do with my wife and my relationship and my love affair with her.
“But I didn’t want this album to be all about me. I wanted to tell stories. As far as storytelling, there’s no one better to listen to than Bob Dylan. I listened to the way he tells stories. I worked on that and found my own voice. It was a challenge, artistically, something I hadn’t done before.”
Weiland, a singer known for making music at the harder, louder edges of rock and pop, also studied the acoustic guitar-composed songs of one of Dylan’s principal influences, Woody Guthrie.
The day before the March 31 release of “Blaster,” an album Weiland and The Wildabouts are justifiably proud of, the band’s guitarist, Jeremy Brown, died unexpectedly. The cause of death has yet to be announced.
Brown’s playing and writing are key elements in “Blaster.”
“Jeremy was such a unique player and writer,” Weiland said. “It was just a horrible tragedy.”
But there was no question that Weiland and the surviving Wildabouts would continue.
“That’s what Jeremy would want us to do,” Weiland said.
Following auditions by many guitarists, Nick Maybury, an Australian who’s worked with Perry Farrell, Debbie Harry and Michelle Branch, got the nod.
The tour rehearsals with Maybury that followed were emotional.
“There were tears,” Weiland said. “Listening to Jeremy play while we were listening to the album as a reference brought back a lot of memories.”
Maybury learned the songs and Brown’s guitar parts perfectly.
“He has since put his own spin things, which, of course, every musician has a right to do,” Weiland said.
Performing the “Blaster” songs that Brown helped create during the past few months has helped the singer and the band through their grieving.
“It has been cathartic, a healing process,” Weiland said.