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Chester Bennington, left, and Dean DeLeo of the band Stone Temple Pilots perform in concert during the MMRBQ Music Festival 2015 at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Camden, N.J. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

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Riverbend Festival photos: June 6, 2015

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Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park performs in concert with Stone Temple Pilots during the MMRBQ Music Festival 2015 at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Camden, N.J. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

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Consider this: Stone Temple Pilots was voted as "Best New Band" and "Worst New Band" of 1994 in the same Rolling Stone magazine poll.

They launched their career as a grunge band opening for punk and metal icons including Black Flag, Rage Against the Machine and Megadeth. But while Nirvana and Pearl Jam are hailed as grunge trailblazers, critics snipe that STP are derivative.

Yet since their 1992 debut LP, "Core," STP has produced a steady flow of songs that time and taste have elevated to rock standards — "Interstate Love Song," "Plush," "Vasoline," "Sour Girl," "The Big Empty" — embraced by baby boomers and Gens Y and X. "Core" has sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S. alone, and the next three sold 6 million ("Purple," 1994), 2 million ("Tiny MusicSongs from the Vatican Gift Shop," 1996) and 1 million ("No. 4," 1999).

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Tonight

Coke Stage

6:30-8 p.m.: Here Come the Mummies

9:30-11 p.m.: Stone Temple Pilots

Bud Light Stage

6-7:30 p.m.: Brightside

8-9:30 p.m.: Chubb Rock

Unum Stage

6:30-7:45 p.m.: Natural Habitz

8-11 p.m.: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

TVCFU Stage

6:15-7:30 p.m.: Scarlet Love Conspiracy

7:45-9 p.m.: Dead Deads

9:15-10:30 p.m.: 8TRK

Chevy Stage

6:15-7:45 p.m.: Nick Lutsko, Etc.

8-9:45 p.m.: Rock Skool Chattanooga

But these days, five years after their last release, 2010's "Stone Temple Pilots," whether they can lure a following among millennials is a question that intrigues WSKZ KZ 106 "Radio Warrior" Bryan Stone.

"I've heard all the criticism of them for being derivative, but I like them and they've got a solid fan base among people my age and older," says Stone, who's 35. "Their first four albums have held up over time and are a great introduction for anyone who's new to Stone Temple Pilots.

"But to get new fans, they need to produce new music and they haven't done that lately."

Over the years, STP morphed its way through grunge, hard rock, psychedelic, glam, pop and blues, winning a 1994 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the single "Plush." "Tiny MusicSongs from the Vatican Gift Shop," with its glam rock influences, landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone. Their fourth, aptly named "No. 4," but 2001's "Shangri-La Dee Da" and 2010's "Stone Temple Pilots," didn't do as well.

Much has been written about the up-and-down battles between the DeLeo brothers — guitarist Dean and bassist Robert — drumer Eric Kretz and vocalist/lyricist Scott Weiland, who had well-documented problems with drugs and alcohol. Struggles were pretty much constant between them during Weiland's tenure with the band, which originally ran from 1986 until 2002, when Weiland left and joined Velvet Revolver with guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum. That lasted until 2008, when Weiland returned to STP and stayed there until February 2013, when the band announced that he'd been let go. He was replaced by Chester Bennington, former vocalist for Linkin Park.

"This transition is causing them trouble with their core fan base judging by what I see posted by bloggers and in social media," Stone says. "But this could be a period when they're finding their new voice. And if the result is new interesting music, that could attract new fans."

But some fans aren't that enthused.

"They stopped being STP when they got Chester. Change the name," says Cody Rockwood, who lives in Cleveland, Tenn.

"It's like Nirvana getting another singer and touring under the name Nirvana. It's just not right," says David Richardson.

"There is no STP without Weiland.period," says Joshua Wood of Chatsworth, Ga. "I listened to STP all through high school and college. The band playing is not STP. They need a name change."

Shaun Dobbs, however, defends the band.

"All the negativity about STP can just stop," he insists. "Chester Bennington gives them a whole new dynamic that they needed. And y'all can still support Scott if y'all like him that much, he is on tour, too, but I can guarantee Chester sounds way better than him these days.

"Can't wait to see the new STP; I'll be right up front jamming!"

Bill Craig of East Ridge just shrugs about the current STP lineup.

"No offense, but when Riverbend gets a well-known oldie act, i.e. Foreigner, then there's usually only one or two original members," he says.

KZ106's Stone believes Linkin Park's sound and musical trajectory was similar to STP's, which helped Bennington make a seamless transition.

"Bennington also played onstage with the Stone Temple Pilots before he became a member of the band," Stone adds.

Contact Lynda Edwards at 423-757-6391 or ledwards@timesfreepress.com.

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