If the members of Stone Temple Pilots had their way, their forthcoming Atlantic album "Shangri-la Dee Da" would have been a two-CD set. Frontman Scott Weiland tells Billboard.com that longtime produce

If the members of Stone Temple Pilots had their way, their forthcoming Atlantic album "Shangri-la Dee Da" would have been a two-CD set. Frontman Scott Weiland tells Billboard.com that longtime producer Brendan O'Brien was instrumental in curbing the band's initial hopes for a double album. "Shangri-la Dee Da" is due June 19 in North America and Aug. 6 internationally.

"The main reason that we set [a double album] as the goal was, what better way to free ourselves from the habits we got into of making records in the past?" Weiland says. "We're not going to have any preconceived ideas of what sort of musical form we need to stick to because everything is OK. We can approach everything equally -- not just the rock stuff, not just because the producer or the label or management think it's a hit."

Weiland says the band was able to record approximately 30 songs, some of which will probably be released later as B-sides. "Looking at it today," he says, "we didn't end up with a double album, but what we did end up with was the best album of our careers so far."

The new set constitutes STP's first finished studio work since Weiland was released from jail on drug charges in December 1999. Alongside what Weiland calls "classic STP rockers," like first single "Days of the Week" and "Transmissions From a Lonely Room," are significant departures such as the bossa-nova tinged "About a Fool" and "Bipolar Bear."

"[Bassist Robert Deleo's] musical palette is the most mature in the band," Weiland says. "We first became exposed to his affinity for Brazilian jazz was when we were touring [for the] 'Purple' [album] -- and we couldn't get away from that stuff."

"It's kind of like we're a split personality," he continues. "There are times when I go, 'I wanna really experiment. I wanna make an art record.' Then three days later it's like, 'no man, I wanna bleed onstage! I wanna hear bones snapping.'"

As reported last week, STP begins a brief European tour Aug. 6 in Oporto, Portugal. The band has been tipped to headline this year's Family Values tour but has yet to confirm its participation.

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