"When I first wrote the song, it actually started out as a bossa nova piece," reveals Stone Temple Pilots bassist and primary songwriter Robert DeLeo of "Interstate Love Song," the country-tinged third single from the San Diego rockers' sophomore classic Purple (the super deluxe edition of which will be available Oct. 18 on Rhino Records). "I had been getting introduced to a lot of bossa nova and samba at the time like Joao Gilberto and Jorge Ben, and I wrote it on a cheap $25 guitar that was sitting in the back of the truck we used to ride around in with the gear on our first tour. Maybe one day we will record it the way I originally intended it to be, but that's how it started. The twang, however, added a nice Jerry Reed/Glen Campbell hook to it."
When asked about the country elements of the song, which peaked at the top spot on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart and No. 2 on the Alternative Songs chart, the New Jersey-born DeLeo quickly references the influence of Bakersfield as a key element to the song's dusty shuffle.
"I love Buck Owens, man," he tells Billboard. "I have all the old episodes of Hee-Haw TiVo'ed. I loved watching Buck Owens and Roy Clark play on that show, and it was a huge influence on me. Growing up in the '70s, there was so much great talent we were exposed to, and it played a big part of my later songwriting."