Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots): How We Wrote... 'Big Empty'

Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots): How We Wrote... 'Big Empty'

In 1994 Stone Temple Pilots released their first new music since the runaway success of their 1992 debut album Core, when the song "Big Empty" was included on The Crow soundtrack. (The song would also feature on the band's second LP, Purple, also released that year.)


Here, guitarist Dean DeLeo looks back on penning the STP classic...


“Parts of that song I wrote with some dear friends I was in a band with back in New Jersey when I was a kid. 


“When Stone Temple Pilots were on the road touring the Core record I revisited it and added a couple of different chords and changes, but the crux of that song I wrote when I was about 16.


“So in 1994 I presented 'Big Empty' to the band, a song I wrote in the '70s.



“How close was that version to the song we released? Not very close. 


“So the chorus in 'Big Empty' was the intro and re-intro of the song. I just took the chords from that and kind of used bits of the chorus of the existing song to be the chorus now and just rearranged it. 



"There was another song on that record [Purple] as well, ‘Army Ants’, which I wrote in that same situation. I was about 16, it was half time, real heavy, but then we did it in double time. 


“There were two things we went into the studio for [at the time]. There was one record called Encomium, which is a Led Zeppelin tribute record, and there was The Crow. 


“[Producer] Brendan O’Brien was in Los Angeles, and we went to The Record Plant for a weekend, and in two days we recorded [Led Zeppelin’s] ‘Dancing Days’ and ‘Big Empty’.


“The greatest part of that is that we got to do some shows with [Zeppelin singer] Robert Plant up at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Robert and I went to my bus and I played him our version of 'Dancing Days' off a cassette. 


“I’m gonna come clean about something. 


“We were chatting and I said, ‘I really like Sheryl [Crow]’s version of ‘D’yer Mak'er’, and Robert looks at me and goes, ‘D’yer Mak'er?! It’s [pronounced] Jamaica, mate!’ I was abruptly corrected by Mr Plant that I had been saying it wrong for 30 something years!


“[As for ‘Big Empty’], it was the single off The Crow soundtrack. The Crow film kind of launched that song.”


See all albums available on VINYL that Stone Temple Pilots is credited on here.[Link to Dean DeLeo profile on]


These Official Music Credits are sourced from See all of Dean DeLeo’s credits here.


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