Dean DeLeo teams up with Tom Bukovac for new, virtually assembled collaborative album, Trip The Witch

Dean DeLeo and Tom Bukovac
(Image credit: Emily Paine / Courtesy of Tom Bukovac)

Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo has announced his newest album Trip The Witch – a 10-track, mostly instrumental collaborative effort that the electric guitar icon wrote and recorded with renowned session six-stringer, Tom Bukovac.

Ushering in the pair’s latest musical escapade is a Guitar World-exclusive premiere of the album’s first single Saturn We Miss You, which features the vocals of Yes lead singer Jon Anderson.

In a demonstration of the ever-evolving and increasingly virtual nature of the music industry, the album itself was recorded entirely online, and was assembled by the pair recording and emailing their parts to the other. In fact, DeLeo and Bukovac have never even met in person.

No hint of that can be found from the track, however, which delivers an array of gorgeously tuned-in, subtly gain-y guitars and layers of ping-ponging clean melodies.

The pair were joined in the instrumental department by a slew of musicians, including drummers Ian Fitchuk, Jason Sutter, Chris McHugh and Shannon Forrest, as well as bass guitar player Steve Mackey, violinist Sean Claire, cellist Dave Eggar and Wurlitzer whiz Matt Rollings.

On how the project came about, DeLeo told Guitar World, “A dear friend, Ryan Williams, who actually mixed the record turned me onto one of Tom’s Homeskoolin episodes

"Ryan then introduced Tom and I via email and I immediately called Tom. We chatted for quite some time and it felt as if we had known one another for decades. I was utterly taken back by Tom’s guitar playing. 

“I feel each of us brings something unique to the project as guitar players,” added Bukovac. “Dean brings the gritty, nasty rock ‘n’ roll, the killer slide playing, I bring the weirdo stuff and most of the acoustic stuff.”

As for how Jon Anderson was brought into the fold for Saturn We Miss You, DeLeo recalled, “We simply reached out to Jon, sending him the track along with the title. Jon sent the completed track back days later.

“Tom and I were teared up with the sentiment in what he is saying with his one and only beautiful voice. Jon captured the true sentiment of the track.”

Trip The Witch album cover

(Image credit: Press)

Of course, whether the pair will perform their new material live in the foreseeable future is unclear, due to the virtual nature in which the collection was originally assembled.

Nevertheless, the pair have refused to rule anything out, with DeLeo offering up hope that they may take Trip The Witch on the road sometime down the line.

Bukovac – who was treated to a signature Duesenberg earlier this year – said things were “up in the air”, but added, “I personally hope we do it.”

“Playing some of these songs live would be nice,” concurred DeLeo. “I can see us putting it together.”

The tracklist for Trip The Witch is as follows: 

  1. Saturn We Miss You
  2. Dressed To Kill Myself
  3. Wall Of Sound
  4. Fell From the Floor
  5. Planet TD1
  6. Surfside Lounge
  7. We Lived Here
  8. Space Wagon
  9. The Bird Returns
  10. Black Light/Reclaim My Time
  • Saturn We Miss You will be available to stream and download tomorrow (September 3). Trip The Witch will be released on September 10.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.