Gutt rose to prominence at age 37 after competing on The X Factor and coming in second place.
The singer recently told Talk Is Jericho with Chris Jericho that years of disappointment and failure in his musical career left him jaded about the industry, and especially shows that aim to pluck artists out of obscurity and give them lucrative recording contracts.
"I had never been a big fan of those shows because people stand in line for a day and they get a shot, whereas I'm doing it for 25 years at that point," Gutt said. "But I'm like, 'What other way to go do it?' Just be like, 'Hey, I'm a singer. This is what we look like.'"
Gutt said he had taken a few years away from music, so he figured he'd give himself one last try and take the biggest swing possible for an unknown singer.
"The grand prize was a $5 million contract, so I was like, 'Well, of course I'm gonna do that,'" he laughed.
While he didn't win the grand prize, Gutt's time on the show garnered him a large fanbase and gave him the ability to record under his own name and tour.
Gutt said his X Factor mentor Kelly Rowland gave him a lot of advise that he took to heart as he stepped out on his own.
"As an artist, you start taking offense to some things eventually on the business side because it's an art form," he said. "I'm a sensitive guy, so I took it to heart. It's a process of being able to let all those things go. The process of moving on and moving forward with my life and not carrying baggage with me."
As the singer was trying to decide what to do next, one of Gutt's favorite bands, Stone Temple Pilots, was embarking on an exhaustive search for a new lead singer.
STP bassist Robert DeLeo told Jericho the band reviewed almost 20,000 submissions from all over the world when an old friend recommended Gutt to him during a Hollywood Vampires meet-and-greet.
Discouraged by how the search was going, DeLeo promised to check out Gutt. He liked what he heard and reached out to Gutt's management to have him audition.
"I wouldn't want to be in the position that Jeff's in or anybody like that," DeLeo said. "Because you have to be kind of two-sided with things. You've gotta respect the catalogue and a 30-year [legacy] of material and a band being together. But you know, I think what we really wanted to focus on too was moving forward and making a new record and new music. That's a lot to ask of anyone, to be able to do that."
A year later, Gutt was getting to know his new bandmates, Robert, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz, while writing and rehearsing with the band.
In November of 2017, Gutt was formally introduced as STP's new lead singer. Now, the band is preparing to release its first new studio album in eight years, titled Stone Temple Pilots.
"All those things led me down this path," Gutt said of his many let-downs before getting the STP job. "It was like my life was tailor-made for this moment."
Robert DeLeo continued, complimenting Gutt's grace and professionalism.
"Jeff just handled that the best out of everyone we met with," DeLeo added. "He knew where this was going...You've got to be on the same page as someone. We just finished up a record that we're all really proud of."
STP is one tour now. Get all the dates here.
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