Creed is an American post-grunge band from Tallahassee, Florida that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The band disbanded in 2004 after three multi-platinum albums, selling an estimated 35 million records worldwide, including 26 million records in the United States alone. Though the three instrumental members of the band, and later Scott Stapp, had insisted that Creed was in their past, rumors began circulating in late 2008 that Creed was planning a reunion, though these were originally dismissed until April 27, 2009. On this date, after months of speculation, Creed announced that they had reformed via their official website, which confirmed that plans to record a new album titled Full Circle were underway and was updated with dates for a 2009 reunion tour. The band is currently on tour in support of the new album, which will be released on October 27.
Early years (1995-1996)
Creed formed after Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, friends at Florida State University and high school classmates at Orlando's Lake Highland Preparatory School, decided to form a band, recruiting Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips to complete the quartet in late 1994. The band was originally called Naked Toddler. That was later changed to Maddox Creed, and again to simply Creed by Marshall's suggestion. The four members had already written and collaborated three of the songs that would go on to become tracks on their chart-topping debut album My Own Prison. The songs were "One", "Sister" and "What's This Life For".
My Own Prison (1996-1997)
Creed's debut album, My Own Prison, was independently released in 1997 and only cost them $6,000 to produce, and distributed to Florida radio stations. This drew the attention of several labels that agreed to see the band, only to pass. Rejected, Creed was playing a small gig when Diana Meltzer from Wind-Up Records heard the group. She had heard their independent album, and after hearing them live, signed the band to her label. After a remix to make it more radio friendly, My Own Prison was re-released by Wind-up Records across the country. The album was a surprise success, reaching the Top 40 on the Billboard Top 200, and spinning off several singles ("My Own Prison", "Torn", "What's This Life For", and "One") that topped the rock radio charts. The band's hit song "My Own Prison" was also featured as a live performance on the charity album Live in the X Lounge. The band covered Alice Cooper's song "I'm Eighteen" for The Faculty soundtrack a in 1998.
Human Clay and Marshall's departure (1999-2000)
Their second album, Human Clay, was released in 1999 and debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at number one, based on the strength of its first single, "Higher", which spent several weeks on the top of the rock radio charts. It wasn't until early 2000 that the single crossed over onto pop radio going to the Top Ten on the Billboard Pop Chart, and Creed became a household name. The follow-up single, "With Arms Wide Open," also hit number one that fall.
Meanwhile, Brian Marshall quit the band, and Brett Hestla (Virgos Merlot, Dark New Day) took over on the Human Clay tour, and subsequent tours. Around that time, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit bad-mouthed Stapp at New York's Krock 92.3 "Dysfunctional Family Picnic Concert" where they were both performing. In response to this, Scott Stapp invited Fred Durst to an open boxing match.
In the fall of 2001, "My Sacrifice", the first single off Creed's last album Weathered, was used in a series of promotional tribute videos made by World Wrestling Entertainment. They also had "Young Grow Old," a B-side to the 1999 release Human Clay, featured as the official theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment WWE's Backlash pay-per-view event in April 2002. In early 2002, "Bullets" was released as a single, along with a costly, special effects-laden video. The song and video were possibly Creed's least successful since achieving mainstream success. However, Creed rebounded quickly, with one of the summer's biggest hits, "One Last Breath".
Stapp was involved in a car accident in April 2002 and it had seemed that the tour they had planned was not going to happen. However, Stapp recovered in time to appear in the last few shows. "Don't Stop Dancing" was a minor hit for Creed in late 2002/early 2003.
Break-up and subsequent activities (2004-2008)
On June 4, 2004, Creed officially announced their break-up. Stapp began recording his debut solo album, The Great Divide with Roadrunner Records recording artist Goneblind. The other band members (including former bassist Brian Marshall) formed a new band, Alter Bridge, with Myles Kennedy. Touring bassist Brett Hestla has since joined the band Dark New Day. On November 22, 2004 Creed released a greatest hits album. Stapp's second solo album is in progress, as is Alter Bridge's third album, but the recording of both albums will each be on a short hiatus until after the upcoming Creed reunion tour.
In 2008, Mark Tremonti, along with Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, appeared as guests on two separate tracks on Sevendust's album Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow. The two also appeared on Fozzy's album All That Remains, and Tremonti later released a guitar instructional DVD titled Mark Tremonti: The Sound & The Story in late 2008.
As the years went by, before the reunion, the three band members involved in Alter Bridge stated that Creed was in their past, and would not reunite in the future. Scott Stapp believed that Creed could reform someday, but in his claims, he too felt that Creed was in the past.
Reunion and Full Circle (2009-present)
On November 3, 2008, Blabbermouth.net reported that a Creed reunion could materialize in 2009. According to Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy was rumored to replace Robert Plant for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour in 2009. Blabbermouth states that "if Kennedy should take the job with the Zeppelin offshoot, the sources have indicated that there are already "significant dollars" on the table for a Creed reunion." On December 2, Rolling Stone reported that an announcement of a Creed reunion was "imminent". However, Kennedy himself denied the rumor that he would be fronting "Led Zeppelin or any offshoot of Led Zeppelin," but also said that he did indeed jam with the instrumental members of the band. It was later stated by Jimmy Page's manager that there will be no Led Zeppelin reunion and that Myles Kennedy will remain in Alter Bridge to record the band's third album. Because of this, a Creed reunion appeared unlikely.
However, on March 17, 2009 a teaser trailer for a possible tour was leaked, pulled, and then on April 2 re-published on the re-launched Creed website, Creed.com, which states "coming summer 2009".
On April 27, Creed's website officially announced the band's reunion tour and plans for a new album. According to Tremonti, "We're all very excited to reconnect with our fans and each other after six long years." He later added that being in Creed again was "the last thing [he] expected." Phillips also stated: "Our career as Creed came to a very abrupt and unforeseen ending. After reflecting on some of the greatest personal and professional moments of our lives, we've come to realize that we are still very capable of continuing that career and our friendship on a grander scale than ever before."
Bassist Brian Marshall also confirmed he would rejoin his former band, following his departure prior to the recording of Creed's third album Weathered. Marshall says of the reunion: "This is a development we are all happy about. It has been a long time since the four of us have taken the stage together, and without hesitation or reservation this is something all of us are in to. The anticipation to get back out there is electrifying." Singer Scott Stapp concluded on the band's official press release that "it's amazing how life can change and bring you full circle. Time gave us all a chance to reflect, grow and gain a deeper appreciation of our friendships, artistic chemistry, passion for music, and sincere love for our fans! It's rare in life to get a second chance to make a first impression and we embrace the opportunity. We all believe the best is yet to come."
In an interview for People.com, Stapp elaborated on the reunion, saying, "We never felt like we weren't together. We're not looking at this as a reunion. It's more of a rebirth." According the article, it was Stapp who pushed for the reunion to take place who spoke to the other 3 members, saying that he told his former band members, "I love you and if I've ever caused you any pain in your life, forgive me," and then went on to say that "they said the same things right back." Stapp also confirmed the band were "jamming" and "not trying to stay in a certain place or conform to where we left off. The music is fresh, edgy, raw, passionate, honest, and it rocks." Stapp discussed how he and guitarist Tremonti reconnected, thanks to the Champs Sports Bowl, according to Rolling Stone. According to Stapp, "[they] exchanged family pictures and within 20 minutes, [they] were jamming on acoustic guitars and talking about new songs." All four original members then sat down in a meeting, their first since 2000. "At that meeting, we were collectively saying, 'Hey, man, I’m sorry if I hurt you or my choices did anything to cause you any pain. I have nothing but love and forgiveness for you and I hope you can forgive me.' It’s all part of the process of reflection and not looking back at the six months out of 10 years that were trying,” says Stapp.
They recorded the album, to be titled Full Circle in Nashville during June and July 2009. Stapp elaborated on the title, which is also the name of a track to appear on the upcoming album: "It really defines and articulates, melody-wise and lyrically, what’s happened with us. We’ve come full circle and it’s a great place to be. The goal is to release the first single before the tour and have the album come out during the tour or right after." Stapp has confirmed that the reformation of Creed will put work on his second solo album on indefinite hiatus.
Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips, Brian Marshall, and Alter Bridge's publicist, Mark Tremonti's brother Michael, all stress that Creed's reunion will not affect Alter Bridge in any way and that they will go back into the studio after the Creed tour to record their upcoming third album. Tremonti also stated that, in spite of this, both bands will co-exist, so it is expected that Tremonti, Phillips, and Marshall will "switch off" between the two bands while Scott Stapp and Myles Kennedy work on solo material while the other band is touring and recording. A blog was posted on Alter Bridge's MySpace page stating that Alter Bridge by no means has plans of breaking up as a band.
Stapp, Tremonti, Marshall, and Phillips performed together for the first time in 10 years on the recently released AOL Sessions, showing the band playing "Higher," "With Arms Wide Open," "My Own Prison," and "My Sacrifice". In addition, the band performed live for the first time in 6 years on Fox & Friends on June 26, 2009. Their first single in 7 years is called "Overcome" and was digitally released on August 25, 2009. They later confirmed the new album will be out on October 27, 2009.
The Full Circle 2009 Creed Tour kicked off on August 6 and will end on October 14, thirteen days before the release of the album. The full version of "Overcome" was posted on the band's official website on August 19, the same day the radio premiere started.
On Tuesday, August 25 2009, Creed played an acoustic concert, at the Backyard BBQ for 101.1 WRIF in Detroit. Later in the day, they played a concert at the DTE Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan.
A live Creed DVD will also be filmed in Houston. 242 cameras will be used to capture the concert on film, breaking the world record for the largest amount of cameras used at a live music event.
Reception and controversies
Creed was one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the late 90s and early 2000s, having sold an estimated 35 million records worldwide. Their three studio albums, My Own Prison, Human Clay, and Weathered, have all gone multi-platinum in the United States, selling 6 million, 11 million, and 6 million copies respectively. The band won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song for the song "With Arms Wide Open" in 2001. For many years, Creed collaborated with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) by allowing many of their songs to be played for promotions. In addition, many of the band's songs have been featured in film and television soundtracks.
Despite enormous commercial success, Creed was poorly received by professional critics such as Robert Christgau, Rolling Stone magazine, and Allmusic. The band is often criticized for being too derivative of the band Pearl Jam. Rolling Stone stated, "Creed resembled a ham-handed version of early Pearl Jam", while SPIN magazine stated that "Creed was an unremarkable, plodding muscle-bound reworking of Pearl Jam, with all of that older band's warmth and psychological intensity replaced by chest-beating bravado and blandly messianic lyrics". Apparently fed up with these comparisons, bassist Brian Marshall angrily attacked Eddie Vedder, claiming Scott Stapp is a better songwriter, and criticized Pearl Jam's recent albums for "having songs without hooks".. Stapp later distanced the band from Marshall's comments, and stated, "Yes, we get tired of the PJ question, but there is no excuse for the arrogance and stupidity [of Marshall]. I ask you all not to judge Creed as a band, because the statements made were not the band's feelings, they were Brian's. I'm sorry if Brian offended anyone, and he has already apologized for his comments". Marshall was fired from Creed soon after the controversy, however Stapp has stated his firing was unrelated to the incident. Other sources state that Marshall left the band on his own free will due to personal issues with Stapp.
In an interview with PopMatters, Jerry Cantrell, guitarist for the band Alice in Chains, described being on tour with Creed as "stale". Cantrell stated, "I was on tour with them for fuckin' ever and I still hadn't even met em'. When you spend two months together, you generally find some time to fuckin' say hello or whatever. It was really kinda weird in that respect. I'd never been on a tour that was that fuckin' stale on a personal level." Interviewer Michael Christopher derided Creed's neglect of Cantrell throughout the tour, stating that "the arena rockers owe a major part of their existence to the influence of Alice in Chains."
Creed is sometimes incorrectly labeled a Christian rock band due to the fact that their first three albums focus on questions of faith, Christianity, and eternity. The band was never signed to a contemporary Christian music label, nor did it perform in Christian music venues or get any widespread regular play on Christian radio. However, the band's namesake creed itself denotes a popular Christian theological concept, of absolute individual belief, usually monotheistic. Also, themes within their musical titles such as "Higher", "My Sacrifice", "What's This Life For", "My Own Prison", "With Arms Wide Open", and "One Last Breath" contain allusion to Christian theology, though it hasn't been confirmed that the songs were meant to be Christian songs. The band, however, rejects this label and they are predominantly considered post-grunge or hard rock.
Creed was sued in 2003 by four concert goers who claimed Scott Stapp "was so intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song" at a December 29, 2002 concert in Chicago. The lawsuit was later dismissed.
Scott Stapp contemplated committing suicide sometime in 2003 after drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. According to Rolling Stone he was convinced that anyone involved with Creed wanted him dead so he would become a "Kurt Cobain martyr-type" and increase record sales. "I had crazy thoughts going through my head," he said. However, he decided against suicide upon seeing a photo of his son just as he had the gun held to his head.
- Scott Stapp – lead vocals (1995–2004, 2009–present)
- Mark Tremonti – guitars, backing vocals (1995–2004, 2009–present)
- Scott Phillips – drums, percussion, keyboards (1995–2004, 2009–present)
- Brian Marshall – bass (1995–2000, 2009–present)
- Eric Friedman – rhythm guitar (2009–present)
- Brett Hestla – bass (2000–2004)
- Brian Brasher – rhythm guitar (1995)
- John Kurzweg – keyboards on My Own Prison (1997 — multiple tracks)
- Aimee Stapp – backing vocals on Weathered (2001 — track "Don't Stop Dancing")
- Robby Krieger – guitars on Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors (2000 — track "Riders on the Storm")
- Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards on Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors (2000 — track "Riders on the Storm")
Biography from Wikipedia