Creed

  • Rock band formed in 1993, from Tallahassee Florida. Founding members were Scott Stapp (vocals), Mark Tremonti (guitar), Brian Marshall (bass guitar), and Scott Phillips (drums).
  • Stapp and Tremonti were high school and college friends. They discovered a mutual love of music, and started writing together in 1993. Many of the songs were Christian-based, as Stapp was a stepson of a minister. They held auditions to create a band, initially a five piece band, then a quartet when their rhythm guitarist left. In late 1995, they began playing in small venues in Tallahassee, using the name Naked Toddler. Their growing bass of fans disliked this name, so they changed it to Creed, a shortened form of Marshall’s previous band called Mattox Creed.
  • They struggled to get gigs because no one wanted to hear “post grunge” bands – the grunge sound of the first half of the decade was getting old.
  • Wanting to play a real show, they persuaded a bar owner in Tallahassee to book them, claiming that they’d guarantee an audience of at least 200. They played mostly cover songs, but 2 original songs impressed the owner, who also operated a management company. He signed them after the show, and he spent $6,000 to fund a debut album, My Own Prison, in 1997. The album was released on an independent label, selling 6,000 copies in Florida in the first 2 months. A New York based record label heard the album, and the bosses flew to Tallahassee to see the band perform. They were impressed with the groups anthem rock sound, Stapp’s powerful voice, and Tremonti’s guitar riffs, and they signed the band. 14 other record labels had already passed on the band.
  • My Own Prison was remixed and re-released in 1997. Four singles – My Own Prison, Torn, What’s This Life For, and One each reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart – the first debut album ever to have four #1 songs. With little MTV or media support, the album sold over 6 million copies.
  • With the success of their first album behind them, they released Human Clay in 1999. It was an instant success, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It sold over 11 million records – one of the few rock albums to be certified diamond. The singles Higher, What If, With Arms Wide Open and Are You Ready? all charted in the top 4 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The band won a Grammy award for With Arms Wide Open.
  • In 2001, Creed released their third album, Weathered. It too was a huge success, debuting at #1, and holding that spot for 8 weeks. It sold over 6 million copies. There were 6 singles – notably, My Sacrifice was nominated for a Grammy. The tour to promote the album was delayed due to a car accident and injuries to Stapp, which led to his addiction to pain medications. The band became inactive in early 2003, and by June 2004, they officially disbanded.
  • By 2009, Creed announced that they were reforming. That summer and fall, they played a concert tour, and they released a new album, Full Circle. It charted well, but did not achieve the success of their previous albums. They began work on a fifth album in 2011, but it was abandoned as Stapp and Tremonti moved on to other projects.
  • Creed is an interesting band. They were never considered a Contemporary Christian band, though themes of their music contain references to Christian theology. They had tremendous success, and yet in 2013 the readers of Rolling Stone voted them the worst band of the 90s. Personally, I liked their big, anthem-like sound, and their relatively positive message. Scott Stapp wrote the lyrics to With Arms Wide Open when he learned (surprisingly) that he was going to be a father. Here’s the video.

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