The Untold Truth Of Creed

In 2014, Apple added U2's album "Songs of Innocence" to everyone's iTunes account (via The Independent). Not many people were happy about this gift; however, some joked the only thing worse would be receiving a Creed album. That summed up the general sentiment towards the hard rock outfit from Tallahassee, Florida, at the time, as even Rolling Stone's readers ranked them the worst band of the '90s.

Hindsight is 20/20, though, and there has been a notable shift in attitude towards Creed. Buzzfeed wrote about how they were a victim of "Nickelbacking," and that their success cannot be ignored or dismissed as simply a fluke. After all, Creed outsold more albums than the likes of Jay-Z, Metallica, and Celine Dion in the 2000s (per Yahoo!). The band's record-breaking feats also enabled their label Wind-Up Records to sign up and promote other artists such as Evanescence, Seether, and Drowning Pool.

With tracks like "Higher" and "With Arms Wide Open" still on regular rotation on active rock radio stations, the legacy of Creed isn't going away anytime soon. Looking beyond the music and Scott Stapp's slithering on-stage flexes, there's a weathered history that's begging to be revealed. From the feud with Pearl Jam to the band's reunion being done to cover another group's debt, here is the untold truth of Creed.

Creed was mistaken as a religious band

When Creed popped up on the music scene, critics pointed out that the band's lyrics featured several biblical references and themes. As a result, many journalists and listeners presumed they were a religious band. However, guitarist Mark Tremonti denied this claim to The Washington Post, explaining that because Scott Stapp had grown up in a religious household, his lyrics were naturally influenced by his background. "His reference points have always been the Bible and religion," Tremonti said. "So people say he's got to be a Christian because he knows all this stuff."

Tremonti added that while Stapp was the more spiritual member of the group, the rest just wanted to play rock 'n' roll and weren't overly concerned with anything else. Despite numerous interviews where the band members reiterated they weren't a religious outfit, it continued to be a point of contention among the fanbase, and even became a false fact that many fans believed was true. At one stage, Stapp himself wrote on Creed's now-deleted website: "We are not a Christian band. A Christian band has an agenda to lead others to believe in their specific religious beliefs. We have no agenda!" 

Scott Stapp's kids make fun of his singing on 'With Arms Wide Open'

Scott Stapp's singing style has always been a hot topic among the music community, and has led to a host of hilarious memes in the process. There are fans that believe it is exaggerated and wildly theatrical, which is undoubtedly only fueled by his live performances where he gesticulates and gyrates in abundance. Well, it turns out that Stapp's children also like to poke fun at their father for his singing approach, as the vocalist revealed to The Ringer.

Stapp discussed how his eldest son and nephew started it off by picking on the track "With Arms Wide Open" in specific. Now his younger children have picked up on it, too. "They were hungry and wanted to go somewhere to eat," Stapp said. "They're like, 'Dad, we're hungry,' and I'm like, 'Where do you want to go?' and they both bust out together, 'McDonald's wide open.'" Fortunately, the singer isn't averse to self-deprecation and finds the funny side of it, even if the song was originally written as a dedication to his unborn son, as he told Songfacts.

Alter Bridge left Wind-Up Records because of Creed

Out of the ashes of Creed, Alter Bridge was formed. Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, and Scott Phillips decided on a future without Scott Stapp and brought in Myles Kennedy as the new vocalist for their project, per MTV News. The band's debut album, "One Day Remains," hit the number five spot on the Billboard 200. However, this didn't seem to convince the label Wind-Up Records to invest as much interest in Alter Bridge as it did for Creed.

Speaking to Guitar Messenger, Tremonti stated that the label didn't support Alter Bridge since it hoped that Creed would get back together or at least force a band reunion. "We would show up to shows where promoters said they hadn't heard from them," he said. "We'd show up to radio stations where they said they hadn't heard from them. They dropped the ball, because they just wanted Creed back. They didn't want Alter Bridge to succeed, because it would just prolong their not making the big dollars they made back in the day with Creed." 

Tremonti added that the animosity built to a boiling point between the band and the label, so they had to go their separate ways.

Scott Stapp regrets the 'Higher' music video

As one of the main singles off Creed's second album "Human Clay," the anthemic "Higher" has become a hallmark of the band's catalog. Even VH1 recognized it as one of the Top 100 Hard Rocks Songs in 2009. The music video also achieved notoriety at the time, thanks to regular rotation on MTV (when the channel still understood that the "M" in its name stood for "music").

Looking back at it now, the video is undoubtedly a product of its time. It features numerous clichés of '90s rock, as well as its questionable fashion choices. Scott Stapp doesn't disagree with this sentiment. In a discussion with GQ, he admitted embarrassment over the music video for "Higher," saying, "Sometimes I cringe when I see it. Like, 'What was I thinking? Look at those pants.'" 

Despite the regret now, that doesn't take away from how difficult the shoot for the music video was. Director Ramaa Mosley told Songfacts that it was a production that suffered through several creative and logistical hurdles.

Scott Stapp wasn't happy about Creed's heat with Pearl Jam

When Creed broke out, one of the first things that was pointed out was how reminiscent Scott Stapp's singing style was to Eddie Vedder's. The Pearl Jam singer had carved out a niche for himself in the grunge genre with his deep baritone voice and unmistakable pronunciation of lyrics — even if Nirvana's Kurt Cobain couldn't stand the band

Fans on both sides of the argument had a lot to say about the similarities and whether Stapp's singing was a tribute or cheap imitation of Vedder. Even MTV chimed in, recreating the rivalry in a hilarious segment of Celebrity Deathmatch. Stapp didn't try to get involved in this debate, but he was forced to after Creed bassist Brian Marshall made unsavory comments about Vedder and the grunge icons.

In an interview with Seattle radio station KNDD (via MTV), Marshall suggested that Stapp was the superior musician, and that Vedder could only dream of having the vocalist's talent. Pearl Jam didn't respond to the bait, but Stapp did. He took to the band's official website (via Rolling Stone) to apologize for Marshall's comments, stating that they were the bassist's words and not a reflection of his or the band's feelings towards Pearl Jam and Vedder. Not long after the incident, Marshall left Creed.

Scott Stapp believes he's to blame for Creed's breakup

In 2004, Creed announced that they were calling it a day. The band had been on a hiatus for a year before eventually breaking up, but it still seemed odd considering the wave of success that the hard rock group had still been riding. Mark Tremonti revealed to MTV that Creed had started to feel like work and he and Scott Stapp weren't connecting like they used to before. Instead of trying to force the issue and continue to butt heads, they decided to go their separate ways as musicians.

Years later, Stapp appeared on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" (via HuffPost) and blamed himself for the circumstances surrounding the breakup. He admitted how he was struggling with the level of fame he achieved and turned to alcohol and other substances to cope with the pressure. This caused him to drift away from his bandmates and isolate himself. "I would just stay on my tour bus alone, kind of just cut everybody off," he said. "[It] really led to the breakup of the band."

Fans sued the band

In April 2003, four people who attended a Creed concert the previous December filed a lawsuit against the band for a poor show, according to an MTV report. The individuals believed that Scott Stapp was too inebriated to perform and couldn't even remember the lyrics to his own songs. In addition, they believed that Stapp's bandmates, management, and everyone involved with the concert were aware of his inability to perform, but still went ahead with the show. The plaintiffs demanded a refund for their tickets, expenses, and to allow for a class action lawsuit.

In response, Creed apologized for any perceived lack of quality on the evening, but made no mention of refunds. Why would they, though? With over 15,000 people at the venue, the refunds could have trickled into the millions. The judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuit (via the Chicago Sun-Times). However, this marked the beginning of the end for Creed. After the controversy and other brewing tensions between the members, Stapp disappeared from the limelight for a while and the band took a year off from touring. When they met up again, they decided it wasn't working and choose to disband.

The Creed bandmates don't talk very often

While there was certainly animosity that led to the band's initial breakup (mostly between Scott Stapp and everyone else), the parties mended fences for the reunion in 2009. However, they went their separate ways again in 2012. Two years later, Mark Tremonti revealed to Louder that he hadn't spoken to Stapp since their last tour. Creed hasn't gotten the gang back together for a third time, but Tremonti and the others have spoken about Stapp in a more positive light in recent years. Tremonti even participated in a Loudwire interview where he discussed his history with Stapp, from their high school days to his happiness that Stapp was okay after his public online meltdown in 2014.

However, don't expect them to be having barbecues with their former vocalist anytime soon. "We've definitely had our ups and downs," Tremonti told Guitar in 2021. "We don't talk too often. I think when it first gets put on the table it'll be more of a decision for all the business heads to say whether it makes sense or not, and then we'll see how things would go from there." In other words, if the money is good, Creed will make a comeback.

Scott Stapp's ex-girlfriend wanted him back after Creed hit it big

Many rock bands have admitted that their origins are rooted in the desire to meet potential romantic partners. They openly admit that they dream of superstardom so that they can be fawned over and adored by legions. In the case of Scott Stapp, his fame in Creed ended up attracting an ex-girlfriend, whom he had ironically written a song about.

Speaking to Spin, Stapp explained how the song "Beautiful" — off 1999's "Human Clay" — was written about an ex who cheated right in front of him and his friends at a bar. The two had dated for a year and a half, and the event left a mark on him. Reportedly, when she heard Creed's song "My Own Prison" on the radio, she had a change of heart. She reached out to Stapp and asked for a second chance. The singer remained tight-lipped about the outcome, only saying, "So I did what any man would do."

The Creed reunion was partially to pay for Alter Bridge's debt

According to an interview conducted by The New York Times, the Creed reunion took place after Scott Stapp met with Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips, and Brian Marshall in late 2008. The singer expressed remorse for his behavior and actions that had led to the breakup. However, there was also another reason for this sudden reconciliation: Alter Bridge wasn't making the same amount of money that Creed was. "When you go from two or three people on a bus and nice hotels to everybody on the same bus, staying at a Holiday Inn and playing a club that has a closet for a dressing room," Phillips explained, "you sort of long for those days when you had nice catering."

It wasn't only the lavish lifestyle that the band members craved again, though, as Paul Geary — who managed both Creed and Alter Bridge — revealed. Alter Bridge had accumulated a hefty amount of debt, and he understood that a Creed reunion would help to alleviate the financial burden. So even if Stapp hadn't been apologetic in the first place, it's likely that they would have had to grin and bear it in order to ensure that Alter Bridge could continue.

Fourteen labels passed on Creed

There are hundreds of stories about famous companies and people who have been rejected countless times. Look at Sierra On-Line and how it created the iconic point-and-click game "Phantasmagoria" after Stephen King rejected the opportunity to work with the video game developer. Much like every other rock band, Creed also experienced their fair share of rejection before they were scooped up by Wind-Up Records.

The band's former manager, Jeff Hanson, opened up to Hit Quarters about the early days and how it took a few tries before someone took a chance on the band that was only performing covers. "Fourteen labels passed on Creed," he said. "I was always prepared to do it myself as I continue to do in my music career. You have to be prepared to do everything yourself — even if a label signs [the band], they might just shelve it." Hanson added that Creed was fortunate to have signed with Wind-Up Records since the label aggressively pushed and got behind the band, which ultimately led to their global success.

Mark Tremonti said Scott Stapp wanted him to forget Alter Bridge

When Creed reunited in 2009, many people were surprised — not only because of the nature of their split five years earlier, but also because Alter Bridge was riding high. Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips, and Brian Marshall were enjoying a renaissance with Myles Kennedy in their new band, so why would they risk it all by revisiting their past? Tremonti admitted excitement about the Creed reunion to MusicRadar at the time, but he was keen to emphasize that it would have no impact whatsoever on Alter Bridge's future.

Unfortunately, Stapp didn't get the memo, according to Tremonti. In a later interview with Kerrang! after Creed's second split, the guitarist spilled the beans on the events that led to the renewed tension. "What happened was the Alter Bridge stuff," he said. "I think Scott just thought that we'd get back together with Creed and we'd forget about Alter Bridge. He doesn't understand how hard we've worked to build Alter Bridge." 

Tremonti added that he had always been clear that he would continue with Alter Bridge, and Stapp didn't like it. He explained how there was one moment when Stapp asked him what he was doing in January, and Tremonti replied that he was recording an album with Alter Bridge. After that conversation, Tremonti revealed that Stapp didn't speak to him for the remainder of the tour — apart from the one fight they had.