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It's not easy to find a success story as genuine as Creedís in popular culture these days, with all the carefully scripted rises to glory and the falls that inevitably follow careers built on hype. If any late-'90s band can claim to have ascended strictly on its own merits, it's Creed, a Florida-bred foursome that went from zero to sixty (or, more accurately, zero to nearly 4x Platinum) by virtue of a combination of finger-on-the-pulse songs and powerful live performances, rather than a raft of hype.

"With My Own Prison, I knew we had the talent to get a record deal and I knew we had songs good enough to get played on the radio, but I never had any expectations of reaching this many people," says Creed's dynamic frontman, Scott Stapp. "But when I think back, I can remember that Mark Tremonti definitely did. The very first time we went into a meeting at Wind-up, he said he'd be totally disappointed if the album didn't go triple platinum."

Tremonti didn't have to suffer any pangs of regret. Creed was the first band in history to have four Number One Rock Radio singles from a debut album -- a feat even more impressive in these days of love-'em-and-leave-'em, one-hit wonders. On the strength of their singles, including the crushing title track and the more pensive "What's This Life For," Creed topped countless year-end charts and was recognized as the Rock Artist of the Year at Billboardís 1998 Music Awards. Their debut album was also the #1-selling Hard Music album for 1998 on SoundScanís Hard Music chart.

Now, with the release of their second album, Human Clay, Creed is poised to up the ante yet again. "We're the type of band that functions really well under pressure, and there was definitely a pressure to try to top ourselves this time," says Stapp. "Not so much what we sell, because we don't really care about that. We wanted to make a really great record. The bandís goal has always been to make records that are solid from start to finish; records that take you through an entire range of emotions." Those sentiments come across loud and clear during stretches of Human Clay.

On "What If," Stapp's baritone turns fierce when addressing those he feels have judged him unfairly over the years -- a pitch that's matched by the searing guitar lines that Tremonti turns out. The intensity comes through in more subtle ways as well, as in the plaintive tone of the albumís first single, "Higher," which finds Stapp seeking refuge from the rigors of the outside world, as his bandmates erect a majestic wall of riffs to ring his discourse. Throughout Human Clay, the entire band sounds to be on a quest to explore different sonic territories, ranging from the Led Zeppelin-styled eastern modalities of the albumís first track "Are You Ready?" to the lush balladry of "Wash Away Those Years."

While Stapp grants that the band's increased resources had some impact on the structure of Human Clay - the first album was recorded for a mere $6,000 -- it's clear that Creed's evolution is far more than just a matter of dollars and cents. For Human Clay, Creed once again turned to longtime friend and producer John Kurzweg to ensure that they captured the anthemic guitars, dramatic vocals and bold lyrics that made Creed's brawny-yet-intimate sound a radio staple for two solid years. Together with Kurzweg, the band recorded the new album in a studio they constructed in a house just outside of Tallahassee. On Human Clay, Stapp contemplates how responsibilities, choices and actions impact people. The albumís songs explore fears of growing up and letting go of youth ("Never Die") conscience ("Faceless Man") and betrayal ("Beautiful") among other topics. Creed challenges their listeners to think without preaching or pretending to have all the answers.

Balancing Human Clayís hard rock sensibilities is "With Arms Wide Open," a deeply personal song that Stapp wrote when he learned he was going to become a father. "I think my songwriting is very direct and understandable," says Stapp. "People can relate to that, so that's something I didn't want to move away from. At the same time, we're a little bit older and more mature now and weíve been through a lot in the past two years, so we were looking to put things across in a way that reflected that." In many ways, Creed has been evolving gradually since the band played its first dates together four years ago. After high school, teenage acquaintances Stapp and fellow songwriter Tremonti took different routes, but both ended up in Tallahassee, where they recruited bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips to form Creed.

Within a few months, they had meshed their wide-ranging influences to create the bandís rich musical texture. Creedís reputation for dynamic, passionate live performances has led to consistently sold-out shows. During the past two years the band has played to more than two million fans worldwide, not including the huge crowd who witnessed their awesome performance at Woodstock í99. Creed gave fans something special to remember the festival by when they invited Robby Krieger, guitarist for The Doors, to join them during their performance on the main stage. When Stapp introduced Krieger, the crowd of approximately 200,000 erupted in cheers and shouted along to Doors favorites "Roadhouse Blues" and "Riders On The Storm." Krieger also stayed on to play slide guitar on Creed's "What's This Life For."

"We were out on tour for a long time, and wherever we went, there were people telling me how much certain songs meant to them and how they felt so close to them," says Stapp. "That means more to me than any other kind of attention. Itís important to feel as if you're doing something worthwhile, and in this band, I feel like I am." It will only take a few listens to Human Clay to see that they are.

DISCOGRAPHY -Albums- My Own Prison -- August 1997 , Human Clay -- September 1999 Singles "My Own Prison" - August 1997 "Torn" - January 1998 "Whatís This Life For" - May 1998 "One" - December 1998 "Higher" - August 1999 Soundtracks "Bound & Tied" (from the Dead Man On Campus soundtrack) - August 1998 "Iím Eighteen" (from The Faculty soundtrack) - December 1998 - "Is this the End" (from the Scream 3 soundtrack) -January 2000

I got this article off of www.creednet.com

SCOTT Anthony STAPP


Nickname: Scootie
Age: 27
Birthday: August 8th,1973
From: Orlando, Florida
Started singing when he was 7, in the school chorus
Influences: U2, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors
Favorite bands: Faith No More, Tool, and Kings X

BRIAN Aubrey MARSHALL


Important Info: Brian left Creed on August 9th, 2000 to pursue other interests. Nickname: Willy
Age: 26
Birthday: April 24th, 1974
From: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Played bass for 7 years
Equipment: Uses Fender p-lyte standard guitars and Trace Elliot amps
Influences: Led Zeppelin and Rush
Favourite band: Faith No More

SCOTT Thomas Phillips


Nickname: Flip
Age: 27
Birthday: Feb 22nd, 1973
From: Madison, Florida
Played drums for 5 years
Equipment: Uses Premier drums, Zildjian cymbals, DW & Gibraltar Hardware and Remo heads
Influences: Matt Cameron (Soundgarden), Neil Peart (Rush), Will Calhoun (Living Colour), Danny Carey (Tool), and Dennis Chambers (Independent)
Favorite bands: Living Colour, Tool, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin

MARK Thomas TREMONTI

Middle name: Thomas
Nickname: Brutus
Age: 26
Birthday: April 18, 1974
From: Detroit Michigan/Orlando, Florida
Played guitar for 12 years
Equipment: Uses Gibson Les Paul plain-top classin, Gibson Les Paul lyte-neck Standard and Kahler Pro Tremelo guitars with Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amps
Influences: Blackflag, The Bad Brains, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, SOD, Soundgarden, and Celtic Frost
Favorite bands: Soundgarden, Metallica, and Blackflag

Find frequently answered questions on the band at creednet