Just a year ago, the idea of the four members of Creed agreeing to be in the same room together, let alone making another CD, would have seemed preposterous. The post-grunge rockers enjoyed enormous success with their first three albums, selling 25 million records just in America, but split up five years ago following a tour marred by singer Scott Stapp’s alcohol-fueled misbehavior, which included mangling the lyrics to some of their biggest hits at an infamously poor concert in Chicago.
After the band’s demise, Stapp further worried fans by appearing intoxicated on a TV show called Casino Cinema, and later entered rehab. Meanwhile, in a 2006 Rolling Stone article, guitarist Mark Tremonti compared the band’s dying days to the Vietnam War, and said he wouldn’t want to play their songs again.
Cut to last month, and the announcement that the quartet of Stapp, Tremonti, drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall (who left the band after 1999’s Human Clay CD) would reunite for a summer tour, and were already working on a new album. This week, EW sat down for a chat with the band, including a healthy-looking Stapp. After the jump, they talk about their reunion, that last tour, and why it’s important to keep your old hair in a Ziploc bag.
Entertainment Weekly: It came as a surprise to hear Creed had reformed given your acrimonious split.
Scott Stapp: There were ten years of amazing, positive wonderful times, and itall got characterized by those eight months. It was an aberration thatwas not us. And that’s why it was so easy for us to get together. Itwas very organic. I was, like, “I just want you to know, if I everhurt you, I didn’t mean [it], I love you guys.”
Brian Marshall: [Laughs] Scott, do you want to make out?
Stapp: It might sound like there was such hatred, But what it was, washurt. Now we’re back together, the hurt has gone away.
What was it like the first time the four of you played together again?
Stapp: Man, I can’t characterize it in one word. It wasnostalgic, emotional, awesome. It was like putting on an old pair ofshoes that you love.
That’s the headline! “CREED: JUST LIKE AN OLD PAIR OF SHOES!”
Stapp: No, the headline is “THE NEW CREED.” We’ve come full circle in so many areas of our lives, and now as a band.
In fact, the album is going to be called Full Circle, right?
Scott Phillips: Yeah, looks that way. There’s no turning back now. We’ve said it too many times to go back.
Mark Tremonti: We’re writing it right now. We’ve got about six or seven songs. It’s cool, it’s exciting.
Scott, are you concerned about having to do the tour sober?
Stapp: Well, I mean, nearly our whole career I was sober. The blessingis, we’ll essentially be back to the way things always were.
There are more temptations on the road though…
Stapp: There’s temptations everywhere, man. But we’re all in such adifferent place. It’s all about the now. I’ve had years and years ofpositivity.
Did you ever apologize to Dave Grohl?
Stapp: I don’t even remember that. Did I say something?
I believe during your appearance on Casino Cinema you commented on the alleged smallness of his manhood.
Stapp: I feel small looking back. My wife made me watch thattelevision show. That was the turning point for me. Well, I wasapproaching the turning point. It was time for all the excuses to stop.I had to learn to be responsible for my actions.
You’re returning to Chicago on the tour. Do you feel this is a chance to make amends to your fans there?
Tremonti: Chicago was always a very strong city for us.
Stapp: We used to go into Chicago and be, like, “We’re gonna kill ittonight.” We had nine or more of our most amazing shows in Chicago. Andthen one show that was characterized how it was. It is what it is. Idon’t think people define things by microcosm. And, if they do, thenwe’ll go back to Chicago and we’ll give that city the best show they’ve ever had. It’s crazy how some things begin to get cherry-picked to define such an accomplished career. But, you know what? I’mglad it did. Sometimes those things can lead to growth.
Scott, you always used to have long locks. But now you’re rocking a pretty shaved look. Did you keep your old hair?
Stapp: I’ve got it in a drawer somewhere.
Stapp: I don’t know man. It’s in a Ziploc bag. The hair represented someone that was not me.
You should auction it for charity.
Stapp: I’m afraid someone will test it. That hair has a lot of life.