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Creed

CREED

Formed: 1995, Tallahassee, Florida

Members: Scott Stapp, vocalist (born Orlando, Florida 8 August 1973); Mark Tremonti, guitar (born Orlando, Florida 18 April 1974); Brian Marshall, bass (born Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 24 April 1973); Scott Phillips, drums (born Madison, Florida, 22 February 1973).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Human Clay (1999)

Hit songs since 1990: "My Own Prison," "Torn," "With Arms Wide Open," "Sacrifice"


Creed rose swiftly as a major player in the post-grunge rock world on the strength of direct, sometimes Christian-tinged lyrics, and intense, soaring anthems. But the journey was not smooth. Critics disparaged them as imitative grungers whose overly serious, sometimes spiritual lyrics cast them as a Christian rock group. In time, it became clear that Creed were much more than the sum of their parts as their guitar-heavy rock came to dominate sales and radio charts.


Origins

Creed came together when two Florida high school friends, singer Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti, teamed up with bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips in Tallahassee. A son of fundamentalist parents, Stapp grew up in a strict environment where rock music was scorned and punishment sometimes meant having to write Bible verses in longhand.

Over time Stapp rebelled, later experimenting with drugs while studying law at Florida State University. He eventually dropped out to pursue music, a decision that further estranged him from his stringent family. It was during these lean years that Stapp began to pen reflective songs about self-examination, sometimes drawing upon his experience of writing Biblical verses. When he teamed up with Tremonti, they set the lyrics against grunge power chords.

These early compositions made up the bulk of their debut CD, My Own Prison (1997), produced by John Kurzweg and released on their label, Blue Collar. It came to the attention of Wind-Up Records, an indie imprint distributed by Sony, where it was remixed and given a brawny sheen. This refurbishing resulted in four number one singles on Billboard 's mainstream rock radio charts: the title track, "Torn," "What's This Life For," and "One." Though slightly preachy, Stapp's lyrics captivated fans: "Only in America we kill the unborn / to make ends meet."

The combination of thunderous guitars, direct lyrics, and anthemic songs became Creed's sonic signature.


Taking Off

Creed's ascent began to accelerate, but cynics and other fence riders questioned the band's staying power. The post-grunge world was crowded with sound-alike big-riff guitar bands, and Creed seemed to have molded its sound after Pearl Jam's variation on grunge. It did not help that Stapp's rough vocals were often compared to those of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. But Creed surprised everyone, including the naysayers, when their follow-up, Human Clay (1999), debuted at number one on the Billboard chart and quickly went multiplatinum, eventually selling more than 10 million copies in two years. "Higher," the first single, spent seventeen weeks at number one on rock radio. Other tracks became chart toppers, including "What If" and the catchy ballad "With Arms Wide Open," which later won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. The song has personal meaning for Stapp. It was written while he awaited the birth of his first son, Jagger. In June 1999 Stapp divorced Jagger's mother, Hillaree Burns, an aspiring model, after a sixteen-month marriage.

In public statements, Stapp said the reason "wasn't infidelity. We were just young and had a baby, and everything happened so fast." The divorce was amicable. "I think in her heart she would like a man who's home every day," he said. "I'm in a rock band and I'm gone a lot. I'll always love her. She gave me one of the greatest gifts in my life, my son." On "With Arms Wide Open," Stapp said he would never tire of singing the song: "It was written about my unborn child. And I have a constant reminder of why I wrote that song in Jagger. The feelings that inspired that song well up in me every time I sing it." One of the key lines is, "With arms wide open, under the sunlight / Welcome to this place I'll show you everything / With arms wide open."

More muscular and better paced that its predecessor, Human Clay featured more accessible, mainstream-leaning guitar rock. For better or for worse, Creed was sounding like the early 1980s power pop band Journey but with more rock muscle and a more passionate singer. Other tunes like "Wrong Way" recalled Led Zeppelin with its Middle Eastern rhythms.


Formula for Success

By the late 1990s, genres likes rap/rock, rock metal, and teen boy bands were making major inroads into the market. Creed was going against the grain, producing anthemic guitar-fueled rock complete with angst-filled introspective lyrics and increasingly ruling the charts. From outward appearances, Creed had all the cliches: guitar hooks, soaring choruses, leather pants, messanic poses. It was clear that the group's influences drew from such seminal groups as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors, as well as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots. A VH1 Behind the Music special in 2000 touted the band as Orlando's "spiritual band with the thunderous sound." But two elements made Creed distinctive. First, in contrast to the tones of anger and sodden negativity of other grunge bands, Creed seemed comfortable and happy. Second, Stapp's biblically inspired lyrics prompted speculation about Creed's agenda: Were they a Christian band trying to reach rock audiences? Stapp told the Sydney, Australia, Daily Telegraph that judgment was in the ears of the beholder: "Everyone has their own background and it affects the way you perceive things. When I make religious or spiritual references in my songs, they don't know the meaning behind what I'm trying to figure out for myself, so when they hear those words, a Christian person will base it on their belief systems," he said. "People of a non-Christian belief hear them in a completely different way. At this point we have no agenda, we're not a professing Christian band, we just write from our hearts about experiences we go through. We don't want to do anything to change how people hear a song because that's what makes a song theirs, makes it personal to them."

By the time Creed went back into the studio in early 2001, the pressure was on to beat the multiplatinum success of the previous CDs. Tremonti took over bass duties in the studio after bassist Brian Marshall left the band, replaced on the tour by Brett Hestla of Virgos Merlot. No official reason was ever given for Marshall's departure. Again, producer Kurzweg was brought in to help hammer out the songs that became Weathered in the fall of 2001. Ultimately, there were few surprises. The monster rock anthems were there in "My Sacrifice," and "One Last Breath." Zeppelin's mystical tones were evoked again on "Who's Got My Back Now." The album registered big sales, but not everyone was pleased. Creed demonstrated their proficiency at power rock ballads, but Weathered proved that the band could not expand their musical vocabulary. Their messages of hope defy hard rock's gloom and anger, but the band's polished and intense power pop was becoming predictable.

Creed has been an important contributor to rock's evolution. Their radio-friendly hard rock has fused post-grunge elements with spiritual undertones in lyrics that appeal to fans who want more from music than angry alienation.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

My Own Prison (Wind-Up, 1997); Human Clay (Sony, 1999); Weathered (Wind-Up, 2001).

ramiro burr

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creed

creed [Lat. credo=I believe], summary of basic doctrines of faith. The following are historically important Christian creeds.

1 The Nicene Creed, beginning, "I believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ … ." It is usually described as a revision by the First Council of Constantinople (381) of the creed adopted at Nicaea in 325. In the Western Church since the 9th cent. it has differed from the original by the addition of the Filioque clause: "And in the Holy Ghost … Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son … ." ( "qui ex Patre Filioque procedit … ." ). Over this addition there has been a long controversy between the Orthodox Eastern and Roman Catholic churches. The Nicene Creed is a traditionally authoritative creed of Orthodox Eastern, Roman Catholic, and some Protestant churches.

2 The Athanasian Creed was probably composed, not by Athanasius himself, but by an unknown author(s) in the fifth cent. It is a partial statement of doctrine dealing especially with the Trinity and the Incarnation.

3 The Apostles' Creed, beginning, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ … ." It does not appear in its present form before 650, but its predecessors probably arose in Rome in the 2d or 3d cent. It has two material differences from the Nicene Creed: the phrase, "He descended into hell," is omitted in the Nicene, and the words "resurrection of the body" are changed to "resurrection of the dead" in the Nicene. It is used by Roman Catholics at various daily services and at baptism; it is also much used by Protestants.

4 The Augsburg Confession (1530), the official statement of the Lutheran churches. It was mainly the work of Philip Melanchthon and was endorsed by Martin Luther for the Diet of Augsburg.

5 The Thirty-nine Articles, which are official in the Church of England. They date in their present form from Elizabeth I's reign, when they were written by a group of bishops. They are Calvinistic in theological emphasis and enounce clearly the royal supremacy in the Church of England. They are included, with occasional modifications, in the prayer books of other churches of the Anglican Communion, including that of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

6 The Westminster Confession (1645–47), the most celebrated pronouncement of English-speaking Calvinism. It is official in the Church of Scotland, with occasional changes in most of its daughter churches (usually Presbyterian) and among Congregationalists.

See J. H. Leith, Creeds of the Churches (1963, repr. 1973); J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (1981); W. H. C. Frend, ed., Creeds, Councils and Controversies (1989).

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Creed

Creed. A concise statement of what is believed (Lat., credo, ‘I believe’).

Judaism

See ARTICLES OF FAITH.

Christianity

Creeds originated as confessions of faith by candidates for baptism. The Council of Nicaea (325) put in a credal form the profession of faith as a standard of orthodoxy, and the use of creeds for this purpose rapidly spread. The most important creeds, the Nicene Creed, Apostles' Creed, and Athanasian Creed, are also used liturgically.

Islam

The basic ‘creed’ is the shahāda, but this affirmation of allegiance (islām) is not a credal profession, with articles of faith. The nearest equivalent to that is the ʿaqīda, several of which appeared in the early history of Islam.

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creed

creed / krēd/ • n. a system of Christian or other religious belief; a faith. ∎  (often the Creed) a formal statement of Christian beliefs, esp. the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed. ∎  a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions: liberalism was more than a political creed.

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creed

creed (Lat. credo, ‘I believe’) In Christian churches, personal yet formal statement of commitment to doctrinal belief. See also Apostles' Creed; Athanasian Creed; Nicene Creed

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creed

creed OE. crēda — L. crēdō I believe (with cogns. in Indo-Iranian and Celtic), the first word of the Apostles' and the Nicene Creeds in the Latin versions.

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Creed

Creed

Rock band

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Creed is a modern rock band of grassroots troubadours that performs highly inspirational music with a message, within the lines of a simple and unaffected genre called new-era rock. The band, led by vocalist Scott Stapp, features Mark Tremonti on guitar, Brian Marshall on bass, and Scott Phillips on drums. The four musicians are clean-cut and wholesome and qualify easily as the boys next door. Creeds formula for successif indeed they have oneis embodied in their independence from corporate ties. The band eschews conglomerate involvement, relying instead on writing and self-publishing their own songs and touring incessantly to popularize their music. They record and perform without gimmicks, and mind the business operations of their band, relying extensively on the Internet for communications as well as for advertising. Creed uses its website not only to promote songs, concerts, and albums, but for mutual correspondence between its fans and the band members.

Creed originated in Tallahassee in 1995 with a chance meeting between Stapp and Tremonti, two former schoolmates

For the Record

Members include Brian Marshall (born April 24, 1973), bass; Scott Phillips (born February 22, 1973), drums; Scott Stapp (born August 8, 1973, in Orlando, FL; one son, Jagger), vocals; Mark Tremonti (born on April 18, 1974), guitar.

Released My Own Prison, 1997; Human Clay, 1999; produced and performed (with others) soundtrack for film Scream 3; performed at Woodstock 99.

Awards: Rock Artist of the Year, Billboard magazine; songwriting award for My Own Prison, by Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, BMI Pop Music Awards, 1999.

Addresses: Record company Wind-up Records, 72 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10016; e-mail:windup@wind-upnet.com.

from Orlando, Florida. Before long the two musicians recruited drummer Phillips and bassist Marshall from among the ample mélange of otherwise unskilled workers in north Florida. Between the four of them, before uniting to form their band, the future Creed members shucked oysters, fry cooked, and washed dishes to earn a living. Stapp himself was on the rebound from a series of injudicious career decisions and minor catastrophes. After performing poorly in school due to lack of interest, he abandoned his pre-law studies at Florida State University, job-hopped, and lived in his car for lack of income. It was, in fact, his lack of general prudence that inspired much of his music.

The members of the neophyte group invested their own money, a modest $6,000, into recording My Own Prison, an album that featured an assortment of songs, written by Stapp during the months after he abandoned his education and wandered aimlessly in search of a purpose. Most notably he wrote My Own Prison, which became the title track of the debut album, in contemplation of the difficulties he courted by his own choices in life. Despite the bitter undertone of the song, it brought him to an epiphany about self-determination, as he wrote No time for mourning, Aint got no time, So I held my head up high.Another song on the album, Whats This Life For? was a collaborative effort by Stapp and Tremonti, the result of their reflection on the suicides of two mutual friends. Songwriters Tremonti and Stapp published their own works through Tremonti/Stapp Music of BMI, while a secondary publisher, Wind-ups Dwight Frye Music, assumed the administrative functions for the pair.

Creed released My Own Prison on August 26, 1997, on the Wind-up label, and the album had moved halfway up the Billboard 200 chart less in than three months. The title song became a hit single, and by November 22 reached number two on the rock-track chart of most-played hits. The album, which sold more than four million copies, went into successive releases, and other hits emergedincluding Tom, Whats This Life For? and One. Each of the single releases from My Own Prison attained number one hit status on BillboardRock Radio.

The members of the band collectively invested a portion of the royalties from My Own Prison to acquire a parcel of land, away from urbana and city life, where they might relax and find inspiration for future creative endeavors. They retired to their newly acquired hideaway, and set to work on Human Clay, their second album. The tone of Human Clay, which was released on October 1, 1999, evoked an uplifting atmosphere, in direct contrast to Creeds original, My Own Prison. Human Clay featured assorted ballads, soothing and melodic, yet interspersed with energetic and fast-paced compositions. Two months later, in early December, Human Clay achieved double platinum sales (over 2 million copies sold), and Anthony Bozza of Rolling Stone dubbed Creed the best-selling hard-rock band in America. Additionally, their albums ranked in the top 12 in 1999, according to radio play and sales statistics. Additionally, Creeds international appeal extended to remote continents; the group sold 80,000 albums in New Zealand alone in 1999.

With two best-selling albums to their credit, the band expanded its horizons and contributed to the movie soundtracks of Faculty and Dead Man on Campus. The soundtrack for Scream 3, which Creed self-produced, includes original Creed compositions What If and Is the End. For that album, Creed solicited contributions from a number of their fellow recording artists and comrades from Wind-up Records, including Orgy and Static-X. A total of 17 heavy rock bands contributed to the album.

Between recording sessions, Creed tours extensively. The band attracts audiences composed primarily of teen-agers and young adults, 14 to 34 years old. In 2000, the band remained a young and evolving musical entity, at times unpolished because of its newness. Regardless, Creed persisted in projecting a positive image as was evidenced in July of 1999 when the band performed in Rome, New York, at Woodstock99, a reprise festival of the original festival by the same name. The 1999 concert, held in celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the original festival in 1969, differed drastically in mood from the original concert in the 1960s. When a catastrophic outbreak of violence instigated by concertgoers marred the end of the 1999 festival, Stapp responded to the chaotic outburst and vented his embarrassment during Creeds performance.

The four Creed band members are extremely close in age, and all enjoy the music of Led Zeppelin. The senior member of the group, drummer Scott Phillips of Madison, Florida, was born in February of 1973. Phillips began playing the drums in his late teens. Guitarist Mark Tremonti was born in April of 1974 and is the youngest member of the group. He played guitar for approximately ten years before joining Creed. Bassist Brian Marshall was born on April 24, 1974, approximately one week before Tremonti. Marshall is a native of Fort Walton Beach in Florida. He started playing the bass in his midteens. Creed founder and vocalist, Scott Stapp, was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, the son of a Pentecostal minister. He was born on August 8, 1973, and is the second oldest member of the group. During adolescence his musical affinities veered toward U2, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors, and according to critics, the circumstances of Stapps childhood are evidenced in many of his song lyrics. Stapp, who repeatedly disavowed such interpretation of his music, nonetheless intimated that his parents were not only devoutly religious, but rigid and strict, and highly antagonistic toward rock music and electric guitars. Stapp moved with his family to Tallahassee, Florida, in the mid-1990s. He wrote the song With Arms Wide Open in honor of the birth of his eldest child, a son named Jagger.

As Creeds media presence continually evolves, their presence on the Internet is secure. Were on our Web site almost every day, especially when were on tour.

The Internet is such a cool medium. Its definitely the future of how bands will know what their fans are thinking, Stapp told Billboard in September of 1999. Creeds plans for the new millenium included more touring and a live album, along with an acoustic album. Their schedule included appearances in Las Vegas in December of 1999, and contract negotiations to play in Edmonton, Canada in the year 2000.

Selected discography

My Own Prison, Wind-up Records, 1997.

Human Clay (includes Higher), Wind-up Records, 1999.

Scream 3 soundtrack (with other bands), 1999.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, November 22, 1997; December 20, 1997, p. 97; September 4, 1999, p. 18.

Campus Life, September-October 1998, p. 32.

Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), January 14, 2000.

Rolling Stone, September 16, 1999, p. 38; October 28, 1999; pp. 99-100; December 9, 1999, p. 34.

Online

Info About the Band Creed, available at http:/xrs.nct/unified/info.html (February 4, 2000).

Lyrics and Meanings Behind Songs, available at http:/xrs.nct/unified/lyrics-myownprison.html (February 4, 2000).

Gloria Cooksey

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