This question has followed them for 30 years. Answering it requires a good look at each of the band member’s lives: their struggles, dreams, love of music, and the pressure that accompanies rock and roll stardom. In addition, we must understand a little about popular and alternative music from the 1990s – 2000s. And don’t forget the millions of music fans who listen daily for hidden messages in their music of choice.
It’s hard to separate Creed from Scott Stapp. This is partly because of his bigger-than-life personality, but also his instantly recognizable voice. But there is so much more to the story of what made Scott the driven, perfectionist, lyricist that took center stage as the frontman for the band Creed. Scott Stapp (Anthony Scott Flippen) was born in 1973 in Orlando, Florida. His father left when Scott was 5. His mother Lynda had 2 jobs as the breadwinner for herself, Scott, and 2 younger sisters.
When Scott was 10, Lynda married Steven Stapp. Steven was a dentist who had served in the Air Force. He was also very involved in his church. That combination made Steve a military-like disciplinarian with a religious twist. Scott needed structure and someone that he could look up to. Now that Steven was around, Scott didn’t have to be the man of the house. In some ways, Scott admired his stepfather. Even though Scott wanted his stepfather to be proud of him, he soon became fearful of him.
In a 2015 episode of VH1’s Couple’s Therapy, Scott opened up to host Dr. Jenn Mann about his childhood. In this on-air couple’s psychotherapy session, Scott said that feelings of abandonment from his birth father leaving, and abuse from, “other individuals who came into my life that caused a tremendous amount of trauma and abuse. I was beaten. Then it got sicker when religion was brought into it and he (stepfather Steven) began to beat us in the name of God, and beat the demons out of us, in front of each other, naked.”
Florida State University
After graduating from Lake Highland High School, Scott moved to Lee College which was 500 miles away. He attended Lee for 1 year but was eventually expelled when he was caught smoking marijuana. After his expulsion from Lee, he enrolled at Florida State University (FSU). There, he reconnected with Mark Tremonti, a friend, from high school. This friendship was the seed that would eventually become the band Creed.
Co-founder Mark Tremonti was born in 1974 to Italian Catholic parents who lived in Gross Pointe, Michigan, near Detroit. They moved to Orlando, Florida where Mark was enrolled in Lake Highland Preparatory School where he met Scott Stapp. He graduated and enrolled at Clemson University to study finance. After his freshman year, he enrolled at Florida State. He soon reunited with his friend from Lake Highland, Scott Stapp. They spent time together, talking about faith, philosophy, and music. Before long, they started writing songs and formed a band. Mark is one of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists.
Marshall was born in 1973 in Jackson, Mississippi, but he grew up in Florida. His father was a drummer and made a significant impression on young Brian. So much so, that he thought he would like to play the drums too. It wasn’t long though, until Brian picked up a bass guitar, which quickly became his musical obsession. After high school, he wound up at Florida State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. At Florida State, he was part of the bands Mattox Creed and Baby Fish Mouth. Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti recruited him to play bass for their new band. It was Brian who suggested the name Creed after his then-defunct band Mattox Creed.
Flip, as his friends referred to him, was born in 1973 and grew up in a house filled with music. His dad played the trumpet and his mother played piano and guitar. His grandmother was a pianist and gave lessons as well. Early on, Scott wanted to be a drummer, but his parents (both teachers) pressed him to learn music and not just play it. He followed their advice but he also started watching the drummers from his favorite bands whenever they appeared on MTV. With his musical knowledge and natural skill, he developed into a great drummer. He also taught himself to play the piano and the saxophone.
He grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and followed his musical passion from an early age. Brian loved the guitar so much that as a young teen, he pushed himself to learn Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Robert Johnson songs to a tee. In time, Brasher developed a trademark guitar sound. in 1994, he was asked to join Creed as an acoustic guitarist. That only lasted a year though, and in 1995, he left Creed to pursue music composition and production, as well as the business side of the industry.
Creed the Band is Back! Are They a Christian Band? Were They Ever?
In 1994, Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, reconnected while they were students at Florida State University. They spent hours together in late-night discussions about theology, music, philosophy, and the meaning of life. Those existential talks became the basis for many of their lyrics. It’s only natural then to wonder, now that Creed the band is back, Are they a Christian band? Were they ever? Equipped with a handful of songs, they held auditions for other band members. They added bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips. Acoustic guitarist Brian BrasherBrian Brasher joined next. From 1994-1997, the band played small local shows around Tallahassee and developed a following.
Creed’s Big Break
Scott and Mark had learned about Jeff Hanson, a Tallahassee music manager and promoter who also owned a larger bar venue. They told him if he’d book them they’d guarantee a big audience, and he agreed. Hanson was quite impressed by 2 of their original songs. So impressed, that he signed them to his management and booking agency and then paid for their first record, “My Own Prison.” The album sold well locally but they needed a bigger label to sign them. Executives from New York-based Wind-up Records traveled to Tallahassee to hear them perform. Their sound and energy sealed the deal and Creed had a contract with their first big label. “My Own Prison” yielded 4, #1 Billboard hits with 6,000,000 albums sold.
Creed Delivers Again With “Human Clay”!
With their next album, “Human Clay,” Creed continued to have remarkable success selling over 10,000,000 units. The single, “With Arms Wide Open,” went to #1 on the Billboard Top 100. Eventually, the price of their bigger-than-life public image began to take its toll. Creed experienced the world of Scott and Mark had become concerned for bass player Brian Marshall. The pair approached him feeling that he was spinning out of control with alcohol and drug abuse. The conversation didn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped, and soon Brian left the band. Some say he left on friendly terms and others disagree. However, 1 thing is certain; Brian needed substance abuse treatment and he got it.
Fame Had “Weathered” Creed
The band released their 3rd album, “Weathered,” in the fall of 2001 with 6, #1 songs. It landed at #1 on Billboards Top 200 for 8 weeks. But things started falling apart when Scott was arrested for reckless driving. Then, in the Spring of 2022, he suffered a concussion and a spinal injury from a car accident. Scott, like his bandmates, was a heavy drinker. Now, with his injuries, he has become addicted to pain medication. “In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, he confessed that while touring in support of Weathered, he became addicted to Percocet, Xanax, and the steroid prednisone to treat throat problems.
Tension between the guys in the band was too bad to continue. In 2004, Creed disbanded, leaving some fans angry. Eventually, Scott took the blame. After the split, Stapp went to Hawaii for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Then, the following year he released a solo album, “The Great Divide.”. Tremonti and Phillips reunited with former bandmate Brian Marshall to form a new band, Alter Bridge,
Creed Comes “Full Circle”…For a While
For Creed diehards, 5 years was a long time without their band. Eventually, in 2009, they reunited and released 2 new albums, “Full Circle,” followed by “Creed Live.” The band seemed to be back on track, so they scheduled a 2010 world tour. However, the tour was not as successful as they had hoped due to less-than-hoped concert attendance. They continued to work on music and perform in a variety of venues, but without the energy and fanfare they had previously experienced. Then in 2013, Creed took a break which actually became a 10-year breakup. Scott said he felt that the other band members would scrap Alter Bridge in favor of focusing entirely on Creed. Mark, however, said that wasn’t the case. He revealed that the pain and tension from the past
Creed the Band is Back! Are they a Christian Band?
Since Creed the band is back, it’s sensible to ask, “Are they a Christian band?” After all, for years, fans have looked for hidden meaning by popular artists. In addition, the music industry has seen a considerable number of secular artists and groups that crossed over to other musical genres. The same is true of CCM as is discussed in this 2003 New York Times article by Neil Strauss. Creed had big hits with their authentic-sounding and emotional lyrics in songs like “Higher,” “My Sacrifice,” “With Arms Wide Open,” “Overcome,” and many others. Those lyrics and Creed’s post-grunge sound appealed to spiritually-seeking fans in addition to everyday listeners who missed Grunge music.
Scott Stapp – Founder
“We are not a Christian band. This is a question we are asked a lot because of some of the references made in the lyrics. A Christian band has an agenda to lead others to believe in their specific religious beliefs. We have no agenda!” (However, Stapp is a Christian. “I would feel a connection with God when I wrote the words and then when I would sing the songs, learning the songs, I would feel the Holy Spirit,” confirmed Stapp in a 2013 interview. He wrote a memoir, Sinner’s Creed, which was released by Tyndale House on October 2, 2012).
Mark Tremonti – Co-Founder
“When we first came out in America, some people asked us if were a Christian band. Then they heard our music and realized that we weren’t. But it’s worked to our advantage because a lot of kids who aren’t allowed to listen to Marilyn Manson can listen to us. After all, there’s nothing wrong with what we’re saying. The Christian rock thing is a big misconception. It’s not entirely wrong — we all have morals, but that’s it,” (Freydkin, 1999. “The Little Rock Band That Could – Creed holds a musical inquisition.” CNN.com
Creed The Band is Back! Where Are They Now?
1 of the world’s most successful bands has announced that they’re back! Fans are excited about the announcement of Creed’s reunion. According to their website, Creed.com, the band has announced “The Summer of ’99 Tour” with a packed calendar starting April 18- September 28, 2024.
- Scott married Miss New York USA 2004 winner and model Jaclyn Nesheiwat. Together they have 1 daughter and 2 sons.
- Mark married Victoria Rodriguez in 2002. The couple have two sons and a daughter.
- Brian and his girlfriend Melanie have a son.
- Scott married April and they have 1 child.