Do you know where to find an article or interview with Scott Stapp? If so, please send it in, I would love to post it!
Those who were surprised that Creed's sophomore album, Human Clay, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 clearly weren't paying attention when its predecessor, 1997's My Own Prison, sold four million copies and launched such radio hits as "What's This Life For" and the title track. The northern Florida-based hard rock quartet forged its path the oldfashioned way, with hard touring that resulted in strong word of mouth, which led to radio play and, eventually, MTV's embrace. That groundwork having been laid, Human Clay was anxiously awaited by an audience which has embraced Creed as its new rock hero, perhaps the first of the post-alternative era (non-hip-hop division, that is). Creed has no plans of going away any time soon either. Frontman Scott Stapp reports that the near future will find the group on the soundtrack for Scream 3, which it's producing, and on the upcoming Doors' tribute album, playing "Roadhouse Blues" with that group's Robbie Krieger.
CDNOW: Was debuting at No. 1 a surprise?
Scott Stapp: I don't think we were worried too much about what was going to happen with the record because we really, deep inside, feel like it's a much better album than the first. And if the first record did so well, then there's no reason why this one shouldn't do as well.
CDNOW: Did you feel any pressure in making Human Clay after My Own Prison's success?
Scott Stapp: You know, we didn't during the recording and the making of the record. We didn't until we started doing interviews, and everyone who interviewed us started asking, "Do you feel pressure" [laughs], and we were like, after awhile, "Uh, are we supposed to?" Then we started thinking about it and, yeah, I couldn't lie to you and say we don't feel a little bit of pressure.
It's more just an anxious feeling of "God, let's get this record out and get back on the road and see what happens."
"Everything changes when you become successful."
CDNOW: Did you have any particular creative goals when you went in to record?
Scott Stapp: Because we write non-stop, we really didn't have any thoughts of "OK, we're going to the studio, and we're gonna make this kind of record." By the time we got to the studio we had all the songs done and written from the last two years of being on tour. If we wrote a good song, and we liked it, and it gave us goosebumps and made us feel awesome, we kept it.
So I guess if there was an unspoken goal of "Let's make a better record than the first," then we accomplished that.
CDNOW: Do you feel like it's a heavier album than My Own Prison?
Scott Stapp: I think definitely the first half of it is pretty dark and heavy. That wasn't intentional; it just happened.
You're on the road playing live, and those intense, harder songs really nail the crowd in a live performance. And so when you're out on the road and writing, you're in that whole live show mentality, "Let's rock the crowd." I think that probably bled over to the songwriting -- "Let's write songs that rock!"
CDNOW: A lot of songs on Human Clay seem to involve some type of journey through darkness and into the light -- a more enlightened or optimistic place. What accounts for that?
Scott Stapp: I think that's how we feel as a band. We deal with whatever we're dealing with, but it always seems to come out with some kind of glimmer of hope. It's not like we wallow around in crap; if we're dealing with something lyrically or even in a song that has this seriousness or this intensity, we always seem to want to find a way out of it and uplift ourselves and kind of rise above it.
We can't just ride on some serious emotion without finding some kind of release, and I think that's definitely the way the album's turned out.
CDNOW: How did you find the experience of success?
Scott Stapp: It was -- God, it's not over -- it had its moments where I was on top of the world, and it had its moments where I wanted to crawl underneath a rock and not come out for awhile. Sometimes I wondered if I was happier before all this happened. It's an emotional roller-coaster ride from the touring aspect to the creative aspect to your relationships with the guys in the band.
Everything changes when you become successful. But we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Sometimes if you get into a negative mentality, the other guys in the band will be "Dude, look at your life. Look at what you accomplished. You're living your dream. Now, shut up!" We kind of keep each other in check.
CDNOW: The song "With Arms Wide Open" is about your becoming a father. What's that been like for you?
Scott Stapp: Wonderful, really. It changes your whole view on the world. It definitely changes your lifestyle, because you start thinking "What kind of legacy am I going to leave for my son?'' It definitely changed me, and it's all been positive. He's brought so much joy into my life that you just can't manufacture. It's just the real thing.
CDNOW: Is he a Creed fan?
Scott Stapp: He's really drawn to the music, which is probably because the whole time he was in the womb he was at Creed shows every night, so he heard the My Own Prison album probably for eight months of his pre-natal life. So he's definitely got a music ear. And he's more interested in playing Uncle Mark's [Tremonti] guitar than anything else [laughs].
CDNOW: What's going on with the Scream 3 soundtrack?
Scott Stapp: Basically we were asked to be executive producers, and what that is, is to put together the soundtrack, select the bands that are going to be on there. And I think that's why we did it, because we felt it was like, "OK, someone's going to pay us to put together a cool rock compilation," and that's what we wanted to do.
We're actually putting two songs on there, a song from Human Clay ["What If"] and one we wrote for the film ["The End"]. And then we're just filling it up with some other bands that a lot of people know about other bands like that that are in the rock-and-roll genre that we all think are cool and that we stand behind.
CDNOW: Are you a big fan of the movies?
Scott Stapp: I've never seen any of them, man [laughs]. I just never got around to it. I guess I should, huh, so I can be more educated in speaking about the movie. I'm just not into it, I guess.
(More coming soon)