Creed Take You Higher

Scott Stapp says "Weathered" is band's most intense album

November 2, 2001 12:00 AM ET

For Creed, making their new record, Weathered, was an exercise in restraint. During the entire year and a half that the band toured behind its previous album, Human Clay, frontman Scott Stapp had one rule: No new songs could be written.

"We wanted to live life and have experiences, and set aside a time later where we would write," says Stapp. What's more, in the months since they returned home to Orlando, Florida, Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti vowed that they wouldn't listen to any music at all. "We didn't want to be subconsciously influenced by anything," Stapp says. "We wanted this record to completely come from what was in us." The discipline paid off: Three weeks after Stapp and Tremonti started to work, they had written an album's worth of material. "Everything just poured out of us," Stapp says.

Due out on November 20th, Weathered is, according to Stapp, "a very extreme record," and he says some of its songs are "the heaviest, most intense music we've ever written." But midway through, the eleven-track album takes an upswing, using the first single, "My Sacrifice," to segue into uplifting numbers comparable to Human Clay's "Higher." "It's almost two records in one," Stapp says. "Sometimes we want to freakin' rock, and other times we want a lullaby. It's a symbol of mine and Mark's personalities, which have very high highs and very low lows."

The writing was done mostly in Stapp's living room during four-hour jags. In the final days, they worked from his boat, a Sea Ray cruiser, jamming late into the night. "Being out on the water, under the stars with your best friend, was a cool way to be stimulated," he remembers.

For one of their more experimental tracks, the duo enlisted Bo Taylor, a Cherokee, to sing on "Who's Got My Back." Stapp, himself part Cherokee, says that his desire to "reconnect with [his] roots" inspired him to involve Taylor, who is an avowed Creed fan. "I played him the demo and spoke with him about what the song meant," Stapp recalls. "We talked about it for forty-five minutes, and we had him do about four or five chants. One of them was just perfect."

Weathered was recorded in Ocoee, Florida, in a house owned by a former member of Tabitha's Secret, Rob Thomas' band before Matchbox Twenty. Producer John Kurzweg, who also worked on Creed's two prior records, says that Stapp, Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips were more relaxed during the Weathered sessions than in the past. "They're willing to get a little heavier in places, and a little bit lighter, too," he says. The title track, the producer says, has a classic-rock vibe that reminds him of Bad Company or Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The band was halfway through recording on September 11th, and Kurzweg says the mood intensified in the following weeks. "We tried to go forward and do the best we could," he says. "But all the songs were written before. Not one lyric was changed."

Stapp says that regardless of the reception for Weathered, he's confident it's the best record the band has ever done. "If there's one thing those guys do well," Kurzweg says, "it's that they know how to write songs. They're not necessarily trying to change the face of music -- they just want to do good, strong rock music. And when I heard these tracks, I thought, 'They've done it again.' "

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

More Song Stories entries »