Why Creed Sucks

One rock fan's immodest refusal.

By Joey Sweeney
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 17 | Posted Dec. 25, 2002

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Dateline: PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 31, 2002. The members of the rock group Creed touched down on Philadelphia earlier today, and they've just completed their sound check for their New Year's Eve show at the First Union Spectrum. In the green room, somebody appears with a copy of this paper in hand, its tabloid front announcing, "WHY CREED SUCKS."

No shocker there. The band has seen this kind of thing before, so much so that at this point, it may be more of a joke to them than it is to the people slagging them.

Creed has seldom heard an encouraging word from the press, but the wisdom is that the joke is on us, not the band: Their latest record was recently certified as having gone platinum ... five times over.

The band members fight the good fight, though, and briefly consider cutting up the paper's cover and rearranging the letters in "WHY CREED SUCKS" to spell something else and then send it back. Problem is, the only thing you can really spell with "WHY CREED SUCKS" that makes any sense is, well, "WHY CREED SUCKS."

This story is basically a vehicle for a headline. Because sure enough, the whole world, it would seem, has conceded the band is terrible: They travel in only the most cringeworthy cliche, they are pompous to what would be the point of comedy--if only they were in on the joke--and they embody all that is dead, idealess and cowardly in present-day rock 'n' roll.

It's almost cruel, then, to single them out--the band is nothing more than a quartet of ridiculously clad and coiffed ducks in a barrel. Why pick on them?

Creed--and their torpid, halftime-playing, self-congratulatory type--are a cancer on the most beautiful thing God ever gave us in the 20th century: rock 'n' roll. And if we're ever to reclaim rock 'n' roll as anything other than acquiescence to the eventual mainstreaming of everything, it's worthwhile to peer through Creed's putrid fog of self-love and see, after all, in the cold light of day, Why They Suck.

Creed is the logical conclusion to all that went wrong--or, if you're in the record biz, right--with the thing the music industry calls "modern rock." Modern rock, perhaps more so than any other genre of music in our lifetime, was a complete and total creation of the marketplace.

Before 1993, there simply were no bands anywhere that sounded like Creed or that pushed the buttons for mass appeal in quite that same way--which is to say, before 1993, it would have been hard for any band to get it together to so thoroughly rip off Pearl Jam.

Creed's sound is the sound of what was very likely hundreds of bands from the mid-'90s: monster riffs; deep, thundering Led Zep-esque beats; and searing choruses that played fast and loose with spiritual truisms (� la U2) delivered by a singer well-schooled in yarling--that back-of-the-throat, oh-so-masculine Jim Morrison/Chewbacca noise perfected by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.

When Nirvana finally blew the lid on what until then was called "alternative music," or even worse, "postmodern," it was arguably the first time record executives had been caught with their pants down, in the upstream of a movement, since the dawn of the '70s.

Sure, R.E.M. and U2 had made dings in the armor in the late '80s, but even at the height of their respective popularities they were, as a rock phenomenon, a little more understandable, seeing as how both bands essentially traded on more pragmatic versions of conventional boomer politics and aesthetics. They weren't angry; they were passionate.

But when Nirvana came along, their hearts were full of sloppy, slobbering, snotty rage--so much so that to their eternal chagrin, they were able to appeal to those very same social subsets against which they raged: jocks, airheads, Hessians and, unbelievably, even Christians.

To their credit, Nirvana tried to keep a lid on their fame and appeal as best any million-selling-plus band could: They dropped instruments on their faces on national television, made sure their live shows were maddeningly messy and Kurt even announced he was bisexual before running off to make a 10-inch with William S. Burroughs. A recipe for lasting rock fame this was not.

But the appeal only stretched further, the anger, as John Lydon once sang, being an energy of its own. By the mid-'90s, the world was rife with Nirvana (or worse, Pearl Jam) cover bands, and record companies were eager to snap up the copies--which were invariably easier to deal with than the thorny originals and their stances against Ticketmaster and, ultimately, each other--and get them on the radio.

Creed was but one these bands, toiling in relative obscurity in their hometown of Tallahassee, Fla. It is said that lead singer Scott Stapp, the drip, moved there from his native Tampa after reading that Jim Morrison himself briefly lived there. He then reconnected with some old Tampa buds who'd also moved to the big city and--voila!--Creed was born, quickly finding what would be their base audience through the ages: people who didn't know any better.

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Comments 1 - 17 of 17
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1. WOW said... on Aug 11, 2009 at 09:18PM

“this writer is a stuck up homo lol... i dont like creed but seriously ahhh. dude do something with your life... then talk”

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2. Anonymous said... on Aug 27, 2009 at 10:04PM

“Really, this person is using "homo" as a pejorative, and we're supposed to take him/her seriously. How's about this writer is doing something with his life by writing about music? How's about you do something with your life and learn how to insult others without resorting to sexual orientation? Or maybe not... I thought this was a great article, although it's pretty old. But Creed apparently is back again for some apocalyptic reason, and America has every reason to be very scared... or at least another excellent reason to not listen to the radio for a while.”

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3. This is funny said... on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:46PM

“These people commented/argued on an article oringinally published in December of 2002. And now, so have I.”

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4. Seneca said... on Sep 19, 2009 at 05:31AM

“Well, here we are in 2009. It has been several years since this article was written, and it's still a strong argument about the way the music industry tried (successfully) to spoon feed us a manufactured band.

Oh yeah, and Creed still sucks.”

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5. mike said... on Oct 26, 2009 at 01:37PM

“Despite rumors to the contrary, Creed still sucks.

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6. Anonymous said... on Dec 9, 2009 at 04:17AM

“creed, pearl jam, and nirvana, who cares who came out first, they all look and sound alike, they suck just like every grunge band out of seattle and anywhere else, oh shit, !!! i forgot about canada, NICKLEBACK, now do you totally awesome grunge loving narrow minded morons who don't know good music know where i'm comming from?”

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7. drummermike said... on Mar 7, 2010 at 01:08AM

“musically adequate,withan ego maniac douchbag frontman.just because things that are bad sell a lot doesn't make them good.e.g.heroin,crack,mcdonalds.this band rode on christianity and religion's coattails,clawed into our psyche,then became a parasite on americana”

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8. Anonymous said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 03:36PM

“Creed is a band Tallahassee, Florida that became one of the 90’s biggest-selling rock bands. Creed disbanded in 2004 after three multi-platinum albums, selling an estimated 35 million records worldwide. The four original members, Scott, Mark, Tom, and Ryan reunited in 2009 and created a new album called Full Circle. In April 2010 they began The 20-10 Tour to perform their new album. InSeats.com has great deals on Creed tickets for all of the stops on their current tour.
For cheap Creed tickets visit

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9. scott stapp is a flaming douchebag said... on Aug 3, 2010 at 07:13PM

“i concurr with this entire article because it is true. the band sucks! they lack a huge bit of talent. tremonti is overrated, stapp sucks and i feel bad for the 3rd guy cuz he's stuck in this mess of bulls#!t he can't get out of. it's easy money for him but hey, if i got offered to play guitar in creed i'd tell them to take their entire band and shove themselves up eachother's as$es.”

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10. kevinthebadass said... on Mar 18, 2011 at 09:27PM

“creed rules all of you fucking haters my favorite band is nickelback and they got to may haters to and alot of fans go listen to your fucking justin bieber nickelback and creed both rule in fact nickelback thanks to creed in the state album and silver side up album so fuck off haters creed rule go listen to your baby justin bieber because you guys dont like rock back in 2002 nickelback wasnt like this only creed back in 1997 creed wasnt like this nickelback they were not famous in that time until 2000 with the state with leader of men but just all of you fuck off fuck justin bieber asshole stop maikng fun off creed and nickelback and go fuck justin bieber trust me assholes”

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11. Anonymous said... on Apr 3, 2011 at 01:54AM

“I think its funny that this writer talks about how they rip off pearl jam, but every band nowadays is a rip off of another band, if your gonna insult someone at least do it intelligently.

Rock on Creed
\m/ (><) \m/”

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12. Anonymous said... on Apr 3, 2011 at 01:58AM

“And by the way Nirvana was one of the greatest bands from its time not only did it pave the way for grunge rock but it influenced rock and roll forever.”

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13. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:15AM

“Look, Creed dosent suck, They are great live and perform. Everyone copies or plagurises someones eles work if you look close enough, Shall we crucify every band then afetr chuck berry and the Beatles for even trying?? Britney for ripping off Madonna , lady gaga for trying to be madonna?? The only thing Creed should be ashamed about is trying to change their sound and test the boundaries, ala U2 several times, What would Nirvana have done after the same record over and over?? Bands burn out and fade away. Its life folks, get a grip”

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14. Anonymous said... on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:57AM

“creed sucks. mark tremonti is winning best guitarist just because christians are voting for him and he sucks compared to synyster g... he doesnt deserve that award”

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15. jiggle daddy juggler said... on Nov 18, 2012 at 11:52PM

“I was just thinking earlier today how I have not taken the time out of my day to hate on Creed in quite some time. Then I stumbled upon this old article and decided that my hate for Creed is more about telling jokes than musical practices.

So I guess what Im trying to say is that Creed sucks a big ole hairy shlonger”

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16. Anonymous said... on May 30, 2013 at 08:38PM

“Creed sucks for its lack of originality and not I mean not just that it was a blatant copy that would take advantage of the success of Pearl Jam, but because his songs are tedious. You can hear the first beat and you know that is going to repeat all the time, changing only slightly in the chorus, which is common all its shitty fucking songs. That is why creed stinks”

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17. Anonymous said... on Mar 26, 2015 at 06:05AM

“Creed sucks big hairy monkey dicks for not coming up with their own material instead copy a great band from the early 90s. Besides with creed, it's not about the music, it's all about money with these cocksuckers.”


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