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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After toiling around the local circuit and self-releasing their first CD, the band signed to Wind-Up Records in 1998, which is when their rise began in earnest. But here's the thing about Creed: They had chops, but not a single idea in their collective head. They were, however, persistent--look into Scott Stapp's eyes and you'll know there has perhaps never been a man more eager to stand on a CGI cliff in a rock video--and by the by, they learned how to play by the new rules.

In the absence of new music with a vision, those new rules quickly established themselves as a sort of recipe for mass appeal and mainstream success.

Creed--a pallid, entitled imitation of something that might not have been so great in the first place--sold millions upon millions of records and became the sole embodiment of everything that went wrong. What they proved was the final triumph of capitalism over what, at the very least, should have been something like art.

Three prevailing facts aided them in this sorrowful (but lucrative!) journey. They were:

One: The radio is for sale.

I know you don't want to believe it--neither do I--but it's looking more like the truth all the time: Payola is back, and with a vengeance. Sure, these days it's all clouded in terms like "promotional support" and grandfathered through by independent promoters ironically called "indies" who merely sort of make demands and then launder money between influential stations and labels.

And while I would never be so bold as to accuse any one artist or band of knowingly doing this, there is compelling evidence that it happens constantly, and here's the rub: The second it does, radio programming becomes no longer about the music.

To think that one pay-for-play incident would not color the entire credibility of what gets on the radio--especially given how rock and Top 40 stations parrot one another once a record looks like it might break--would be naive.

(For more on this, dig up Eric Boehlert's amazing story on the modern payola system on Salon.)

Two: Creed are all mixed up with Jesus, and that just can't be good for rock 'n' roll.

While it may be true that before they went mega, Creed probably started out as a contemporary Christian/sports bar band simply because that was the whited-out cultural cesspool from which they emerged, it has been hard for them to shake the Christian thing--and they've been trying.

"I can say that all the members believe in God, but we each differ on our methods to reach Him," says Stapp on the band's website. "I know this might be hard to understand for all the Christians who follow the band--and trust me, I know where you are coming from--but let us continue to seek, and if that is the way, then we will find, if we continue to knock, the doors will be opened."

Clearly, a lot of this is just backpedaling for the mainstream.

Stapp's nudging and winking with Christianity is basically analogous to Trent Lott's ring-around-the-rosy with racism: It's clear the group has an affiliation. But the conventional wisdom is that Christian rock has no credibility in the secular world, and with good reason.

The contemporary American-style Christian Right--which has more to do with a political and social orientation than a belief in the divine--seems to endorse everything rock 'n' roll has over the years sought to defeat. Like sexual repression. And segregationism. And so on.

Creed's muted affiliation, whether the band knows it or not, is more in line with Bush and Lott's America than with anything else in the whole of rock 'n' roll. It's a travesty. Believe whatever you want--hey, that's why we're all here, right?--but to drag their whole weird Christian nudge-and-wink thing into rock 'n' roll, the very arena that was set up in protest against it, is wrongheaded, and yeah, even sinister.

Three: Creed plays into the business plans of this country's companies that are destroying rock 'n' roll as we speak.

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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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