Creed Resuming Work On Human Clay Follow-Up

Group hopes to have new LP in stores by October or November.

ANAHEIM, California — Creed vocalist Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti will start working nights this week as they resume writing the follow-up to 1999's smash Human Clay.

Refreshed from taking the holidays off, the songwriting duo plans to buckle down four nights a week and pen an album that intensifies the larger-than-life feel of its predecessor.

"It's gonna be more extreme on all extremities — the harder stuff a little harder, the epic stuff a little more epic," Tremonti said Saturday.

Creed plan to spend the next few months writing before heading into the studio in July and hopefully releasing the disc in October or November. Tremonti said the band, which worked with longtime friend and producer John Kurzweg on both My Own Prison (1997) and Human Clay, has not picked a producer for the album.

The spiritual Florida rockers parted ways with bass player and founding member Brian Marshall in August and hired Brett Hestla as their touring bassist. Hestla will be working on an album with his group Virgos while Creed are recording their LP as a trio, but the bands are considering a joint fall tour after both albums hit stores. Hestla said he would play both sets.

Tremonti, Hestla and Creed drummer Scott Phillips attended last weekend's National Association of Music Merchants trade show in Anaheim, where Paul Reed Smith Guitars unveiled Tremonti's new signature model.

Tremonti said he had been working with PRS to design the guitar for about a year. "It's the baddest guitar on the planet. It's a technically perfect, thick, massive-sounding guitar. I think it's the best in the world today."

Creed, who cleaned up at several recent award ceremonies, are up for two Grammys next month. "With Arms Wide Open" is nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rock Song, the latter of which would go to its songwriters, Tremonti and Stapp.

"A Grammy would be great — I'm just not gonna count on it," Tremonti said. "We've won a lot of awards this year, and I'm happy about 'em. If we don't win a Grammy, we don't win a Grammy. We've got a lot more albums ahead. But we're up for two of them, so we'll keep our fingers crossed."