[artist id="1243"]Creed[/artist] know exactly who they are. Back together after six years apart and a few weeks into a reunion tour that singer Scott Stapp said has been going way better than he expected, the Florida band is preparing to come all the way back with an album he promises delivers exactly what the fans want.
Produced by Howard Benson (Daughtry, Hoobastank), Full Circle was recorded before this summer's tour, and Stapp said its 15 songs make for the band's most accomplished effort to date.
"I think we've gone in many different directions, sonically and musically. It's at a higher level, because everyone's grown as players and in their art," Stapp said of the years since their 2004 split, during which he released a solo album and the other three members released two albums as Alter Bridge with another vocalist. "We're comfortable with our own identity, confident in what we play."
One of the reasons he's so confident about the new songs is because before entering the studio, the band — which includes guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott "Flip" Phillips — threw out their old rule about not tracking any songs that they couldn't play exactly the same way live. "We know we can hire a guy to play piano or another electric guitar, and while I think we have this massively produced record with all these sounds on it, it's also a raw, edgy, guitar-driven rock album with some sex appeal," he said.
Sexy? Yeah, in fact, Stapp bragged, "really sexy."
With a scope he said covers the epic journey of life, with a healthy dose of autobiographical lyrics that sum up the past few rocky years, Stapp described the songs on the new album as some of the heaviest Creed have ever recorded. "But it also has a groove," he added. "A sexiness to it. If you're driving down the street and you've got your arm on the steering wheel, no matter what song is on, you can move your head to it. I think what you can hear is the confidence in the band and what we're doing together."
Then again, Stapp said songs like "Full Circle," "Away in Silence," "Overcome" and "On My Sleeve" are every bit the aggressive, grungy rock that fans have come to expect from the 35 million-selling group.
"They really drive home the fact that we're a rock band and that's at the core of what we are," he said of the group, which suffered some slings and arrows from critics the first time around for a sound some considered derivative of other grunge acts. "It's time for us to say, 'Here we are. This is who we are.' No shame, no embarrassment and no worry about what anyone else thinks. It's not from a pretentious standpoint. If you like it, cool. If not, as the Australians say, 'Good on ya.' "
The first single from Full Circle, "Overcome," will hit radio later this week.