They're one of the biggest rock acts of the past decade, having sold nearly 35 million albums and toured the world many times over. But despite all that,
And that's part of the reason why — after nearly six years apart — they announced they're re-forming, with plans for a huge summer tour and a new album ... because they still feel like they've got critics to silence.
"We've always been fueled, since day one, by wanting to prove something, and that's within ourselves. And at times, it's been to the man," frontman Scott Stapp told MTV News. "We've always been the group of guys who are like, 'All right, say we can't do that, and we'll prove it to you.' You can't predict the future, but that's the attitude and the heart that drives this band."
Of course, that drive only got the reunion plans so far — there was still a fair amount that needed to be said between Stapp, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott "Flip" Phillips. After all, Marshall left the band (or was fired) after making derogatory statements about Pearl Jam in a radio interview way back in 2000. Then in 2004 the band split — under less-than-friendly circumstances — after a grueling tour in support of 2001's Weathered, with Tremonti and Phillips rehiring Marshall to form a new band, Alter Bridgeform a new band, Alter Bridge.
But, as the adage says, time heals all wounds. So when Stapp and Tremonti met up in Orlando earlier this year, there were some apologies exchanged ... and then it was full-speed ahead. Bygones, as it turns out, really are bygones.
"We were going through tough times, and we definitely needed a break when it all went down. There was a lot of external pressures and it got in between bandmates, but six years does a lot of healing, so when we came back we didn't want to get into the whole 'You said this, I did that' stuff," Tremonti said. "After six years to think about it, we realized what was important, and that was that we experienced something really amazing together."
"A lot of the stuff that was said," Stapp added, "it did reference a very short period — six, seven months over the course of 10 years. And we didn't want to go back to that. Those six, seven months didn't define our careers. Of course, there was 'Sorry if I ever hurt you,' but that was it. Because we all shared that feeling of 'Let's do this,' and we all realize one little chapter doesn't tell the whole story of what this band was about."
And one thing they're about is making big, huge rock albums, and then promoting them on big, huge arena tours. The album is called Full Circle, and Howard Benson (Daughtry, Hoobastank) is producing it. Tentative song titles include "A Thousand Faces," "Slow Suicide" and "Just Fine," and it's going to sound, according to Stapp, "like Creed: heavy, melodic, creative."
And then there's the tour — it's scheduled to kick off August 6 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion outside of Pittsburgh. There aren't any confirmed openers yet, but Stapp said they're kicking around names like Staind and Flyleaf. Oh, and he promises it'll be "the greatest rock show of the summer."
It's back to business as usual.
"There's something special about the history we have together," Stapp said. "Mark always says we cut our teeth writing songs together. And we just have a chemistry of knowing where the other guy in the band is going ... we know where each other is going. I don't know if that's something you can learn, or if it's a chemistry we have and a confidence we have. We're always wanting to outdo ourselves and prove something to each other ... and now, once again, we get to prove it to our fans and the critics."