“Everything about this record is turned up a few extra notches,” Creed frontman Scott Stapp tells Billboard about “Weathered,” the modern rock trio’s third Wind-Up set, due Nov. 20. “The uptempo songs rock harder than anything we’ve imagined doing, and the softer, chilled songs have more depth, more complexity. We went for broke on this album – no boundaries, no limits.”
The set is getting a huge pre-release boost from the single “My Sacrifice,” which is No. 2 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and No. 5 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks tally. The song is also garnering airplay on adult top-40 stations.
And although Stapp asserts that he and guitarist/songwriting partner Mark Tremonti do not create music with the intention of directly affecting the thoughts and emotions of their fans, it’s becoming an increasingly welcome by-product.
“The words I write, I write for myself,” Stapp says in the Nov. 10 issue of Billboard. “The idea of those words connecting with people who are also searching for light at the end of the tunnel is gratifying. This band has seen a whole lot of the country over the past few years, and it’s been sad to feel the tension and anger among kids. If one of our songs can help break or relieve some of that tension, that’s a staggering, truly humbling gift.”
One of the pair’s more combustible collaborations on “Weathered” is “Who’s Got My Back,” a tune that saw Stapp tracing the Cherokee portion of his heritage. “Every time I heard the intro to the song, I envisioned a tribal Indian chant,” Stapp says. “That sent me on a mission to get more information on my background and reconnect with that part of my history.”
He eventually found a reservation – and Bo Taylor, a man fluent in ancient Cherokee chants. “It had to be ancient, not modern; there’s a huge difference between the two,” Stapp explains. “We brought Bo into the studio and played him the music. He caught the vibe immediately, stepped up to the mic, and belted out four or five different chants. The first chant he did is the one that we used on the song. It’s so moving to me. It literally brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.”
Although a North American tour in support of “Weathered” is still taking shape, already locked in are appearances at the Billboard Music Awards and VH1 Honors (both in early December). In addition, the band has been confirmed to appear Nov. 17 on Saturday Night Live, and is expected to journey to Europe for a series of promotional appearances shortly after the release of the album.