MARK TREMONTI Discussing the Gulf Between Media Criticism For CREED & Achieving Sold-Out Arenas

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Creed, Nickelback, Five Finger Death Punch, etc. – you are familiar with the kind of bands being referenced here. Those that everyone claims to have a distaste for (or they are described as a “guilty pleasure, dude”) and are consistently targeted by the media, yet continue to attain new RIAA certifications and fill arenas.

In a recent interview with Guitar World, the guitarist of Creed, Mark Tremonti, shared some straightforward advice for those who either express animosity or pretend to dislike these successful bands.

“Whether it’s LeBron James in basketball or Creed in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll, anytime an individual or group rises to the top, there are individuals who desire to witness their downfall,” expressed Tremonti. “Our songs were saturating the airwaves, and we were performing in your city almost every month. Some individuals resist that. This reaction is currently observable with Taylor Swift. She makes an appearance at a [Kansas City] Chiefs game, and there is a wave of animosity directed towards the situation. It’s truly unfortunate. Refrain from harboring negativity towards individuals simply because they are successful.”

Tremonti later reinforced that when he used to receive phone calls while on tour, he would instruct the caller to only mention positive aspects. This was particularly relevant considering that Tremonti had most likely just entertained thousands of people with Creed, the band that was subject to so much disdain.

“I recall thinking, ‘If you aim to pursue a career similar to ours and attain the level of success we have, you must develop a strong resolve.’ I eventually reached a stage where, if, for instance, my brother called me and said, ‘Hey, this person made this remark,’ I’d respond, ‘Dude, kindly refrain from sharing anything negative with me. Focus solely on positive feedback. Negativity is unwelcome.’ I’m standing on stage in front of these thousands of individuals every night, and they are not expressing discontent.”

In a recent conversation with Consequence, the lead vocalist of Creed, Scott Stapp, also touched upon the historical criticism directed at the band, highlighting that it never truly made sense to him.

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“I believe the initial resistance, to some extent, stemmed from our rapid and immense success — eight consecutive number one singles. We were dominating the airwaves. Our presence was unavoidable. I think the initial narrative was primarily crafted by a particular segment of the critical media, identified as the ‘cool guy club,’ who favored bands with modest record sales. Therefore, it was a narrative essentially manufactured by that section of the media and subsequently disseminated to create an illusion that it represented popular opinion.

“While this narrative was being circulated, we were packing arenas for multiple nights, achieving diamond record certifications, and scheduling stadium performances. It contradicted the real sentiments of the masses. Once again, it was a narrative shaped by the media. Despite encountering divergent opinions from either end, it did not accurately mirror public sentiment, and Creed has always resonated with the general public.

“We derived a lot of satisfaction from the accolades and recognition we received, chosen by the people, evidenced by the numbers, and corroborated by ticket sales. This is my perspective when viewed from a broader perspective, but at that time, it did catch all of us off guard. It was perplexing because we transitioned from appearing on magazine covers proclaiming ‘Creed is the savior of rock ‘n’ roll’ to suddenly becoming the most maligned band in the eyes of the media, not the public, but the media. Consequently, it was puzzling, ‘Wait, this is inconsistent with our rock ‘n’ roll aspirations. What’s happening?’

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