Creed’s lead at Speed(way)

S cott Stapp has been making music since the early ‘90s, first with the band Creed then as a solo act. Along the way, he has developed a devoted following with his writing and singing talents. He’s also had his share of rough spots during what he calls the journey of life, which he discussed […]

Scott Stapp brings his musical journey to BMI Speedway


Scott Stapp is fit as a fiddle and ready to rock. 

By Tim Smith

Scott Stapp has been making music since the early ‘90s, first with the band Creed then as a solo act. Along the way, he has developed a devoted following with his writing and singing talents. He’s also had his share of rough spots during what he calls the journey of life, which he discussed with the Dayton City Paper during a recent interview. These experiences have had a big influence on his music.

“I get my inspiration from living life and the ups and downs of my personal journeys in life as well as the world as I observe it around me,” he says. “Whatever touches me or sparks something within me to trigger that creative influence. It’s all about the life I want to live, and the life that I observe.”

Stapp has received numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award for his hit single “With Arms Wide Open.” In 2006, Hit Parader ranked him as the 68th greatest heavy metal vocalist of all time. Since going solo, Stapp has released two studio albums, The Great Divide and Proof of Life, in addition to a live concert album. His fans needn’t worry about a drought, though, because he’s hard at work on a collection of more new tracks.

“I’ve spent the majority of this year writing and recording a new record,” he says. “I’m really excited about it. It isn’t quite finished yet ,and I’m still plugging away on it. I’m just continuing to do what I like to do. I’m just a rocker at heart. Going with the times, I think the music has progressed. It has a classic yet modern feel. I think the fans won’t be disappointed. I think it’s some of the best work that I’ve done in my career and I think there’s something on this record for everybody, and that it covers the entire music spectrum.”

Stapp’s music has been categorized variously as post-grunge, hard rock, alternative rock, alternative metal, and heavy metal. We tried to pin him down to one genre, but with little success.

“I think it’s kind of right on point to say that my music fits into all those categories and some you didn’t mention,” he says. “I’ve never put myself into a specific niche and said You know what, I’m in that niche now. Sometimes I may be in the mood where I write a full-up straight metal track, a ballad, something with a grunge feel, or classic rock. I don’t really like to put myself into one specific box. I like to write from my soul and draw from whatever inspires me at the time.”

Stapp drew from his personal experiences to start a non-profit charitable organization that took its name from his Grammy-winning single. The With Arms Wide Open Foundation was created as a way to reach out to those less fortunate.

“In 1998, when my life began to change, I never forgot where I came from and what I experienced as a child,” he says. “I felt that my life had become so blessed that I wanted to give back. The whole purpose was to help children and families in need. I really kept it low key for years and did everything behind the scenes. There were a few times when I partnered with food banks in cities where we toured. I have a passion for kids and families in need. Over the years it’s grown, as I’ve had my struggles and ups and downs, to help people who might be struggling with depression or soldiers with PTSD. It’s really expanded due to life experiences that I’ve had. It’s just something that’s always been important to me and my wife, to give something back.”

Like most pop music veterans, Stapp has a clear memory of the point when he knew he had made the right decision to pursue music as a career.

“I think in terms of the turning point, it was probably in 1996 before Creed ever got a record deal,” he recalls. “We had just finished our first ever recordings and recorded 10 out of the first 13 songs we did together. One of the local radio stations began playing some of them. We did a show and about 5,000 people showed up based on the strength of a local radio station playing our songs. I thought Hey, we can do this. If we can connect with this audience here in Tallahassee, Florida, we can connect with people all over.

His stop at BMI Speedway on August 26 is part of a three-day jaunt through Ohio and Michigan. Stapp recalled his last visit to the Miami Valley a few years ago.

“The last time I was at BMI it was an amazing show, a sold-out show,” he says. “The fans were incredible. I specifically remember that night being something special and I definitely want to top that. It’s gonna be a night the fans won’t forget. I definitely want to take them on a journey and I want them to feel the human experience and the whole gamut of emotions that we feel as human beings. I want them to feel the power in the music, the emotion in the music, the energy in the music. I want to be the conductor on that journey and leave them energized with a passionate performance.”

Scott Stapp and special guest 2×2 will perform on Aug. 26 at BMI Karts & Indoor Speedway, 769 E. Main St., Versailles. For tickets and more information, call 937.526.9544, or visit bmikarts.com. More information about Scott Stapp can be found at scottstapp.comScott Stapp photo courtesy of Vicki D Photography.

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Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at TimSmith@DaytonCityPaper.com

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