Creed wrote megahit Higher onstage in front of 4,000 people, reveals Mark Tremonti

Creed, 2023
(Image credit: Chuck Brueckmann)

Creed wrote their career-defining track Higher on the spot in front of 4,000 people, guitarist Mark Tremonti has revealed.

The 50-year-old, who also plays in alt-metal outfit Alter Bridge, explains in an interview with Guitar World that the track was born from impromptu, onstage jams that vocalist Scott Stapp subjected the band to.

“Scott liked to play this game where he would put the band on the spot and say, ‘We’re going to write a song,’” Tremonti says.

“In our college years, he would do that in front of a live audience at a club, and I would just start riffing out. 

“The band would follow me and he’d start singing. The chorus of Higher was born that way. That song was written in front of a live group of people.”

Stapp adds that the “group” Higher was written in front of was 4,000-strong.

“I still like to do that – I’m sure the band guys around me hate it. But it’s fun and you get in a flow,” the singer continues.

“Mark can trigger me with some of his licks and interludes between songs. When I hear it, I roll with it. I’m glad Mark jogged my memory on that, because that’s how that chorus was born.”

Creed formed in 1994 and released Higher five years later as the lead single of their second album, Human Clay. The track was a breakthrough for the post-grunge group, scoring them their first US top 10 hit when it reached number seven in the Billboard charts.

Human Clay topped the charts in the US when released and has been certified Platinum 11 times over by the RIAA. The 25th anniversary edition of the album, featuring a host of bonus tracks and previously unheard material, arrives on August 16.

Creed split in 2004, shortly after its instrumentalists – Tremonti, drummer Scott Philips and then-former bassist Brian Marshall – formed Alter Bridge with vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy.

The band were reactivated from 2009 to 2012 and reunited again last year.

Creed - Higher (Official HD Music Video) - YouTube Creed - Higher (Official HD Music Video) - YouTube
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Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.