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Old 01-10-2004, 10:20 PM   #1
Bridge of Clay
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Guitar virtuoso Troy Stetina speaks about Creed

The following was taken from www.stetina.com board. For those who don't know him, Troy Stetina is a guitar virtuoso that gave Mark lessons last year. He released a few records, but he's not mainstream. He also wrote several books and articles about learning guitar.

http://www.stetina.com/cgi-bin/ikonb...um=4&topic=178

Quote: I would expect that most of the guitarists here wouldn't be Creed fans for 2 reasons. First, the songs are dominated by vocal/lyric and the guitar is by and large in a supporting role (and there's no shred... yet, anyway). Second, I think most of the people attracted to shred guitar tend to be a 'counter-trend' bunch... that is to say, many here are more attracted to underground things and less popular things precisely because they run counter to mainstream taste. Nothing wrong with that... you want to stand apart from the bunch. Of course Creed is on top of the heap in terms of mainstream, and therefore it's no surprise that it's popular among the counter-trend to bash them... or at least to demote them to a lower importance than popular music has elevated them. Or course, if you realize that their 'importance' isn't due to being 'the best'... it is due to sales pure and simple... then you may feel less inclined to 'set the record straight' and demote them. The fact is that the people have spoken with their wallets and they have made Creed the monstrous success that it is. So there really is nothing to 'set straight'.... it is what it is, and they get precisely the amount of attention they deserve in a market economy.

So, can anyone here can honestly say that they aren't good at what they do? The style may not be your personal preference, but it is well done. If you think that's easy, just go ahead and try to write a song as good as 'Higher'. Ya know, *playing* a hit song is hardly the same thing as writing one!

Now if you CAN honestly say that you don't hear anything 'good' about the band... if you don't even glimpse the attraction... if you don't 'get it'... if you listen to 'Higher' and do NOT notice that it's a well-arranged song with a great hook, then, by definition there is something missing in your perception. I mean, obviously there is an attraction that the majority of people have verified as being valid. So if you cannot see it at all... if it totally mystifies you why they are successful, I would suggest that you get used to the idea that you do not understand public taste, and therefore your music will most likely not have any widespread appeal beyond musicians. (Except for the most fortunate of accidents! I mean, you cannot succeed by design if you cannot design success.) Listening with a more open mind and asking yourself "What is going on here that people are so into?", would result in a fuller appreciation of the positives. Then, one might be set on a path to a wider audience.

Many of you will respond, "I don't care about mainstream success." That's fine, but in that case don't complain 10 years down the road when you're still playing in your bedroom part time because you have to a work full time job to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for your 2 1/2 kids. That's where most musicians are, because it's extremely hard to make a living in music. So music is either a hobby you do on the side, or you become a full time leach on those more productive around you who will pay your bills for you. Now the bigger your potential market is, the more likely you are to accomplish the ability to make a living at it. The trick is to do it in a way that ALSO satisfies you artistically.

My 2 cents...

Troy
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:22 PM   #2
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another post

Quote: Good point... I'd just reverse the order a bit. In any music destined for the mainstream, vocals are first, then sex appeal and arrangement/song is probably after that.

Well, actually, the sex appeal thing isn't a hard and fast rule (there are always exceptions and popular songs with less-than-model-looking people), but you can be sure that it's a big boost if a group has that. And only those who have all 3 ever get to the real top of the heap.

Maybe rather than ranking the 3 elements listed, one should view them as a chain... all three must hold strong... any weak link will reduce the ultimate success level.

BTW, regarding all the technically proficient players listed by SantoG3... yeah, they all have careers in music of varying financial return. But technical proficiency does NOT guarantee that. There are many very technically proficient players who cannot make a living as recording artists.

Troy
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:22 PM   #3
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one more:

Quote: And therein lies another secret to achieving mainstream success...

As repulsive as this may seem to most of you who cherish originality, it is far better to mimic someone currently on top... not exactly 'mimic'... how about sound 'in the vein of' them. That's 'the safe way' to get signed.

The trick is then to be creative within the bounds of that 'current' sound. Then you're halfway there. Try to be too unique at the outset and the industry (and most people) will shrug and say "what's that?"

In fact, that's a bit of what my project has been wrestling with. My singer, Dan, IMO has a great voice, but he doesn't sound like current rock vocal style... he's somewhat higher range. That might be good if the project gets launched... it separates us from everyone else. But it might just as easily prevent us from getting launched. We will see. The question is, will that sell? No one knows. And labels are by and large a timid bunch when it comes to that question... they want a 'slam dunk' and that means bands that sound similar to an established success.

Troy
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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http://www.stetina.com/cgi-bin/ikonb...um=4&topic=180

the best parts are to come:

Quote: After I recorded Exottica, a lot of people have said things to me over the last few years like, "Keep it up! Let's bring shred back!"

Well, writing that last response on the 'Creed' thread got me to thinking about this discussion I recently had with Mark... He said all it really takes to put shred back in business is 20 seconds. That is, a great hit song that has massive mainstream success, gets tons of airplay, AND a great 20 second shredding solo. That it.

No amount of killer instrumental albums will do it. Because no one cares. Because music is a market-driven thing, driven by sales. The only way is to tie shred to something popular and mainstream, with loads of sales... that would turn everything upside down.

Of course he's exactly right. That's what he wants to try to do on his next album. And that's also what I'm trying to do with my upcoming project. If either or both of us succeed, there just may be a market after all for what most of you on this board want to do! So, if only for that, I think a little Creed respect is due... or at least Tremonti respect!

Troy

PS: Mark can already play as fast as anyone I've heard.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:24 PM   #5
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Quote: The trick is then to be creative within the bounds of that 'current' sound. Then you're halfway there. Try to be too unique at the outset and the industry (and most people) will shrug and say "what's that?"

This is what's wrong with the music industry. It sucks that creativity has to be *molded* to fit the market trends. Grrrrr.

Thanks for the post, Marcos. Interesting read.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:47 PM   #6
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Quote: (Originally Posted by Dogstar) This is what's wrong with the music industry. It sucks that creativity has to be *molded* to fit the market trends. Grrrrr.

Thanks for the post, Marcos. Interesting read.

I agree 100% with you Dogstar, I was actually the one that posted the orignal question by asking people if they liked Creed because of Mark's involvement in Troy's lastest project. I was a little taken a back by the counter culture running though this bunch but those that took the time to listen to Creed liked what they heard.

One can only hope that Mark indeed does have some shredding on this album and in any new songs on the anthology.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:53 PM   #7
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Yup!! Very interesting stuff... thnx Tremo! I like that shredding-thing...
So write a Creed-song... 20 sec of shredding and the machine rrrruns!!!
I had a good read!!!
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:54 PM   #8
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that was you? cool!

yeah, according to Michael, Mark wrote a song that becomes heavy, has a lot shredding then goes all bluesy... that's a song that would probably come up on the 4th album, but it seems now it's coming up on the other band...

I hope they add this to the anthology, coz it by the description, it sounds great!
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote: One can only hope that Mark indeed does have some shredding on this album and in any new songs on the anthology.
Amen to that!
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:59 PM   #10
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About the bluesey song with the shredding solo I guess its possible to use at least the main riff and perhaps the solo in both "Stappless" (LOL) and in Creed's best of and rarities collection just like Times of Trouble and Footsteps which most will know are basically identical songs with different singers and lyrics.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:02 PM   #11
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sounds good, hide.

I read somewhere that it seems Mark wrote all of hide, including lyrics, but Stapp changed the lyrics later... I think it was supposed to be a love song, or something to that effect... I don't remember now.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:29 PM   #12
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Quote: (Originally Posted by Tremonti_Fed) sounds good, hide.

I read somewhere that it seems Mark wrote all of hide, including lyrics, but Stapp changed the lyrics later... I think it was supposed to be a love song, or something to that effect... I don't remember now.

Since everyone seems to hang on every word that Michael says...here is exactly what he posted about Hide.


The REAL GabrielPosts: 56(5/18/03 2:19:24 am)Reply Re: What Creed lyrics did Mark write exactly? While Mark wrote the music and melodys for Hide I think the lyrics were a collaboration. I heard Mark play the song before he presented it to Scott and the lyrics were different. The song was called Hide at the time but the content was about being scared to commit in a relationship. Scott took the idea and made it his own while changing the lyrics to its present form. Some lyrics in there might be ones Mark wrote but I honestly can't remember the lyrics to the the original version so I cant be sure. I guess you could equate it to movies. Mark came up with the story idea and Scott wrote the script, if that analogy helps at all.Michael
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:33 PM   #13
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Quote: (Originally Posted by Frankie) Since everyone seems to hang on every word that Michael says...here is exactly what he posted about Hide.


The REAL GabrielPosts: 56(5/18/03 2:19:24 am)Reply Re: What Creed lyrics did Mark write exactly? While Mark wrote the music and melodys for Hide I think the lyrics were a collaboration. I heard Mark play the song before he presented it to Scott and the lyrics were different. The song was called Hide at the time but the content was about being scared to commit in a relationship. Scott took the idea and made it his own while changing the lyrics to its present form. Some lyrics in there might be ones Mark wrote but I honestly can't remember the lyrics to the the original version so I cant be sure. I guess you could equate it to movies. Mark came up with the story idea and Scott wrote the script, if that analogy helps at all.Michael

thanks heaps for posting that it clears everything up. It would be great if in this anthology we could get some information on other such matters, perhaps how songs such as Hide were originally supposed to be and the song that Mark wrote for his wife.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:41 PM   #14
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Yeah, that was it! Thank you, Frankie. I didn't remember it was from one of Michael's posts.
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Last edited by Bridge of Clay : 01-11-2004 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:42 PM   #15
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ummmm interesting
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