Creed weathered eight years of dizzying stardom together, but ultimately, the band felt like their own prison. So suggests guitarist Mark Tremonti, who acknowledged to MTV News that the trio has been defunct for a few months. Tremonti said that he'd become increasingly estranged from singer and songwriting partner Scott Stapp, and that when they got together a few months ago after a yearlong hiatus, ''we got our instruments and played, but neither of us was taking it seriously. We were just running in circles. There wasn't a vibe like on the previous records. It felt very joblike.'' He said he and Stapp haven't spoken since February, effectively ending Creed's run, which saw the rockers sell 24 million copies of such albums as ''Human Clay'' and ''Weathered.''
Tremonti said that he and drummer Scott Phillips had felt Stapp growing increasingly distant after his April 2002 car accident. ''When every day just seemed to get weirder and weirder, it's natural to start discussing that with the people around you,'' Phillips told MTV. ''There wasn't ever a point where anyone was like, 'All right, I'm done with it.' It was more a question of what exactly is happening. What's going to happen tomorrow night? What's going to happen three months from now?''
Tremonti and Phillips have formed a new band, called Alter Bridge, which expects to release its first album in August. Stapp, who has been working on a solo record, did not address Tremonti and Phillips' comments, but he issued a statement to fans, saying, ''Creed was one of the most amazing journeys through music and friendship I am blessed to say I was a part of. I made memories I can never replace. I just want to thank the fans who supported us and became part of the Creed experience. We could not have accomplished anything without you!''