John Willoughby, ECB Publishing, Inc.
Madison-native Scott Phillips, drummer for Alter Bridge and Creed, is on the list of people known around the world. From his humble beginnings in Madison County, to playing at Royal Albert Hall, in London, Phillips has had experiences that some people dream of having.
Phillips graduated from Madison County High School in 1991; and in 1992, while he was going to school at North Florida Junior College (Now North Florida Community College), he heard from a friend of a friend that a band out of Jasper was looking for a drummer. Crosscut “met once a week,” said Phillips. In 1993, Phillips moved to Tallahassee to finish pre-requisites at Tallahassee Community College then moved on to Florida State University.
In 1994, he met the upcoming members of the well-known rock band, Creed. Scott Stapp, Brian Marshall and Mark Tremonti collaborated with Phillips to play small shows and eventually open for events. Creed began playing original songs in 1995, “which got just as good of a response as cover songs did,” said Phillips. Creed released their first album, My Own Prison in 1997 and received their first “big-break.” After representatives flew to a live Creed show, Creed was signed with Wind-Up Records, from New York City, NY. “Seeing the energy in the room when Scott Stapp (lead singer for Creed) stepped up to the microphone, and hearing his powerful voice fill the room, alongside Mark Tremonti's now legendary guitar riffs and that big Creed anthemic rock sound, was all I needed,” said Diana Meltzer, who signed Creed.
My Own Prison was known for the lyrics dealing with themes of faith and spirituality. Since then, Creed's genre has been in question. “[Creed] was not a Christian band,” said Phillips. “But it had those undertones.” Phillips explained that because Stapp grew up in a strict Christian household, most of his lyrics were based off of that. Creed was not a Christian band and did not label any of their songs as Christian songs, but “if [the fans] took it as a Christian song, then so be it,” said Phillips.
Creed went on to release “Human Clay” in 1999, which gave Creed their first number one hit in the United States, with approximately 315,000 record sales in the first week. In 2001, after Brian Marshall (bassist for Creed) left the band, Mark Tremonti played bass in the studio and helped release Creed's third studio album, Weathered.
After rising tensions, Creed disbanded in 2004, after remaining inactive for almost a year. Lead singer, Scott Stapp, released his debut solo album while Phillips, Tremonti and Marshall united with Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge, with whom Phillips currently plays.
In August of 2004, Alter Bridge signed with Wind-Up Records and released their debut album, One Day Remains, which reached number five on the United States Billboard 200 record chart. After releasing Blackbird in 2007 (following a switch in record labels), Creed reunited to release their first album in nine years, Full Circle. In 2010, Creed went on a world tour in support of Full Circle with Skillet as their opening act. Phillips claimed that things went well for a little while, “but the same issues reared its head.” Since their last full album and tour, with the exception of a couple of shows, Creed has not been heard. Phillips said it's hard to say if Creed will get back together. “[There are] no plans in the immediate future,” said Phillips.
Even though Creed has been quiet since 2012, their achievements should not go unnoticed. In 2001, Creed received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song with “With Arms Wide Open.” Creed also won two American Music Awards (AMA) in 2001 and two AMAs in 2003. In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked Creed 18th best artist of the 2000s. All three studio albums have gone multi-platinum, reaching a combined 28 million copies sold in the United States, and over 40 million albums worldwide.
With the release of AB III, Fortess, and their most recent studio album, The Last Hero, Alter Bridge has found wild success in the last two years. “As far as touring goes, we've hit it harder,” said Phillips, in reference to touring in the past. Alter Bridge has played on large stages across the globe in the United Kingdom and the United States. Rock on the Range, Welcome to Rockville and the Carolina Rebellion festivals have all been large concerts where Alter Bridge has performed. Alter Bridge has shared the stage with rock bands such as: Def Leppard, Disturbed, Papa Roach, Shinedown, Skillet and many others.
In 2017, Scott Phillips had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open for the legendary rock band, Aerosmith. “It was amazing,” said Phillips. “They're some of the last legends, and they still sound amazing.”
Phillips said that his most “wow” moment came in 1999 at the Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York, with Creed. “That show was by far the largest crowd we've played,” said Phillips. Creed opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers on the last night of the festival. Phillips also described one of the tour stops they made in 2017.
Phillips took the stage with Alter Bridge at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, in London. Phillips described the venue as “hallowed ground.” Alter Bridge was joined by conductor, Simon Dobson and the 52-piece Parallax Orchestra, transforming two sold-out shows into a symphonic metal show. One fan described the show as “One of the very best gigs in the 35 years or so I've been watching live music.” Another fan was in awe, “Alter Bridge at the Royal Albert Hall with Parallax Orchestra... Sublime. Stunning. Surreal. Will never see a gig like that again in my life.”
It was made known in a recent interview with Phillips that Alter Bridge has plans to release a Live DVD of Alter Bridge's show at the Royal Albert Hall in the next couple of months. For most of 2018, Alter Bridge will be at a stand-still. Lead singer, Myles Kennedy recently wrapped up his solo studio album; and guitarist, Mark Tremonti is currently in the studio working on an album with his band, Tremonti. Phillips stated that in November or December, Alter Bridge will come together to begin writing for their next studio album, as well as planning the next tour.
When asked how he deals with the fame, his answer was straight forward. “I give credit to my mom and dad for keeping me humble,” said Phillips, who is the son of Tom and Dianne Phillips of Madison. “[Creed] went from unknown to known in a short amount of time. For me, it's being raised in a place like Madison. I try to stay as humble as possible.”