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Stapp Infection

Sanctimonious hypocrites need love, too

Scott Stapp, former lead singer of post-grunge embarrassment Creed, is music's most hated man. That's not harsh: Stapp would admit it himself (given he was drunk enough). It's a Cape of Suck he's ever-conscious of wearing. And perhaps it's because of this fact that he's become rather adept at the art of saying nothing during interviews. But let's back up, shall we?

A few weeks ago, we at Wack sat in on a teleconference with the Percocet-popping Jesus freak with six other suffering "journos," who, like us, had pulled the short straw. Stapp knows he's not a press favorite; in fact, he made several allusions to the fact, even saying, "Hey, you know what? I love every single one of you and I'll pray for all of you guys tonight whether you don't like me or not," before bidding us adieu. Couple this with a feature in the December issue of Rolling Stone that painted Stapp as a depressed, fall-about drunk who single-handedly isolated the other members of Creed to the point where they were more than eager to jump off a multimillion-dollar juggernaut, and something surprising happened. Wack actually began to feel bad for the guy. After all, he istrying – even traveling with a sobriety coach on tour, for ChristÕs sake!

Because of this, we're taking it easy on the guy. For instance, you won't see us mentioning Stapp's February 11 arrest at LAX for public intoxication; his drunken romp on Spike TV's Casino Cinemain which he groped model Beth Ostrosky on-air; his November brawl with 311 in a Baltimore bar; the recently released sex tape that features him staring into the camera and smirking "It's good to be king" while his pole is gleamed by a dirty tramp; his messiah-complex lyrics; his obnoxious, arms-wide-open, foot-propped-on-a-monitor stage presence; or even the fact that during the interview he actually said, "At the end of the day, I'm still just trying to make it through that great divide, brother." No. All that stuff is just off-base as far as we're concerned.

Instead, we'll get to the heart of the matter and publicize what Stapp really wants the people to know. His love of coaching his son's various sports teams. The love he feels for his new wife. What songs he and his new (Houston-based) band will be playing on their current tour. The various charities he's personally funded for victims of Katrina (Wack lost count, but it seemed to be about 100). Stapp's undying commitment to...what's that? We're out of space? Damn. Maybe next time, choad.

BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Band name: Tzar Bomba

Web site:www.myspace.com/tzarbomba for now, but we do have a Web site at www.tzarbomba.com that's under construction.

Personnel:Cramer is on the guitar and vocals, Luis is on the bass, and Andres is on the drums and percussion. We all switch between the theremin, circuit bent toys and other stuff, whatever we can find!

Native or transplant?We be from H-town.

What's in a name, particularly yours?When we first got together, we were trying to come up with a name with some sort of ring to it. Came up with a bunch of names, and Tzar Bomba was the one that stuck out. It's got a pretty cool history, being the largest nuke ever detonated.

When did you form?We first got together in June, and it's been going great since then. We played our first show in September at the Rhythm Room with Dynamite Club from NY. Absolutely awesome show. Lots of nearly naked Asian man and kung fu action.

Releases/discography:We just recently recorded our demo at Audio Fanatics in Santa Fe in January. Four songs long, a little over 20 minutes.

Who or what do you think you sound like?Aggressive psychedelic rock. Yeah, something like that.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?Being interviewed in the Houston Press. Really. Oh, and cutting our demo – we were pretty darn proud.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you?Cramer: Pixies, Doolittle; Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour; Sonic Youth, Dirty. Luis: Black Sabbath, We Sold Our Souls for Rock & Roll; Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden; King Diamond, Abigail. Andres: Megadeth, Rust in Peace; Black Sabbath, Paranoid; everything by Rush. Amazing that we're in a band together, no?

What artists have had the biggest impact on you?Led Zeppelin, Queen, the Beatles, Prince, People Under the Stairs, Gorillaz, Pink Floyd...we could go on and on.

How do you pay the bills? What is your day job?Cramer is a Walgreens photo-tech slave, Luis delivered pizzas until recently, and Andres turns into Lolita over the weekend and turns tricks. Actually, he's too busy being in, like, 30 bands.

Finish this sentence: If I didn't have to worry about money, I'd...tour endlessly promoting our best record to date, and everyone would be so awed by the power of rock that the stock market crashes and brings world peace.

Finish this sentence: I'd rather be...on a hammock in Cancun, Mexico, wearing a really ridiculously big sombrero and sipping Corona.

Who would play you in the screen adaptation of your life?Andres would be played by Antonio Banderas, Cramer by Jack Black and Luis by a computer-generated Clive Owen. Uwe Boll will direct the movie.

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