For fans of the hit NBC series, The Office, a sad day is drawing near. After a nine-season run, the beloved comedy will come to a close on May 16. But for actor Creed Bratton — who plays an oddball version of himself on the show — The Office’s end just means there’s more time for music. In addition to being an actor, Bratton is a solo artist and a former member of ‘60s bands The Grass Roots and the 13th Floor.
Bratton discusses his acting and musical career and his new record, Tell Me About It -- an autobiography of sorts -- which, beginning on April 16, is being released in three EP-sized acts. He also has a few things to say about a band that shares his namesake, Creed,
On moving from a background character to a speaking role on The Office:
I wrote a talking head [cutaway interview] with my character saying that I had continued doing drugs and that I had not stopped my wicked, wicked ways and that I had almost OD’d and passed out on a bus and ended up in Scranton in a dumpster. So I had this whole thing figured out. I hand it to [executive producer] Greg Daniels, and they loved it. So Greg said, “I’m going to use your real name, if that’s okay with you, and say you were in The Grass Roots and show clips of you playing.” And I said, “This is great!”
On how he joined The Grass Roots:
Steve Berry and P.F. Sloan [of the Grass Roots] had a song called “Where Were You When I Needed You.” They had a regional hit with it, but no band…. So they were stuck with this song, and we came in. [13th Floor bandmate] Warren [Entner] and I wrote a song called “Beatin’ Round the Bush.” Folk rocky. [They] said, “OK, here it is: We like you guys, we like how you sing and stuff. You can be the 13th Floor and go your ways, or you can come in now and be the Grass Roots and you’ve already got a song actually on the charts and we’ll cut this ‘[Let’s] Live for Today’ song.” And we said, “Meh, let’s do that!” It seemed like a good idea. And we had all these hits.
On playing music during his down time at The Office:
I have a guitar on my desk there all the time. I’m always picking up and playing for the guys. “Enough with the songs Creed! Put it down!” And I’ve written several songs…. I’ll pick up the guitar, I’ll go in the green room, some chords will come out…. Some of the songs are on the new album.
On his experience playing shows with some of the greatest bands of the ‘60s:
We played with the Byrds and The Beach Boys and The Doors — I was very close with those guys. I talk to [Doors keyboardist] Ray [Manzarek] and [Doors drummer] John [Densmore]. John was the best man at my wedding.