"Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge/Creed talks with Zoiks! Online." - Interview

Mark Tremonti has been one of my favorite guitar players since the early days of Creed. Even the people that hate Creed seem to at the very least respect Mark Tremonti. The guy has shared the stage with guitar legends Slash, Paul Reed Smith and Robbie Krieger. Tremonti is on his way to becoming a guitar legend himself with one of the best right hands in the business. He’s an amazing picker. Recently I got a chance to talk with Tremonti. We talked about Creed, Alter Bridge, his upcoming solo project, as well as Myles Kennedy’s time spent with Led Zeppelin and Slash. Enjoy.

Q - Congratulations on the new album and “Isolation” hitting number one. When did you find time to make the new Alter Bridge album with Myles working with Slash and you guys touring with Creed?

A - We had a good three months once we got off of tour. We got together and pretty much worked around the clock until it was done.

Q - I’ve seen a couple of You Tube videos of Slash joining Alter Bridge on stage. What’s it like looking across the stage and a guitar icon is playing your song?

A - It’s an honor. You get to know the guy and he’s very down to Earth and cool gracious guy. It’s definitely an experience.

Q - Let’s talk about the new album “ABIII” a little bit. Obviously being a professional guitar player you’re going to improve as a guitar player. It’s seems like you’re not only improving, but writing more complex stuff with each album. Is there any truth to that or am I just hearing things?

A - Just like any other kind of driven musician you just try to get better, improve, and learn more tricks along the way. It doesn’t matter if I’m at home or on tour or what not I’m always practicing and trying to get better. Like I said I try to learn new tricks along the way.

Q - Your music has a lot of range, especially between the two bands. When you’re writing do you find yourself saying that this is better for Creed or this is better for Alter Bridge, or do you just write whatever sounds good and give it to whatever project you’re working on?

A - Well, I’ll write, and then I’ll go back and see what I’ve written. Before I review it I catalogue ideas whether it be for an Alter Bridge song or a Creed song or one of my solo project songs or if it’s a chorus, a bridge, whatever type of part it is, what the timing is and I just try to make sense of parts when I put them together.


Q - When you found out that Myles was asked to audition to tour with Led Zeppelin what was your reaction?

A - I was proud. I was very happy for Myles. He’s a very hard working guy. He’s been working his whole life to follow his dream and you couldn’t achieve a greater compliment than to be called by Led Zeppelin.

Q - Alter Bridge has a lot of momentum coming into this last record. You just finished a successful tour with Creed, Myles tried out for Led Zeppelin and then did his thing with Slash. Could you feel the momentum while working on the new Alter Bridge album?

A - I think once the record came out and people started hearing it, I started feeling good about where Alter Bridge was going. I always have to wait to see how things happen. I don’t ever really have a lot of confidence that we’re going to go out and sell a million records, it’s a different business. I just always hope that our fans dig it. I’m glad radio is accepting it as well and I just hope for the best.

Q - When you’re writing do you ever think about or stress about the success?

A - Throughout our whole careers, whether it is Alter Bridge or Creed, we always sort of played it safe with the first single. We’d try to pick something that was a commercial sounding song. This time we just wanted to write something that was completely for us. We didn’t worry about picking radio single or doing anything with any sort of commercial appeal to it. For the first time now we have a number one single with one of the most unlikely of songs I would have thought to have success with, so I guess it worked…following your heart.

Q - I’ve been to several concerts over the years. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a bad show, but there are a handful of shows that stand out. One of them was the first time I saw Alter Bridge. My friend and I were huge Mark Tremonti fans. We didn’t get a chance to see you on tour with the first album, but we caught you when you came to Chicago with “Blackbird.” We were expecting the Mark Tremonti show where it was just you in the center showing off. What we got instead was this amazing band with an amazing front man that blew us away. The show was so good it made the songs on albums sound better when we went back to listen to them. Have you ever had a concert experience like that?

A - Yeah, the first concert I ever saw was Iron Maiden. For a first concert that’s pretty…it makes you kind of stand there and wonder if this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. That blew my mind. I think the second concert I saw was Slayer. Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth were some of my favorite bands. It was just something I was always drawn to and I’m much honored to be able to do it for a living now.

Q - For fans that haven’t seen Alter Bridge live, what can they expect from an Alter Bridge show?

A - Four guys getting up there and doing what we love. Whether we’re playing for 500 people or 10,000 people we always give it all we have. It’s always a very emotional thing for us.


















BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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