MARK TREMONTI is a founding member and lead guitarist of both Creed and Alter Bridge. To be a part of two successful Rock bands that are embraced by fans worldwide is an accomplishment that most of us nine to fivers can only dream about. Mark Tremonti is certainly living this Rock ‘n’ Roll dream and he has done so throughout his career with the upmost dedication to his music and bands, with more than a touch of class. The songs Mark has written have become benchmarks for generations of aspiring Rock musicians, while the guitar he plays resonates his very own sound and style that is Creed and Alter Bridge.
With the release of AB III back on November 9th, 2010, the critics and fans have spoken with unparalleled approval. Achieving their first number one single with “Isolation”, AB III has been widely accepted as a tremendous album of Hard Rock from a group of musicians that have more than paid their dues. January 11th, 2011 saw the release of the highly anticipated: Alter Bridge “Live From Amsterdam” CD/DVD. With so many great things happening in the world of Alter Bridge, the timing could never be more perfect to interview Mark Tremonti. During his extremely busy schedule, Mark took the time to answer some questions that Hard Rock Hideout threw at him. Here is what Mark had to say:
HRH: Congratulations on your bands first #1 single! (Isolation had hit #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S.). How Satisfying does this feel?
MARK: Oh, it’s great! We’ve been working long and hard over these years. It’s hard to get a number one single. We’ve had a couple of number two singles in the past, so getting our first number one is really fun!
HRH: Who have you turned to throughout your career, for the most advice and support?
MARK: I would say my bandmates and managers. They are the only ones who know what we’re really going through. The guys I “look up to” I only speak with for a couple of hours now and again.
HRH: When you began writing songs for AB III, were there any pre-determined themes you wanted to cover or did the lyrical and writing process fall into place naturally?
MARK: It went the same way as our other records. Myles (Kennedy) and I always go back and forth with each other. It’s just like putting together pieces of a puzzle. We like to keep our songs open-ended while we both share in the process. This time around, with AB III, we wrote a darker and heavier record. I just did not want to consider radio or record sales this time around, with our new record. I just knew this time not to “play it safe”, it just hinders the entire writing process.
HRH: Did you ever perceive “Wonderful Life” (from AB III) to sound so moving once it was recorded?
MARK: That song really translated really well on record. When I heard Myles singing that tune on tour, I said I have to remember this song for our new record! I think this song is a shining moment vocally for Myles.
HRH: I’ll agree with you!
HRH: Was “Slip To The Void” (from AB III) written about anyone the band knows personally?
MARK: Myles has had his troubles, losing faith in recent years and not believing in the material world, so this was what Myles was going through personally.
HRH: Can you reveal the secret to Myles taking care of his amazing voice?
MARK: There’s no secret. Myles works hard and he has studied in L.A. with Ron Anderson. Myles warms up one and a half hours before a show and warms down afterwards. He doesn’t smoke or eat any foods high in sugar. Myles is very conscientious in taking care of himself.
HRH Note: Ron Anderson is a renowned vocal coach.
HRH: Being that Alter Bridge played their very first live show in Amsterdam, was there a special vibe you guys received from the fans there, while you recorded “Live From Amsterdam”?
MARK: Oh yeah! They were a great crowd! We’d do anything and the fans in Amsterdam would be all over it! I’m really glad we chose Amsterdam to record our live record.
HRH: Do you stockpile guitar parts you’ve written for future albums or do you take it as it comes?
MARK: No, I stockpile lots of stuff all the time. If I’m bored, I go through my guitar parts for new ideas. I label them for the part that it is, say, bridge, lead, solo, with 4/4 timing and so on. The sad truth is, most of my material, about seventy percent of it, I’ll never use.
HRH: Wow, Mark, that is a lot of parts that will never be heard.
MARK: That’s why I’m doing a solo record. I’m trying not to waste anything I’ve written over the years.
HRH: What does the schedule look like for your solo record?
MARK: I’ve revisited it in February and it will take a couple of years to finish. It will take downtime off touring to get the work done on this solo album. Then, family does keep me busy during downtime!
HRH: Brace yourself Mark, this is an important question coming. Do you watch American Idol?
MARK: I don’t. My wife is watching it though. After all these years, I’ve kind of lost track of it all. The first four seasons were good and it was advertised all over the place.
HRH: If you could travel back to the 70’s, what band would you want to try out for on guitar?
MARK: Oh gee, that’s a tough one. Maybe as a rhythm guitarist for Led Zeppelin. Black Sabbath too. Those are two great bands, you can’t get any better than that!
HRH: Do you have a message to share to your fans?
MARK: I really want to thank them for their support over the years.
For more information on Mark Tremonti & Alter Bridge, check out the Alter Bridge website at this link!