Interview by Alex Stojanovic
Mark Tremonti: one of the most talented guitar players in rock and metal. Being known for his time in Creed, as well as his current bands: Alter Bridge, and his solo project Tremonti, he has deserved every accolade he has achieved, including the Riff Lord award at the 2014 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.
Alter Bridge will be releasing their sixth studio album called Walk The Sky through Napalm Records on October 18th, and the band have just begun their North American co-headline tour with Skillet. Mark was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with us on the phone from the road. We talked about the new Alter Bridge record, what the future plans for Tremonti are, we touched on some Creed related stuff, and about his friendship with comedy legend Larry The Cable Guy. The entire interview can be read down below.
Mark Tremonti: Good man, how are you?
MMK: Good! Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to chat.
MT: No problem
MMK: First off, congratulations on the new Alter Bridge record Walk The Sky. It's out next month, and you have just begun your tour. How has it been going so far?
MT: Going good. We're about 5 shows deep, so we're still in the early stages, but we're excited to keep going.
MMK: Nice! Where are you guys playing tonight?
MT: We have a day off in Columbus tonight.
MMK: Okay. About the new record, how did the title Walk The Sky come about and what's the meaning behind it?
MT: Whenever we do a record, we print out all the lyrics, go through them, and see what's the most striking phrase that will become the album title, and "walking on the sky" kind of brought the most imagery to the frame when you hear that line, so we decided to abbreviate it, call it Walk The Sky, and go with it.
MMK: Okay. How long did the writing process take?
MT: It's just a continuous thing. Me and Myles are always writing. It's just that when it comes time to record a record, we just get busy a few months beforehand, organizing all the ideas for tracking, but we've been writing these songs for years now.
MMK: With the writing process, is it mainly you and Myles, or does everyone have a say?
MT: Me and Myles do the writing, and then bring it to the band, and they put their parts on it, and give it that Alter Bridge feel.
MMK: You guys are pretty consistent with putting an album out every three years. Is that a concious decision, or is that just how it seems to flow with album releases from you guys?
MT: It seems to work well for us. Me and Myles like to do projects outside of Alter Bridge in the three year period of time before it works out perfectly for our schedule.
MMK: Speaking of other projects, the focus right now is on the Alter Bridge record, but has writing begun for the next Tremonti album yet?
MT: Yeah. I'm always writing. I never specifically write for a project, but I'm just always writing. The wheels are always in motion.
MMK: Right. Even though Alter Bridge has those fast and heavy riffs, do you ever decide which fast riffs are going to be for Alter Bridge, and which ones will be for Tremonti?
MT: Usually, the stuff that leans towards the speed metal side of things will go to Tremonti, while everything else is free game.
MMK: I see. A Dying Machine was a great album. Do you think we may expect the next one next year or the year after?
MT: We're gonna be touring with Alter Bridge all through 2020, and then we'll probably get in the studio with Tremonti in the following year around March, and release in 2021.
MMK: Cool. I wanted to ask you something regarding Creed if that's alright.
MMK: I'm not going to ask about the chances of a reunion, but what I do want to ask you is that given that all of you guys are on good terms with Scott, have you ever gotten to see him perform at one of his solo shows?
MT: I have not. I've never seen one of Myles' solo shows either. It's just that whenever those guys are touring, I happen to be touring.
MMK: If the time ever came, and Scott invited you to come on stage and play a song. Would you do it?
MT: Who knows, you never know. I think I'd rather be more open to getting a proper tour together at some point, than just doing guest spots, you know.
MMK: Understandable. Switching it up again. Something you don't get asked about too often, is how often do you still keep in touch with Larry The Cable Guy.
MT: Every now and then, he'll reach out to me, and give his well wishes. He's just a good human being, good guy. Last time I talked to him, he called me early in the morning. He had a radio show, and they do this thing where they randomly call their friends on the phone for interviews on the radio. He called me that morning. That was the last time I spoke to him. It was a few months ago.
MMK: Nice! Do you see yourselves maybe doing something together again, like on the Lord, I Apologize album?
MT: That'd be fun. He's a busy guy. I told him when I first ran into him that he was going to be a big star, funniest guy they had on the local radio. Look at him now, so he's a busy guy. So we'll see when he settles down, and hopefully do something again.
MMK: Nice! How did the friendship come about?
MT: I met him at a Sevendust concert in Orlando. It was actually a WJRR downtown concert event, and he was backstage. I just introduced myself and we became friends. We get together all the time to play ping-pong, and we go to eat dinner all the time. We just became friends. He then asked me if I would play a track on his new record. This was way before he was the guy everybody knows today. He was just a local guy back then. Since then, that record's gone gold.
MMK: Yeah. I remember first hearing that record when I was a young kid, and hearing the musical part towards the end of it, I honestly had no idea that it was you until years later, so that was pretty cool.
MT: Nice. That was a fun project.
MMK: A quick little fun thing I'd like to do every now and then is what I call the "One Album Round". I normally do this when doing in-person interviews, but I thought I'd try it on the phone for once. It's where I'll name a few bands, and you pick one album from that band that you could keep forever. First one, Metallica.
MT: Master Of Puppets. That's my favourite record in the world
MT: I'd say Peace Sells...But Who's Buying.
MT: Reign In Blood.
MT: Practice What You Preach.
MMK: Iron Maiden
MT: That's a tough one. I'd say Number Of The Beast.
MMK: Judas Priest
MT: Jeez. Point Of Entry.
MMK: Van Halen
MT: Debut record.
MMK: To wrap up, you're currently on tour throughout North America, then you'll be heading to Europe to round out the year. What are the touring plans for 2020?
MT: So far, we only have stuff booked through next summer. We're heading out on the Shiprocked Cruise down in Florida. We then have a U.S tour, where we're going to try and hit as many U.S festivals as we can in the spring time, then hit the European summer festivals. I suggested going up to Canada and doing an exclusive Canadian tour across the country, because I thinkn it's long overdue. Hopefully I can put that in motion. Not just bouncing back and forth between the States and Canada, but just strictly a big Canadian run. That would be awesome. We did that back in the day, and that was good time.
MMK: Yeah, that would be amazing! Hopefully it happens. Mark, thank you so much once again for taking a few minutes to chat with me. Really appreciated. I wish you all the best with the new record, and I'll definitely try and make it out to the Toronto show coming up. If I can't, then next time.
MT: Awesome! Come and say hello if you do.
MMK: Will do. Thank you Mark!
MT: Take care man!
MMK: See you!
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