Forget Creed. Forget Slash (do we have to? ed). And forget everything you’ve heard from Alter Bridge in the past. In an exclusive interview Mark Tremonti tells rushonrock that it’s all about the here and now for the multi-million selling supergroup. rushonrock: When Creed reunited there was an assumption Alter Bridge would go on permanent hiatus. Was that an option?
Mark Tremonti: That was never going to be the case. Alter Bridge has always been a huge priority for us. In fact I’d say it is the main focus right now. We’ve released what we think is a great new record and we’re backing it up by hitting the road. We’ve spent the last few months touring with Creed but we’re just working twice as hard to make sure both projects are a success. It’s the same for Myles and the Slash thing. He won’t let what he’s done with Slash affect Alter Bridge and it’s the same for the rest of us. We’re all trying to make time for both bands but nobody is ever going to leave Alter Bridge behind.
rushonrock: Do you think there’s a real distinction now between the music of Alter Bridge and that of Creed?
MT: On the first record we were still learning to play a different way and that album did sound similar to what we’d do with Creed. But on the second record we really developed the sound going forward. With AB III there’s a definite modern rock feel to what we’re doing but we’ve surprised ourselves with each one of the Alter Bridge albums. We always try to bring new ideas to the table but I think subconsciously we’re thin king about what our fans really want to hear.
rushonrock: How do you mean?
MT: Well on Blackbird we rolled out some long, sorrowful sounding songs and it turned out that was what the fans wanted to hear. They really liked the deeper, moodier songs. So for AB III we developed that theme. I’m pretty much always in that kind of mood anyway. I always seem to find myself in that state of mind so writing that kind of music comes easy.
rushonrock: Do you write in a different way for Alter Bridge than you would for Creed?
MT: Well me and Myles are pretty much always writing. No matter where we ae we’re always writing and cataloguing stuff for different projects. When we get together we take out the ideas that are suited to Alter Bridge and out them together like a puzzle to come up with songs for the band.
rushonrock: What’s the thinking behind the simplistic album title this time around?
MT: First and foremost the fans have been calling the new album AB3 for the last year and a half. It’s been described as that on all the message boards and we thought it would be tough to change it at this stage. I like the title and the artwork. It’s very strong and effective. My brother Dan does all the artwork – we give him the music and the lyrics and he comes back to us with a series of ideas. He’s a genius at what he does.
rushonrock: Can we expect a full complement of AB III tracks on the UK tour?
MT: We’ll probably play around eight. I think the plan’s to play six from the last record and three from the first one. We’ve already put together the set list but we want to play as many of the new songs as we can.
rushonrock: How do you feel about Myles’ work with Slash?
MT: I think he’s been a huge success with that project and Slash just loves him. Right now everyone wants to do a record with Myles Kennedy. I think all of what he has achieved with Slash is good for the rest of us. I was in touch with Myles all the time when he was writing songs with Slash and I was very excited by what I heard even before the record came out. Myles is a top notch singer and everything he puts out is going to be world class.
rushonrock: A lot of people have been impressed with the diversity of his vocal range during his time with Slash – should they have been so surprised?
MT: I think when people see Myles live for the first time they quickly realise that he can do exactly what he does on CD in the live arena. I think he’s the best in the world at what he does right now. But he’s got his priorities straight. He’s put a lot into Alter Bridge ovcer the years and this band means everything to him.