Jane Van Arsdale of LocalBozo.com recently conducted an interview with ALTER BRIDGE/CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
LocalBozo.com: Mark, your first solo album, "All I Was", was released back in July and was a project that was a long time coming. How much of a challenge was just finding the time to record this album with so many other projects seemingly going on at once?
Tremonti: You know, it was actually pretty easy. We had a three-month window when [ALTER BRIDGE frontman] Myles [Kennedy] was out with Slash. I had a bunch of ideas just stockpiled and stuff and figured it was a good time to get together with a couple friends and record some ideas. At first, it was just going to be a project, and once we got going with it, we got real excited about it and now we're pushing it as much as we can. I'd come on and off a tour and just knock out bit by bit every time I had a break from a tour and finally got it done.
LocalBozo.com: Can you talk a little bit about how you put this band together?
Tremonti: Well, Eric [Friedman], the other guitar player in the band, he's been a friend of mine for probably about 13 or 14 years. He's one of my best friends. I've played him just as many ideas as I've played any of the other members of my other bands. So he was the obvious choice to join the band. And then Garrett Whitlock was a drummer in his band SUBMERSED that I co-produced; I co-produced their first album years ago and he's a very accomplished drummer. Great guy. Same kind of roots as I have, musically, and he worked out great and so we were just a three-piece on the album.
LocalBozo.com: Now was the plan for you to handle the vocal work on this album all along?
Tremonti: From the get-go I decided to do the singing. Doing the solo record, I think a lot of people thought, me being a guitar player, it would be mostly a guitar-driven record. But when I'm working, most of my time is spent writing vocal melodies and writing songs. And that's what I've done all these years, so I wanted the solo record to kind of be what I'm really about which is writing these vocal melodies and now actually just singing them.
LocalBozo.com: Mark, you're kind of in a pretty unique place in that you have two viable touring acts and now you're emerging on this solo project. What's that like for you as a musician just to reflect back upon all of the success that you've had and to be in this position where you have three bands that you can tap at any given time?
Tremonti: You know, it's great. It's a little stressful sometimes, just working out the schedules between everything. It's just a lot of moving parts. But the whole point of me doing all of this was to be a songwriter and to get as many songs out as I can and it's great to have these three outlets. And I'm just happy that the first two bands — CREED and ALTER BRIDGE — have done so well and I'm very proud of both of them.
Read the entire interview at LocalBozo.com. The chat is also available in audio format.