ALTER BRIDGE Guitarist MARK TREMONTI: 'I Like To Keep People Guessing'

September 20, 2019

Guitarist Mark Tremonti (ALTER BRIDGE, TREMONTI, CREED) recently spoke with Shawn SixX of the Boston radio station WAAF. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On having numerous musical outlets:

Mark: "I love music. I try to dive into as many different things as I can. I just love chasing down the songs. I'm just trying to do as much as I can while I can do it."

On the new ALTER BRIDGE album, "Walk The Sky":

Mark: "We didn't even plan on having 14 tracks. We wanted it to be less, because we didn't want people to get lost in a big record, but it just turned out to be 14 — really, 13 and a half with the intro... We just got our demos together and started chasing them all down, and it came to a point where we had so many songs that we were like, 'All right — if we're going to do this song, we've got to cut one of the others.' We started to cannibalize all the old songs with new demos, so there just came a point where we had to stop and say, 'We've got it. We have all the types of songs we need for a dynamic record. Let's just go with it.' There's always a point where you've got to say, 'We've got the record. We don't need anything else.' That's always the toughest thing to make that call, when you finally realize you think you have what you need."

On new song "Godspeed":

Mark: "That's probably my favorite song on the record. When I play that for folks, as soon I turn it on, they're, like, 'That's you guys?' I love to hear that. I like to keep people guessing and not just do the same thing all the time... I was inspired by some of the retro synthwave stuff that was going on. I heard a song called 'Tech Noir' by GUNSHIP that I really loved and kind of pushed me in the direction of trying to chase that vibe down. That song really isn't a great example of that, but it was kind of spawned from that. Trying to create moods with synths to write to gave me a different template to work around to build a song. You always want to keep yourself challenged with new things that are inspiring a song, and the synth thing is what did it for me on a few songs on this record... Synths in rock n' roll music, I was never really a huge fan of it, but the old-school synths when they first were coming about — that old-school, John Carpenter-esque soundtrack vibe — that's what inspired me on this record."

On singing more on the new album:

Mark: "Since I did it on [the 2014 track] 'Waters Rising', some folks were asking if I was going to do it again since I didn't do it on 'The Last Hero' record. We all kind of talked about if it would make sense to [sing] another song on this record, and when we got through all the demos, Myles [Kennedy, vocals] was, like, 'Why don't you sing 'Forever Fallen'?' It was one of my favorite tracks in the demo stages. I had to pitch it down, because when I wrote the song, I wrote in in standard key where Myles could sing it, but for me to sing it, I had to tune everything down a whole step. I can't sing quite as high... I love to sing. I don't get nervous when I sing. It's just a fun thing to do. I always joke with Myles since he's considered a singer more than a guitar player, when he gets to play guitar on stage, he feels no nervousness whatsoever. He can be free on the guitar. That's how I feel with the vocals. I'm not considered the lead vocalist — it's just something I do for fun, so I don't really put a ton of pressure on myself when it comes to singing. I just enjoy it."

"Walk The Sky", ALTER BRIDGE's sixth studio album, will be released on October 18 via Napalm Records. The group will kick off a European tour with SHINEDOWN, SEVENDUST and THE RAVEN AGE on November 12 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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