MARK TREMONTI On 'A Dying Machine': 'I Tried To Make The Music As Dynamic And Diverse As Any Album'

June 9, 2018

Chris Akin of "The Classic Metal Show" recently conducted an interview with ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti about his namesake solo band. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On writing and recording TREMONTI's new concept album, "A Dying Machine":

Mark: "It was a challenge, but it was, in some ways, it was easier because I knew what path I was going to go on. The hardest part was opening up the mind and the imagination to figure out what the next scene of the story would be. Once we got five or six steps deep into it, it kind of just rolled itself out for us. It was a good challenge. I tried to make the music just as dynamic and diverse as any album. Even if I followed a storyline, there's different perspectives in the story. I actually got to go outside the box a little bit and do things I wouldn't normally be able to do because I was singing from somebody else's perspective, which held off any inhibitions to sing about a theme or a topic in a certain way."

On turning the album's concept into a full-length work of fiction:

Mark: "The story itself that happens throughout the book — it was hard to figure out where I was going to go, but it was an exciting and cool adventure I was going to go on. When I decided that I wanted to do a novel, at first, I was, like, 'I can do it. I can work around the clock and get it done.' Then I realized the record is coming out in six, seven months, back then, seven months, so I said, 'I have to partner up with somebody.' At first, I was going to hire a ghostwriter, just tell him the story bit by bit, then finally, I contacted my agent, my booking agent. He's part of UTA, which is United Talent Agency, which houses a literary department, so I said, 'Do you guys have any authors that fit this genre that I can partner up?' I think we went through about nine authors before we got to John Shirley. I looked at his resume and read a lot of his stuff and he is a specialist in futurism. He knows where technology is going. The book has a lot to do with where technology is going. When I explained the story, he helped me connect the dots of the story, so it wasn't just a pie-in-the-sky idea. He helped me make it make sense and believable."

On whether late 2019 is when ALTER BRIDGE will release their next studio album now that vocalist Myles Kennedy has just issued a solo album and TREMONTI will be releasing "A Dying Machine":

Mark: "That's when our record will come out, in 2019. But, we want to do the festivals with the TREMONTI band next summer, so we have to get in the studio beforehand maybe with ALTER BRIDGE because it takes three or four months to set up an album. We'll get together in the spring for a few weeks here and there to start writing. We'll just find the best spot in between tours to record. It's going to be tough. But, we won't put it out until we're finished writing and when it's done."

On the often-overzealous response to social media posts ALTER BRIDGE receives from their fans:

Mark: "I think it has to do with the kind of subject matter and the approach the band takes. We're not a band that is just doing hard rock and having a good time playing fun party rock. A lot of our subject matter deals with some emotional stuff. The fans, they just really get involved and are dedicated and committed to the band. It's more like a family. You see a lot of these fans that travel to every single show on a tour and they follow a group of people that become really close friends within the fanbase, so that's a great thing."

"A Dying Machine" was released on June 8 via Napalm Records. The disc was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette, who has helmed all previous TREMONTI albums along with ALTER BRIDGE's last four long-players.

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