MARK TREMONTI Says Touring With IRON MAIDEN Made TREMONTI 'A Much Better Band'

December 8, 2018

Prior to TREMONTI's December 4 concert in London, vocalist/guitarist Mark Tremonti spoke with Metal Underground. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the inspiration behind TREMONTI's latest album, "A Dying Machine":

Mark: "I was on tour with ALTER BRIDGE in Hungary, and it was about 20 minutes to stage time. I was warming up, and I hit a chord progression that I really enjoyed and started singing over it, and the lyrics 'you're a dying machine' came out. I was reading [author Stephen King's] 'Dark Tower' series at the time, and in the third book, '[The] Waste Lands', there's a scene where there's a giant creature that's part machine, and it was dying after being about 2,000 years old. I thought it was kind of a cool concept of a machine dying, and then I created this conversation between a man and a woman — the machine being the woman that built and was put on this earth just to be a partner of this man. She was kind of getting old and falling apart, while all she knows is to please this man, and he's over it. I love the journey the song took me on, and from that point on, I just chased it down."

On deciding to record a concept album:

Mark: "I never thought about it, ever. I was never a fan of concept records. I bought lots of concept records I didn't even know were concept records. 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son', I just loved the record. Every KING DIAMOND record, I loved the records. I kind of knew what the stories were, but I didn't buy them because they were concept records... This was a concept record. It tells a fictional story. When I was writing it, when I got into the next song, I'd have to sit there and think all day long, 'Where can the story go from here? Whose perspective am I singing from on this song?' By the time I was 12 or 13 songs deep, I [thought], 'I need to make this more understandable to people [and] put it in a longer form of the story.' That's when I got into the idea of doing the book. I'm a big, big fan of authors and reading. I'm a massive bookworm, and one of my bucket list items in life was to get a book published. I though it was probably the most impossible thing to do, and finally, when this story came together, I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to try my best.' I went for it, and I'm glad I did, because I love the way it turned out and I got to live that dream."

On whether he'd like to see the book developed into a movie:

Mark: "We're hoping. I've got it in the right hands. There's certain steps you have to make. First, we had to get the book done for the fans. If I waited through the proper channels to get the book done, it would come out three years from now, the record would be over [and] people [would say], 'That was yesterday's album.' So I got the book printed and put out during this record cycle. Now it's time to find the right publishing house to go and find distribution. Once you do that, then you start submitting it to production companies for TV or movie or whatnot. I think it would be a dream come true. It would probably be the hardest thing I'd accomplish, but if I do, I'll be the happiest guy in the world... It was probably the most satisfying, fun, creative moment of my life. I loved it."

On touring with IRON MAIDEN:

Mark: "It was amazing. IRON MAIDEN was my first concert I ever went to as a kid. I love MAIDEN, and being able to tour with them... I really looked forward to saying, 'Up next, IRON MAIDEN.' It was intimidating. When you get up in front of a crowd that big that doesn't want to have anything to do with your band., maybe there's groups of people that want to listen to your band, but 95 percent of that crowd wants the opener to get off stage so they can see their favorite band. It was a good thing for us because we had to work our asses off to make sure that crowd stayed engaged, and I think we came out the other side a much better band. You've got to become a bigger entertainer than you've ever been when you're playing for that kind of scenario."

"A Dying Machine", TREMONTI's fourth album, was released on June 8 via Napalm Records. The band will support SEVENDUST on a North American tour in early 2019.

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