In a new interview with Ireland's Overdrive, ALTER BRIDGE and CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti was asked if he would step into Zakk Wylde's shoes for the PANTERA comeback shows if he was approached about it. He responded: "Hell no! [Laughs] A number of years ago, I was talking with Rex [Brown, PANTERA bassist] at the Download festival, and he was talking about a possible PANTERA reunion. He looked at me and said, 'You should put your name in the hat', and I was like, 'No way, man.' You have to be a certain type of personality to take on that role. It's not just about the playing, it's very much the personality, and Dime [late PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] had a huge presence. Put it this way, nobody's gonna flip off Zakk Wylde onstage. They very well might do that to me, but there's just no way I would put myself in that situation."
A decade ago, Tremonti spoke to Noisecreep about what he listened to as a kid and what helped shape him musically. He said: "The first record that really made me a music fanatic was METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets'. That's probably my favorite record of all time. From there I searched for the heaviest, darkest, meanest sounding stuff I could find. I grew up in Detroit and my friends listened to SLAYER and TESTAMENT. I got into punk, too, like BLACK FLAG and MINISTRY. And I got really into black metal. I got into CELTIC FROST, KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE. I loved that stuff. I'd have to control the volume though so I'd turn it down when they said 'praise Satan' or whatever to keep my parents from taking my records away. [Laughs]"
When asked if there were there specific metal guitarists that influenced him and his riffs, Mark said. "[METALLICA's] James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, for sure. That down stroke thing they do is one of my core sounds — my rhythm playing is very rooted in the METALLICA-based style. And SLAYER's approach, too. Some of my favorite riffs of all time are on SLAYER's song 'Raining Blood' and that really inspired me to write man of the menacing metal riffs that I have over the years. That's really what turned me on when I was younger, that kind of music."
ALTER BRIDGE's latest album, "Pawns & Kings", was released in October via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2019's "Walk The Sky" was once again recorded at Studio Barbarosa in Gotha, Florida with producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette, who has previously worked with SEVENDUST, MAMMOTH WVH and Slash, among others.