Mark Tremonti Talks "All I Was", Alter Bridge, and More
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 09:19:50
Mark Tremonti's solo debut, All I Was [iTunes link], remains undeniably explosive. However, it's hitting even harder on stage.
Tremonti's translated his 21st century thrash rock epic into a real barn-burner live. Songs like "Wish You Well" and "Brains" practically incinerate on impact. There's nothing quite like watching one of this generation's best shredders go all-out.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Mark Tremonti talks bringing All I Was into the live arena, what's next for Alter Bridge, and more.
How has your experience been translating All I Wasto the live stage?
It's been great. Everybody is really familiar with the songs already. There are definitely crowd favorites in there. It's fun to figure out which ones they are [Laughs].
Has it been a big change of pace to sing the entire show?
Yeah, it's definitely a new world. I'm always trying to not get sick, eat right, and sleep right. I'm doing all of those things singers have to do. I'm used to playing guitar on stage. That's the easy part. It's about figuring out how to not destroy my voice. I took my first vocal lesson recently with Ron Anderson who taught Myles Kennedy, Axl Rose, and all of these other great singers. I decided to work with him.
How have you sequenced the set list for the tour?
I came up with the set list we've been doing for the last four or five shows, and we stuck with it. It works great. We open up with "Wish You Well". We got up there and get their attention right off the bat.
What's the story behind "Decay"?
That actually closes our main set. I'm still learning how to do this frontman thing and get the crowd involved. That was the first song I started experimenting with last night in getting the audience to sing during that bridge. We'll do a breakdown, and the people are enthusiastic about it. That was my first frontman-crowd-interaction experience. "Decay" is about people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and they waste good opportunities and are complacent.
The songs capture anger in a melodic manner.
It's all about that vocal melody. That's the most important part of any song. Sometimes, I'll have the memorable riff bookend a simpler part I can sing over. I like to keep the guitars as interesting as possible without losing that melody. It's about finding the spots I can sing over.
Have you begun writing for Alter Bridge?
I'm always writing and stockpiling ideas. When it comes time to "write", I'll hit the ground running.
Do you see it getting heavier?
I'm not sure. We'll see what everyone gravitates towards. I've got a bunch of ideas that are melody-driven. As far as the heavier stuff goes, it's easier to play in person with the guys. I've sent a handful of ideas to Myles over the phone. We've got to be the same room for the heavy stuff. I've just broken out the acoustic and done the more melodic music so far. I'm sure it will be like other Alter Bridge records where there are three or four heavy tunes and three or four spookier or moodier songs and, hopefully, there will be some more uplifting stuff. So there's a mixture of everything. I can't wait.
What are you reading?
I just finished Gregg Allman's autobiography. I'm still in the middle of Dances With Dragons, the new George R.R. Martin book.
What's your favorite Mark Tremonti song?
See Mark Tremonti's favorite metal records here!