Welcome to the Rocktopia Interviews Section (* For Members Only)

Interview with Tremonti


Interview by Dave Bott

During a 20 year career Mark Tremonti's reputation as a world-class guitarist has been cemented with Creed, Alter Bridge and also his own self-named band. His role as a lead-singer came as a surprise to many, but during the course of four Tremonti albums his vocals have been a strong feature that complement the muscular nature of the material perfectly. The most recent 'A Dying Machine' release is a conceptual set of songs that marry Mark's love of Science Fiction authors with his better known musical stylings. Fireworks caught up with him before a recent show in Manchester, only to find that a last minute decision to record and film the night's events had re-shaped the usual daily schedule. Despite the additional pressure that comes with knowing the show is to be recorded, he was in a relaxed mood and keen to discuss all things Tremonti and Alter Bridge.

Tremonti Interview Fireworks Rocktopia

I do feel the extra pressure, but I've done this so many times now. I was very nervous when we recorded the Heineken Music Hall show for Alter Bridge's first live release and it can be quite intimidating when you see all the booms and guys with cameras. When we came to do the Wembley show a few years later it was a little better. The Royal Albert Hall show we did with the full orchestra, which came out a few months ago, was probably the most intense and generated the greatest amount of pressure. It's important to try and tell yourself that it's just another show, but you still have to stay focused throughout. When you're recording and filming, as we are tonight, you generally have to make the show longer and add 4 or 5 extra songs to the set-list. It means that things don't flow as they do normally, so I just hope everything goes okay and we get a good reaction from the crowd. I don't think we'll have any worries about that because the UK is like our musical home away from home and we love playing here.

With so much footage now available on YouTube and other websites one can question whether live releases are still as relevant today as they were many years ago, when bands would use them as stop-gaps between studio albums. Alter Bridge have released 2 live CDs since their last set of studio material, both to critical acclaim.

The visual aspect, professionally shot and edited, is a great way to appreciate a live performance and I only decided yesterday to record and film this tonight. I've no idea when we'll do the mix or the editing. I just wanted a live document for myself, so I can sit down with the grandkids when I'm 80 years old and say, 'Look what your granddad used to do' [laughs].

Concept albums are usually associated with Progressive Metal bands and more often than not when the concept is taken to the stage the album is performed in its entirety. With 4 albums worth of material to choose from, and the recording and filming in mind, the prospect of playing 'A Dying Machine' was never a realistic option.

Even though everyone is familiar with the new record now I think they still want to hear the older songs. If we were a bigger band and the record had sold millions then maybe we could have played it all the way through, with a more theatrical stage production to do it justice. The reason I wanted to film the show tonight is that it might be several years before we can come back and do another headline tour of the UK. We are heading home after these shows to do a tour in the States with Sevendust, but we should be back in the summer to do some festivals. We've been on the road for a long time now so this is the best opportunity to capture the band. It has meant a lot of last minute preparation, but we have the show nailed down so it is the perfect time.

Tremonti's last full UK tour was 3 years ago and at the time, speaking to Mark, there was still an element of unease being the frontman of a band rather than just the guitarist. With more touring that role has become a little more natural and it is clear that it is now something he relishes, despite the challenges it brings.

You're obviously well-practiced at what you do, but it took a long time for me to become comfortable on stage, firstly as a guitarist and now again as the frontman of the band. I was always the shy guy, but as the frontman I'm much more aggressive. It's almost like you're playing a role and when you're out there you get into character. You still enjoy what you do, but you have to leave the everyday side of you in the dressing room for a couple of hours. I love singing, even though it took me so long to fall into the role. Melodies are the most important thing for me when I'm putting a song together and to be able to express yourself by singing them how you imagine them in your head is such a unique feeling. For a long time I imagined I might be doing a disservice to the ideas I was writing. It could either be me as a B- or someone like Myles (Kennedy) sing them and make them an A+.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

'Live At The Royal Albert Hall featuring The Parallax Orchestra' is a CD/DVD release (September 2018) that sees Alter Bridge, as the title alludes, working with a full orchestra. It is not a new concept and several bands have adopted this approach in the past with mixed success. Mark has fond memories of the collaboration (the show took place in October 2017) even though there was a great amount of trepidation that came with it.

There have been lots of 'flagpole' occasions within my career and the Royal Albert Hall show with the orchestra is probably the best live show I've been involved in. We actually spent very little time with the orchestra. In the lead up to the show we were receiving ideas and these featured programmed orchestral arrangements over the studio versions of the songs we were planning to include in the set. It only took 3 or 4 tracks to realise just how great it sounded. We thought we would have to spend a lot of time working with the orchestra, but it was clear they knew what they were doing and this made things so much easier. We went with their arrangements, figuring that when we got to rehearsals we would still have to go through each song multiple times. The hardest thing was working out just when everyone came in, because if someone comes in on the wrong beat it is just a complete mess. Obviously the orchestra has all the music written down so they have to follow that exactly. Over the years we have tweaked the songs slightly when we have been playing them live and this meant the arrangements were slightly different to the studio versions everyone was familiar with. We also decided to stay away from some of the heavier songs and concentrate on those which would have a more epic atmospheric feel when accompanied by the orchestra. Some of these we had not played in a long time, if ever. It was as much a challenge for us as it was for them. It was unfamiliar territory for us in many ways and we had to really bring our 'A' game as we were playing high-stakes shows. It was very tense on the first night we played, but we captured it and this meant we could relax more on the second night and really enjoy it. Unfortunately we didn't get too much time to hang out or socialise as it was all over so quickly.

'A Dying Machine' is possibly the strongest set of Tremonti songs to date, regardless of the conceptual aspect attached to the project. The 14 songs act as a short-form version of a story that will be released as a full novel and Mark is enthusiastic as much about this as he is about the album.

I'm a massive Science Fiction fan and look up to authors a lot for inspiration. Writing a book was something I'd always dreamed of doing. The song 'A Dying Machine' is a twisted love story between man and machine and I really enjoyed being in that world and that mind-set whilst I was writing it. I was curious about where else the story could go and I thought I could create some kind of mini-concept within the album. Once I had 3 or 4 songs I just decided to do the whole thing and it meant I had the freedom to change songs around to fit the storyline or change the storyline to fit the songs. After the album was completed I wanted to tell the story in its long form so that is how the idea for the book I wrote with John Shirley came about. A lot of people have said it is open to be developed further, so TV or a movie would be such a fantastic prospect and I would love it to happen. As an artist this last 12 months has probably been the most satisfying creatively, with the record and book both coming together at the same time.

Alter Bridge and Tremonti are well established and even though Mark is an influential and vital part of the writing process for both, the musical styles are different for each band. Michael 'Elvis' Baskette produces both bands, and his contributions are another important factor in the creation of the songs.

I love Speed Metal, so when I started my own band it was just so I had an outlet for the songs that weren't really working for Alter Bridge. Some of the riffs were too heavy and the ideas were not the kind that could be developed further when putting an Alter Bridge song together. This band is just perfect for that and I get to play the kind of music I grew up listening to. I try and write as often as I can and when there is time I'm always putting ideas down. We'll be starting work on a new Alter Bridge record sometime in 2019, so hopefully I can have enough ideas for 12 great songs, and Myles will be in a similar position so we can combine these together. We work well with Elvis now and however good you think a song is, you just know that when he's finished mixing it, it will be even better. If you get into working with a different producer there's no knowing how things will turn out. It works for us, so I don't see any reason to change.

Share this on the web.

Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

William Shatner - 'The Blues'
13/10/2020 | James Gaden
article thumbnail

One of his best albums to date.

Latest News on Rocktopia

Eddie Van Halen lost his battle with cancer aged 65
06/10/2020 | Central Electronic Brain

'I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my  [ ... ]

Member Login


<<  October 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     1  2  3  4
  5  6  7  8  91011

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 3 weeks ago
  • daveomd : Got it along with my download, everything looks great! Thanks, Dave
  • Berny : @daveomd: We sent you a mail immediately after your purchase, and have just sent another email now. Please contact me at «email» should you not receive it. Many thanks!
  • daveomd : I purchased your latest issue #92 but never received my download.
  • Berny : @Hysteria & @KI2000: Many thanks for your kind words! :)
  • Hysteria : Received my download copy almost immediately and downloaded 50 magazines for free. Cannot complain! Thanks guys!!!
  • KI2000 : Love the new issue guys, great magazine!
  • Berny : @Mugi89: Your confirmation mail was sent on the 22nd, I've just sent it again. Please contact me at «email» should you not receive it. Many thanks!
  • Mugi89 : Hi! I purchased my digital copy of issue 92 2 days ago but still didn't receive it. When am I gonna be able to download it? thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Your mail was forwarded to the Fireworks team yesterday, I am going to ask them again. Sorry for the delay!
  • Berny : @Mitch Perry: Your order was received at 4AM local time. As stated on the order page, all payments have to be processed manually. Your copy of Fireworks 92 was added to your download section, many thanks for the purchase.
  • Berny : @RobC68: I sent you two emails explaining the situation. There's not much more I can do for you at the moment, so I'd suggest you stop buying the magazine. Thanks.
  • zom414 : Still not received the latest issue by post, I've emailed as well but not heard anything. Can you let me know what's happening please?
  • Mitch Perry : Can I have my download link, please? Issue 92 22 Sep 2020 07:57:11 BST Paypal Transaction ID: 1BS38875MX3700248
  • RobC68 : purchased issue 92 in download version. been waiting more than a day....PATHETIC SERVICE as it happens with every purchase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Berny : @rgilman: Please check your e - mail for download instructions.
  • rgilman : Hello I bought the Deep Purple issue how do I download it? Thanks
  • Berny : @jharper36: Please check your e - mail.
  • jharper36 : Hi, i purchased the download of issue #92. How do I download it?
  • Berny : @loudjlopez: Sorry for the troubles, pls. check your mail. Many thanks!
  • loudjlopez@m : Any word on my digital download of issue 91. Paid on Saturday. It is Tuesday. Thanks
  • loudjlopez@m : Paid for Fireworks #91 for digital download. No word since Saturday and it is Monday.
  • Berny : @fdr: Magazines were sent on Monday. Thanks for your purchase and best regards, B. :)
  • fdr : Hi, yesterday (august 12th) I sent you a payment for 21GBP for the purchase of issues 91 and 82 of Fireworks magazine. (code 7D3182072X778721A) but still haven't received a word od confirmation. Can you please check?
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site