ALTER BRIDGE have announced that they have terminated their recording, publishing, and merchandising agreements, effective immediately, thereby severing all of the ban's contractual relationships with Wind-Up.
"We're very excited about concluding this chapter in our lives and focusing on the future,” explains Grammy Award-winning songwriter and guitarist Mark Tremonti. "We have been working on new material for quite a while and now we can finally start looking at everything that needs to be done so we can release a new record soon."
ALTER BRIDGE's fan base has sustained the band through what they consider to be a very difficult time. Singer/songwriter Myles Kennedy explains, "I was the new guy back when we first started but it was obvious the relationship with Wind-Up was strained from the very beginning of ALTER BRIDGE and it just got to the point where neither side could work together. We asked Wind-Up to release us from our contracts shortly after our first album came out. Thankfully, we were finally able to negotiate terms acceptable to both sides."
The band is already making plans to record the follow up to their first album, the gold-certified "One Day Remains", which debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 chart its week of release. ALTER BRIDGE has not made any decisions on how or with whom they will be releasing their second album. "It's a brand new world for us right now," explains drummer Scott Phillips. "It's especially surreal for Mark and me to be considering all of ALTER BRIDGE's options at this point since he and I have been under contract with Wind-Up since 1997. We've gotten some very interesting calls but until we officially terminated the deals with Wind-Up, we couldn't really think about our future too much," Phillips added.
Under the Termination Agreement, ALTER BRIDGE now owns a large quantity of their live recordings and studio recordings. The band is currently planning a spring 2007 release date for their next studio album. However, there may be a live album released before then. Phillips commented, "We have some great material from our live shows around the world that I think our fans would really enjoy so we may put out a live album on our own while we're working on the next record."
ALTER BRIDGE has kept a conspicuously low profile in the United States since a brief tour with 3 DOORS DOWN and STAIND in October of 2005. During this period, the band chose to cope with their struggles with their former label by working on things that were important to them and that were under their control such as touring, writing, spending time with their families, and negotiating for their release from Wind-Up. "It's been very difficult to keep quiet and not be able to tell the world what's been happening behind the scenes," says bassist Brian Marshall. "We have the greatest fans in the world and we can't wait to get back on stage and thank them for their loyalty and sticking by us." Tremonti added, "We'd love to be able to share some of the new music with our fans. In the past, we've always had to consider leaks and label opinions with new material but there are very few rules for us right now so we're keeping all of our options open."
ALTER BRIDGE will be returning to Europe in June for more headlining shows and festival dates featuring METALLICA, TOOL, GUNS N' ROSES, and ALICE IN CHAINS. "European fans are intense!" says Tremonti. He added, "We've always had a good relationship with our record distributor outside of North America (Sony/BMG), so we concentrated on touring in Europe and with their help we were able to develop a great fan base."
A lot of the difficulties ALTER BRIDGE has encountered are attributable to the band members' history as part of CREED and facing others' agendas to keep the CREED business alive. "There are a lot of people who believed that CREED would get back together. It didn't help that some people tried to portray that to the public and even push for it behind the scenes," states Tremonti. "But with this termination, I think everyone will realize that CREED is officially in our past. CREED will never exist as a band again. We've moved on and we hope that everyone else can move on too," he noted.
Phillips added, "Everything happens for a reason and maybe this was just meant to be. It was tough in the beginning of ALTER BRIDGE because of all of the questions about CREED and our past lives. We just wanted to focus on ALTER BRIDGE and the music but maybe we also needed that time to become the band we are today. I know that right now, I'm happier and more excited than I've ever been in my career," says Phillips. "We realize we're always going to get asked about the past but there's just a lot of bad memories for us with CREED," Marshall says. He added, "CREED was a successful band for many years and there are some really rare recordings in the vaults, so there may still be future releases. I don't think any of them will come out for a long time but that's not really my call. The only thing I can say is that if there's ever a CREED release that the former members are involved with and proud of, you'll know."
Upcoming ALTER BRIDGE shows:
May 23 - The Swamp - Ft. Walton Beach, FL
May 26 - Floyd's Music Store - Tallahassee, FL
May 31 - Weststadthalle - Essen, Germany
Jun. 02 - Rock Im Park Festival - Nuremberg, GER
Jun. 03 - Rock Am Ring Festival - Nurburgring, GER
Jun. 04 - Pinkpop Festival - Landgraaf, NETH
Jun. 06 - The Astoria - London, UK
Jun. 07 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton, UK
Jun. 09 - ABC - Glasgow, UK
Jun. 10 - Download Festival - Donington, UK
Jun. 11 - Solus - Cardiff, UK
Jun. 14 - Rohrstofflager - Zurich, SWI
Jun. 15 - Nova Rock Festival - Nickeldorf, AUT