Joe Daly of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with ALTER BRIDGE and CREED guitarist and songwriter Mark Tremonti. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Nervous Breakdown: You've gone platinum many many times, you've scored a Grammy and you've done all the things that kids aspire to do when they first pick up a guitar. What were you missing from your other projects that you hoped to experience [with your solo album, "All I Was"?
Tremonti: I grew up a metalhead, and when you start bands, you work with the people that you know in town and not everybody has the same roots. The band that you form becomes a mixture of everybody's influences and I wanted to really pull out all my roots on this record and go in that direction where it's a combination of strong vocal melody and heavy, speed metal-rooted music.
The Nervous Breakdown: When you talk about your roots, are there specific influences that you were really tapping into at the time you put these songs together?
Tremonti: It's all of the stuff that I grew up on, ever since I was a kid. That's the stuff that's really in my wheelhouse. The right hand, down-strokey kind of speed metal rhythms and thrash kind of stuff. That's what I dug as a kid and I always wrote riffs like that, it's just that a lot of them were too metal for my other bands, so this is a perfect time to get them out there.
The Nervous Breakdown: Understanding that you wanted something melodic and heavy, did you have an idea of how these songs were going to sound, or did they come together when you brought in the other musicians?
Tremonti: Well, I write parts when I write music, and when it came down to writing this record, I'd just break out my laptop and run through ideas and get feedback from the other guys and see which ideas they liked more than others. We would always kind of steer towards the heavier stuff and we'd start playing that right off the bat, so we knew how it was going to sound and we'd all get really excited when we'd get into a riff that we all really dug and we'd try our best to carve a song out of it.
The Nervous Breakdown: What are your plans for supporting the solo record?
Tremonti: We've done a couple shows already and then we've got huge amounts of airtime all over the place on Comcast to get people to check out the record. Then we're going to be touring in September, October and maybe a bit of November. Hopefully back out again in February, after Myles [Kennedy] and I put together a big chunk of the next ALTER BRIDGE record, and then wherever there are breaks, we'll try and support it.
Read the entire interview from The Nervous Breakdown.