In a new interview with Hakos Pervanidis of Greece's "TV War", ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti was asked to pick his favorite albums of all time and talk about his childhood memories for each one of them.
Speaking about SLAYER's 1986 masterpiece "Reign In Blood", Mark said (see video below): "That is my third favorite record of all time. I think it could be the best album ever for metal guitar riffs. Tom Araya's vocals are just nasty, angry, evil and angry. When I was a kid, that was a scary record. I wanted to find the heaviest thing I could find, and that was it; there was nothing heavier than that record when I found it. When my parents came by my bedroom, I had to turn the volume down. [Laughs] So that [was] definitely a key record for my growing up, for sure."
Regarding METALLICA's "Master Of Puppets", Mark said: "[That's] my favorite record of all time. I've listened to it thousands of times. That's the record that turned me into a music fanatic. Before I heard that record, I was listening to the BEASTIE BOYS, I was listening to the J. GEILS BAND and whatever was popular on the radio, and I came across that record and from that point on, I've been a metalhead, looking for the heaviest thing that I could find. And I think METALLICA 'Master Of Puppets' is METALLICA at their best. Every single song on that record is a 10 out of 10."
Mark's latest comments echo those he made in 2012 when he told Noisecreep that "Master Of Puppets" was the record that helped shape him musically. "From there, I searched for the heaviest, darkest, meanest sounding stuff I could find," he said. "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 told Noisecreep: "[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 has just released a new seven-song EP, "Walk The Sky 2.0", via Napalm Records.