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Posted September 27, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Interviews

Mark Tremonti Interview

Interview taken on July 18, 2012 at 12:50 CST

Before Mark Tremonti released his solo album All I Was, he was better known as the lead guitarist for Creed and lead guitarist and background vocals for Alter Bridge.

Tremonti has won many accolades with Creed. He co-wrote the popular ballads like “With Arms Wide Open” and “Higher” from the diamond album Human Clay.

Tremonti also wrote popular Alter Bridge songs in “Broken Wings” and “In Loving Memory” from the gold album One Day Remains.

For three consecutive years, Tremonti was named Guitarist of the Year by Guitar World and in 2011, he was listed as the fourth greatest heavy metal guitarist by Total Guitar magazine.

Paul Reed Smith (PRS) made Mark Tremonti a signature model guitar, which Mark was honored, and it was one of the hottest merch items during Alter Bridge’s 2011 tour because it contained a live recording of their music from that evening.

When All I Was released on July 18th, it hovered and fluctuated for two weeks between #2 and #3 Rock Album on iTunes U.S.

The day after the CD release, Always Acoustic talked to Mark Tremonti about All I Was, competition for holiday record sales with Myles Kennedy, refusal to take guitar lessons and an old Al Capone building.

AARON KEKER: Congratulations on your solo debut release of All I Was and your successes, so far, of the CD selling out on Amazon.com and becoming the #1 Rock Album on iTunes UK and Australia.

MARK TREMONTI: Thank you very much! That was an exciting day!

AARON KEKER: Sounds like it! I guarantee if there is a Heaven that your mom is even more proud of you than your days with Creed. Are there enough words to describe how stoked you are with the release of All I Was?

MARK TREMONTI: Just so happy with [the] response so far. You know, we put a lot of hard work into the album and we thought we made something special. It’s just great! We’re honored to see how people have really taken to the record.

AARON KEKER:  Awesome! Yesterday, did you perform live at Best Buy in Orlando or was it just an in-store meet and greet?

MARK TREMONTI: We did a meet and greet at noon yesterday at Best Buy. We had a great turnout [and] it was a good time. Then we headed to The Social, a venue in downtown Orlando, where we did our CD release show.

AARON KEKER:  How did that go?

MARK TREMONTI: Oh, it was great! Nice, real energetic sold-out crowd of people from all over the World really.

AARON KEKER: You filmed the live version of All I Was at an old Al Capone building in Chicago. Two-part question. First, what was the name of the building? Second, how excited were you to film in a historic building?

MARK TREMONTI: It’s called Groovemaster Studios now. I don’t know what it was called back in the day. But it was a cold storage building and it had no windows. It was just a big storage for meats. Story has it that he would execute people and store them in there. (Laughter)

AARON KEKER: (Laughter)

MARK TREMONTI: It was great! Definitely not a building that you’d want to sleep over the night in. Living in that basement would be kind of creepy, but it’s a pretty cool place to check out during the day.

AARON KEKER: That’s cool! When I interviewed Myles last year, he mentioned that he was working on his solo album that might be released on December 12th. Did Myles and you joke around that your albums might be competing for the holiday sales?

MARK TREMONTI: No! You know, I thought it would be a good idea to release this stuff during the same time just to cause more attention towards both of them and really ignite the Alter Bridge fan base for these releases. But Myles is just too busy touring with Slash and hasn’t completed his record as of yet.

AARON KEKER: On June 29th, I first reported via Facebook and Twitter that Alter Bridge had finally released the music videos of “Broken Wings” and “Open Your Eyes” on iTunes U.S. Do you have any idea why it took so long to release those videos on iTunes?

MARK TREMONTI: It’s definitely got to be a record label’s issue. You know, it’s probably Universal or Wind-Up maybe dragging their feet a bit.

AARON KEKER: The video for “You Waste Your Time” was released on iTunes on May 17th. If you release any additional videos, will they be the live versions that were recorded in Chicago?

MARK TREMONTI: Yeah! We recorded the entire record there so, yeah, we plan on putting together a package, hopefully, with that entire session on it. We might do more videos after that as well. We hope to get that whole project out.

AARON KEKER: Right! I tweeted at you on June 29th, “All I Was is a killer album! Creed & AB fans will not be disappointed. I can’t stop listening to ‘The Things I’ve Seen.’” Let’s go in the opposite direction, what song is your least favorite from the album?

MARK TREMONTI: My least favorite, you know, I dig ‘em all. If I had to drop one, it would probably [be] “Doesn’t Matter.”

AARON KEKER: Okay! One of the coolest merch items ever is the PRS guitar that Alter Bridge released last year via DiscLive Network. I took it out of the bag once to take a picture of it and I haven’t touched it since then. Do you think in the future either with Creed or on your solo tour that you will release more live recordings via DiscLive Network?

MARK TREMONTI: I sure hope so. It worked good for us with Alter Bridge and we enjoyed doing it. I guess time will tell.

AARON KEKER: Normally on every Alter Bridge tour Myles plays “Watch Over You” solo acoustically. Have you guys ever considered mixing it up a little bit and next AB tour maybe Myles and you perform several songs acoustically?

MARK TREMONTI: Yeah, there’s always a possibility! You know, we’ve always wanted to do an acoustic album so maybe that will come to fruition one day as well.

AARON KEKER: That’s cool! After Creed’s tour ends later this year, will you start touring to support All I Was or will it be sometime next year?

MARK TREMONTI: I’m going to start touring in September and October. And then we’re gonna begin to go to South America, hopefully with Creed sometime in either early December or late November. Hopefully, we’ll keep touring with this until the next Creed tour.

AARON KEKER: Do you have, like, any dates penciled in yet?

MARK TREMONTI: I know a few radio festivals have signed us up so we’re trying to work the schedule around that.

AARON KEKER: Mark, any advice for someone who refuses to take guitar lessons and wants to jump into either a Tremonti, Creed or Alter Bridge song?

MARK TREMONTI: I’d take it easy and … learn a more simple basic song. You know, some of our easier songs would probably be songs like “Before Tomorrow Comes.” It probably would be a good way to start. An open D5 tuning on a acoustic guitar is a great way to start if you don’t know how to play it well because everything seems to sound pretty good one way or another when you’re playing in that tuning. It’s one of my favorites, we’ve used it on “Open Your Eyes,” “Days Gone By” and Creed’s “My Sacrifice” and “Are You Ready?” And just a ton of songs. It’s a great writing tool!

AARON KEKER: Final question. I reviewed some Creed photographs from April 14th on Always Acoustic’s web site. Every photo that you are in, you are making various facial expressions as you play guitar like a smirk, an intense look, excitement, etc. Are you a man of a thousand faces?

MARK TREMONTI: Yeah! Those faces all just kind of happen naturally. I try not to think about it when I’m on stage. I let my feelings flow.

AARON KEKER: Yeah! I think we all sort of do that in someway, you know. I know my father when we used to play like one of those flight simulators, he would be sticking his tongue out, you know as he’s flying a plane. I’m like, “This is hilarious!”

MARK TREMONTI: Uh-hum! (Laughter)

 2012-07-18 Mark Tremonti Interview