Mark Tremonti is best known as the guitarist for the multi platinum selling band Creed and for his work in Alter Bridge. Mark has just released his first solo album titled “All I Was” and Media Mikes was fortunate enough to talk with Mark recently about the decision to put out a solo album and what other plans he has in the works.
Adam Lawton: What was the idea behind wanting to put out a solo release?
Mark Tremonti: Being a songwriter for all these years I have had a lot of ideas that were stockpiled up. When Miles Kennedy who sings for us in Alter Bridge went out on tour with Slash recently I saw a window of time where I could take some of those ideas that didn’t work for my other bands and put them together to create an album out of. “All I Was” is what we came up with.
AL: Are the songs on the album all from previous ideas or was there some new material written as well?
MT: Most of it is stuff that was written. There were really just parts of songs and nothing that was completed. When I got together with the other guys who played on the album is when I started arranging the ideas. A majority of the initial riffs were already written.
AL: How did you go about picking the line up for the band?
MT: Eric the other guitar player was an obvious choice. He is someone that I have been playing guitar with for years and years. We are best friends and over the years I have probably shown him more ideas for songs than I have with my other two bands. I am very comfortable working with him. Garret our drummer was in a band with Eric called Submersed. I co-produced a record for them years ago and Garret was still living in Orlando so he was an obvious choice to bring in. He is an incredible drummer.
AL: How did you go about creating a unique tone on this album that was different from your previous work?
MT: It was mostly based on my roots. The rhythm parts on this album are based around a speed metal/thrash type style. I tried to mesh the two styles of my influences that being speed metal and melodic 70’s rock. I was in to stuff that my parents exposed me to like Rod Stewart and Journey. I still love that music and wanted to mesh the two.
AL: What was the biggest difference you noticed when stepping up and performing not only the guitar work but also the vocal work as well?
MT: I loved it. I have written a lot of lyrics over the years for my other bands but I never had to write an entire album. It is a whole other process. I have to work out all the guitar lines and solos while also bringing in the lyrics. I spent about a month and a half working on that. The singing part was easy after everything was written. Singing is fun. Once I sang the album the first time I went back in and changed/re-wrote things where I thought the original stuff didn’t fit or sounded off. I sort of went through the vocal process twice just to make sure it was right. All together the album took about 3 months to complete.
AL: What types of tour plans are in place to support the release?
MT: We have a 2/3 week tour run in the States coming up and then after that we are heading over to Europe where the first handful of shows will be with Slash. After those shows we will continue our own tour where we will hit Amsterdam, Italy and Germany. When I get home from that I will be back out on the road with Creed until I get back with Miles to write the next Alter Bridge record. In February I will be back out with the solo group for a more extensive European tour which will include shows in Australia.
AL: What are you most looking forward to about playing these songs live?
MT: It’s a much different vibe on stage when you are singing and not just playing guitar. It is a great experience to be able to play these songs. This record is a really fun record to play live and we enjoy it. I can’t wait to do it in front of a crowd who know the songs. The first time we played this material was for a couple of CD release shows. People hadn’t heard the songs yet. This time people will be familiar with them.
AL: Is this solo album just a one-time thing or will you be doing another one in the future?
MT: We will definitely do another solo album. As soon as we can find the time we will get it done.