Mark Tremonti talks new Alter Bridge album

Via: musicradar.com

Mark Tremonti talks new Alter Bridge album, tour and rig

Mark Tremonti's fretting hand never stays still; having completed touring with his solo band Tremonti, he's been back in the studio recording the new Alter Bridge album, due this September. And Mark was kind enough to take a break from mixing it to give Total Guitar the lowdown on an album that finds the band pushing their own high standards again.

The band will make their live return to the UK, the place that embraced Alter Bridge first, with an arena tour in October featuring Shinedown and Halestorm as support.

Total Guitar caught up with Mark for a preview on the new Alter Bridge album, tour and how his rig is looking these days.

Alter Bridge, Creed and your solo band… you've been on the road a lot for several years. How attuned have you become to what kind of things fans respond to live and has that influenced the next Alter Bridge album?
"We actually talked about that a lot on this record. We talked about how these songs would translate live and we reminded ourselves that whatever we put on the record, we have to play. So we've got to make this fun, and if you have an album full of ballads you're going to be outing yourself to sleep everyday. So this record is a very high energy record, fun to play and I think it will translate very well live."

'AB III' was quite a dark album in places, is this more upbeat overall in terms of mood?
"I don't think it's as dark as 'AB III' but listening to it, a lot of the lyrics are still on the darker side of things. But there's definitely a few uplifting concepts and themes on there as well. There's apocalyptic lyrics… all kinds of moods."

Did you spend longer in preproduction on this album to work in more detail on the songs?
"We had a lot of time in preproduction, probably the most we've ever dug into a record in preproduction mode. Elvis [Michael Baskette, longtime AB producer] did a really great job at challenging us on this record. We came into the studio with songs that we thought were well structured and ready to go. And he agreed but we decided to just try and a mess with some arrangements, change time signatures. We constantly took parts, that we knew were good parts, but wanted to see if we could make them better. And it really pushed us to make a better record."


Is it true you sing lead vocals on one of the songs?
"Yes, when they were working on vocals Elvis told me that Myles wasn't really connecting with one of the songs and they started talking about me giving it a go. Elvis said, 'Let's take a negative and give you a chance to take that song that he's not feeling and sing it.' So I wrote it about a fictional apocalypse. Right now it's called 'The Waters Rise' and I'm glad to be able to have done it."


Is this a heavy, full-on album in terms of the guitars or did you strip things back on any songs, such as an acoustic approach?
"It's a pretty aggressive record guitar-wise, there's not a whole lot of acoustic on there. There's maybe two or three songs that feature acoustic guitar parts. There's actually an nylon acoustic intro that features on there – another surprise we threw out there with Myles.
"I don't think he's ever featured on a big guitar intro to an Alter Bridge song. It's called 'Cry Of Achilles' and he played me the part when we were putting the album together and I said, 'Man, we've got to turn that into a song for sure!' And it's a big nylon string intro that he does and it's fantastic, it's one of my favourite songs on the album."

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