Mark Tremonti Talks Gear and AB III - Part 1

Posted by Michael Mueller on September 2, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Having recently wrapped up their third album, AB III, and inked a new worldwide (except North America) deal with Roadrunner Records, Alter Bridge is poised on the brink of big things. I recently caught up with guitarist Mark Tremonti backstage during Creed's stop in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Best of Creed guitar tabNot surprisingly, our visit quickly turned into an impromptu jam session. Turns out Tremonti had quite a few guests that night, and thankfully, one of them had a PRS Tremonti SE along for autographs, which he graciously loaned to me. Mark then proceeded to show me all his new favorite Robben Ford and Audley Freed progressive blues licks, as well as a doozy of a Shawn Lane finger-twister that may soon make an appearance as the Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week.

For the backstage jam room he secures at each stop on the tour, Tremonti carries the ultra-portable (and great-sounding) Roland Cube, but for his home practice and writing sessions, he takes it up a notch. "I absolutely love the Bogner Shiva 1x12 combo for practice and demoing," says Tremonti. "I also just bought a Dunlop Univibe, and I love it; I've got a couple of similar pedals, but the Univibe is just what I've been looking for. I also use an Echoplex delay pedal, my signature Morley wah, and an Ibanez TS-9, and that's my home rig."

Tremonti's live rig, as I got to see up close that night, has changed a bit, too. As his fondness for fluid, smooth blues players has grown, so has his quest for that silky lead tone. Hence, there was a very surprising head in his backline. "My main lead amp is the Two-Rock Custom Signature Reverb 100, which they juiced up for me a bit—gave it a bit more gain," says the guitarist. "I also sometimes use a Bogner Shiva head for my lead sound. But my rhythm sound sound for the past five years has been the combination of a Bogner Uberschall and a Mesa Boogie. The Uberschall has that nice, rich, warm, spongier kind of attack, whereas the Boogie is just really tight. You put them together, and they complement each other perfectly. I just haven't been able to top it."

continued in next post, where Mark discusses the new Alter Bridge album, AB III

Here's that live rig in action that night in Holmdel:

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