Mark Tremonti On His New Solo Album

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Between recording and touring schedules with Creed and Alter Bridge as well as being a dedicated family man, it's a small wonder that guitarist Mark Tremonti somehow found time to write and record his debut solo album, All I Was. But then, if you know anything about the man's work ethic, it's really not that surprising. One of the most prolific songwriters in today's rock environment, the odds of running into Tremonti without a guitar in his hands are, well, you might have a better chance of winning a guitar duel with him.

Alter Bridge guitar tab

But coming up with the riffs and melodies was just one part of the equation this time out, as All I Was also marks Tremonti's lead vocal debut. Lucky for him, the "woodshed" is a familiar environment; all he needed was to bring a new tool to the workbench.

Mark Tremonti All I WasSo, you're a singer now!
Yeah, I guess so! But it's not that new to me. I've been writing songs since I was 11 years old, so I'm always singing—even if it was poorly at times.

What was the biggest challenge?
When I write songs, I sing in a quiet falsetto, so the biggest change was when we started rehearsals. I thought I'd just do my best and it would be enough, but singing at full volume is when you notice the change in control and the delivery of notes. So that was the first time I really practiced singing, and as a result my confidence went up and I became more comfortable.

Do you have any trouble playing and singing at the same time?
We did live demos, so I knew I could do it. We recorded the entire album live, and the first video, "You Waste Your Time" (see below) is from that session, which was just three days before Creed tour. There were only one or two spots where I had trouble.

Were you worried about muddying the waters between your solo material and the Creed and Alter Bridge styles?
I think it sounds different than both bands right off the bat, with the different rhythm section and a more aggressive style. For this record, I went to my roots, using fast downpicking and gallop-style riffs that never felt like they belonged in a Creed or Alter Bridge song. With this band it was no-holds-barred. Garrett's (Whitlock) drumming was all-out; he had green light to push himself and he was excited to do it.

When you first mentioned doing a solo album a few years ago, I thought we might hear more of an instrumental release.
My passion is songwriting, so I didn't want to do just an instrumental shred record. Half the songs on this album were tried out with Alter Bridge and Creed and just didn't fit, but they were good songs and I didn't want to see them go to waste.

I know you're a huge blues guitar fan. Did you consider doing a blues tune or something out of the box?
I love everything from Son House and Muddy Waters to Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughan, so if and when I do something like that, I want it to be a complete blues experience, and I don't feel like I'm there yet with the blues.

All I Was is scheduled for a July 10 release. For all the latest info, please visit www.tremontiproject.com.

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