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Interview with Mark Tremonti


Alter Bridge / Creed

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2011

Brian Rademacher: Good Morning Mark.

Mark Tremonti: How are you?

Brian Rademacher: Good. Can you tell me how your Paul Reed Smith model guitar came about and if youíre still tweaking it or improving it or is it perfected yet?

Mark Tremonti: Years and years ago I got a phone call asking would I be interested in trying out a Paul Reed Smith guitar. I already bought one previously and I loved it. Then they sent me a McCarty model and I still have it today and Iíve written a lot of songs on it. It just wasnít something I could play on stage with the configuration of the knobs, the tone and the overall weight of the guitar wasnít quite right for me. They sent me another guitar and it still wasnít right so they said why donít we just make you a signature model and we will design it to your specs and put it on sale. I was blown away because it was only Carlos Santana, Paul Reed Smith and I at the time, it was an honor. There is two versions of it, one has a trem and one doesnít. We did different finishes and colors and itís pretty much perfect.

Brian Rademacher: Are you still using Dunlop Jazz lll black picks, and do you still sometimes use the 1.0mm nylon ones you used to use.

Mark Tremonti: Iím using the 1mm nylon ones right now. The Jazz picks I liked a lot when I was using them. I noticed they were good for picking quick but it didnít have a lot of weight behind so I switched back the 1mm nylon.

Brian Rademacher: The ones you throw out on stage are they the same as the ones you use on stage?

Mark Tremonti: I throw out my D'Addario picks with my signature on them for people to collect but the Dunlop nylon ones are the ones I actually play with.

Brian Rademacher: What was it like giving your first autographs?

Mark Tremonti: Man, that was a long time ago when I was in Tallahassee, FL. I really canít remember. I remember playing my first sold out show, I almost had to vomit I was so nervous.

Brian Rademacher: What is it like being on stage; do you focus on one member of the audience?

Mark Tremonti: I completely transform. Iím a pretty shy introverted person and when I get on stage I change into a different kind of person. I do say hello to the people up in front but for the most part Iím in my own musical bubble up there.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the new solo album youíre working on?

Mark Tremonti: Iím tracking it right now; Iíll be cutting vocals soon. We have fourteen songs cut with drums, rhythm and bass. I hope to get half the record done when Iím home and complete the rest when I get back from the tour. I still gotta write about eleven or twelve guitar solos. I hope have it out by January.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me a little about Derek Trucks vs. Rusty Cooley?

Mark Tremonti: I think they are completely different. Rusty is a speed expert and fast and took technique to its highest level possible. Heís an incredible teacher, Iíve learned a lot from him and I played with him many times. Derek Trucks on the other hand is pure expression. Heís not trying to impress anyone with his chops. Heís an amazing technician. I think he could be one of the greatest live players on earth at the moment.

Brian Rademacher: Youíre going out on the Carnival of Madness tour with THEORY OF A DEADMAN, BLACK STONE CHERRY, and ADELITAíS WAY. What are some of the things you ask for on your tour rider?

Mark Tremonti: I need some water, beer and grilled chicken. When we have catering I usual run into mushrooms and stuff. I donít like fish and mushrooms.

Brian Rademacher: This September you are going to open VAN HALEN in Australia,. Is that really going to happen?

Mark Tremonti: Yeah itís more of a festival thing; itís not just us and VAN HALEN. If they have any side dates that happen we would love to do it. Weíre trying to make some shows happen here in the states with them which will be amazing. (1 day after this interview the Festival was cancelled)

Brian Rademacher: So what do you think of Eddie Van Halen?

Mark Tremonti: Heís a legend, incredible. Heís one of the guys that make us do what we do.

Brian Rademacher: Do you feel the future of music is downloads?

Mark Tremonti: Yeah definitely. Iím still trying to catch up on technology. I was one of those guys that never checked e-mails. Now Iím one of those guys that get on the Internet and download songs so I can listen to them in my car. Itís just an easier quicker thing to do. Kids now are trained to do it. They donít even think about going to the record store anymore.

Brian Rademacher: Whatís your feeling at this point about the United States and the economy?

Mark Tremonti: Itís a mess. I think the politicians painted us up in a corner and spent money unwisely and padded their own pockets and spend budget money so they can get the same amount the next year. Stuff like fixing a road that donít need to be fixed so they can get more funding the next year and keep spending so they can keep getting paid. Itís infuriating.

Brian Rademacher: Is it true you collect pinball machines?

Mark Tremonti: Yes I do. The last one I bought was for my son, which is my least favorite was a new Spiderman. Like I said that was for my son. I have about fourteen machines at this point. I have a six year old and a two year old.

Brian Rademacher: Do you ever think about the future for them?

Mark Tremonti: Iím working hard so I donít have to worry about them and hopefully they can live comfortably and I hope the hell they donít have to worry about how this countryís economy will be like.

Brian Rademacher: I really appreciate you talking to me. Would you like to say anything in ending?

Mark Tremonti: Yeah come out to see The Carnival of Madness and canít wait to see everybody. Thanks.


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