Alter Bridge Return with Third Album

Originally published in Guitar World, Holiday 2010

Mark Tremonti talks about their latest effort and reports on Creed’s next move.

As guitarist with both Alter Bridge and Creed, Mark Tremonti is mad busy these days. Last year, he and the newly regrouped Creed released Full Circle, the band’s first album in more than eight years, then promptly headed out on tour to support the record. Shortly after coming off the road, Tremonti was back in the studio with Alter Bridge to make AB III, the group’s newly released album.

“The biggest challenge was to have Alter Bridge not sound like Creed,” Tremonti says of the new disc. That’s no mean feat: after all, both bands feature him, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips; only the singers—Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy and Creed’s Scott Stapp—are different. “I was conscious of making the Creed songs shorter and easier to digest,” he says. “Whereas with Alter Bridge it could be a seven-minute song with 18 different guitar parts.”

True to that approach, AB III is layered with Tremonti’s signature speed metal rhythm chops, intricate fingerpicking patterns and solos that range from the feverishly lyrical (“Ghost of Days Gone By”) to the brutally unorthodox (“All Hope Is Gone”). He was assisted by Kennedy, who augments Tremonti’s six-string attack with blues and jazz licks that add a web of dark ambience. “The core of our sound is pushing the technical limits and orchestrating things,” Tremonti says. “I bring the heavy metal and classical thing, and Myles just fills the spaces perfectly.”

Alter Bridge will take this double-barreled guitar assault back on the road later this year in England and Europe. Afterward, Tremonti and Creed will head out for the second leg of their reunion tour. Apparently, the time apart has been good for the group—and continues to be. “Looking back on all the years with Creed, it’s easier to recognize the success you had when you step out of it,” Tremonti says. “It was just a matter of us taking the time apart and growing up.”

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