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Mark Tremonti explains why Eric Gales “could be the best guitar player on Earth”

Mark Tremonti performs live
(Image credit: Gina Wetzler/Getty Images)

Mark Tremonti is one of the finest electric guitar players to emerge from the nu-metal era, and now the Alter Bridge PRS-slinger has named the 10 guitarists who inspire him most, heaping praise upon bluesman of the moment Eric Gales in particular.

“He could be the best guitar player on earth… he’s that incredible,” Tremonti told MusicRadar. “If there was ever the ultimate head-cutter in any head-cutting guitar competition, he’d be the king. I’ve never seen him play with another guitarist and not shine. He’s the one that makes you drop your jaw.

“The first time I heard about him was when our drum tech way back said I should give Eric a listen while I was listening to the band Cry Of Love. He gave me his whole story and then I listened to the music and was blown away. Since then, YouTube’s blown up so you can check it all out there. He’s so inspiring, this Jimi Hendrix-style upside-down player. He’s really terrifying.”

Tremonti adds his plaudits to those of Joe Bonamassa, who recently called Gales “the best guitarist in blues rock that the world has right now”.

There’s one lick in Blackbird, which is possibly my most well-known solo, that’s definitely nicked from Joe Bonamassa

Incidentally, Bonamassa also makes Tremonti’s list, with the Alter Bridge axeman revealing that his solo in AB hit Blackbird was more than a little inspired by JoeBo…

“When we were making Blackbird, I remember listening one of his earlier records to cop a load of licks,” recalled Tremonti.

“When I’m about to do a solo, I try to pick as many as I can along the way, trying to find inspirational moments to drive me. It might be one lick here and another there. In fact, there’s one lick in Blackbird, which is possibly my most well-known solo, that’s definitely nicked from Joe Bonamassa.”

Alter Bridge’s new album Walk The Sky is out on October 18 via Napalm Records.

Fans in the UK can catch Eric Gales at the UK Guitar Show this weekend.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.