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27 Mar 2005

Alter Bridge

Exclusively for Rockpages.gr Alter Bridge, the rising force coming out of the ashes of Creed, talk about their album, past, present and maybe future. The guys are very cool, friendly and down to earth like you are talking to your local band, although they have sold millions of records already. The following interview is more of a showdown of all four of them answering the questions, chatting away, and actually having fun, despite their jet lag. What follows might be a bit long, but it encapsulates exactly how things in this band work. It's all about chemistry...

One Day Remains for Yiannis Dolas

alter bridgeRockpages.gr: So, you are back in the UK very soon, do you miss the weather over here?
Mark Tremonti: We miss the people…
Scott Philips: We definitely don’t miss the weather. The weather is definitely the down point of coming over here…
Rockpages.gr: You were very successful, did you expect that when you started the band?
Mark Tremonti: We really hoped for success but we didn’t really gage it. We knew that we were going out there and work hard and try and build it from square one, not trying relying to our pass so much. I think we will never be satisfied until we go to the studio and do another record.
Rockpages.gr: When are you going to do that, have you planned it?
Mark Tremonti: We’ll do the same thing we’ve done on all the records, just find a house somewhere and record. This time is going to Brian’s (Marshall) house…
Brian Marshall: Fuck…Damn
Scott: He lives so far from us…
Brian: You guys are never going to go into my house
Mark and Scott: I’ve been to your house!
Scott:…once!
Mark: Myles have never been to your house…
Myles Kennedy: I have….
Rockpages.gr: Can I ask you about your influences, and how are these expressed in your music in Alter Bridge.
Scott: That will be Abba and George Michael…
Mark: That’s going to be in the magazine…
Scott: Yeah!
Mark: My influences, when I was younger were purely metal. Death metal, Black metal. Celtic Frost, Slayer, Metallica was probably my favorite band growing up and then as you grow up and turn into a man you can’t listen just to death metal, so I started loving Zeppelin, of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan is my favorite guitar player, he is probably my biggest source of inspiration.
Scott: Are you saying that everybody that listens to death metal isn’t a man?
Myles: Ohhh…
Mark: Then I wouldn’t be a man…I just say that you have to expand your horizons just a little bit.
Brian: I was always into the classic rock stuff. I was always kind of drawn in the rhythm section, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Rush, this kind of bands really inspired me to want to pick up bass, that’s my roots…
Myles: I kind of had two different phases, because as a guitar player I had my influences. Everything from Zeppelin to John Sykes and Blue Murder. But, as a singer I didn’t listen really to any of that, I pretty much focused on Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, which is kind of schizophrenic…I am a weirdo…
Rockpages.gr: So what do you listen to these days?
Myles: We pretty much listen to Mark. Listen to mark go like tuuruuuruurururuuru (makes guitar noises)…
Scott: We are forced to listen to Mark playing the guitar…
Brian: As soon as the interview is over, that thing (pointing at a guitar, an amp and a couple of pedals) will be on fire until we go on stage.
Rockpages.gr: In your gigs sometimes you play some covers. Are you planning to record some of that and maybe include them in your next album?
Mark: Umm, not yet on the second record. Maybe if we come up with a cover that’s different, that’s a little bit off the beaten path that really sepaks to us, we do well and we make it sound different from the original, in our own special way we will but until then we are just doing it live.
Brian: You know maybe someday we’ll do an Abba cover records! The whole record will be Abba’s and George Michael’s stuff. Because Scott is so much into the subject (he laughs)…
Scott: It’s going to rock man! (everybody laughs)
Rockpages.gr: Which band would you like to cover your stuff?
Mark: Paul McCartney’s band. Paul McCartney covering “Find The Real” would be cool!
Scott: Metallica, King Diamond
Myles: That would be something!
Brian: Kylie Minogue! I think her covering like “Watch Your Words”
Scott: Or covering me! Yesss! (laughs)
Rockpages.gr: So how do you write your music, what’s your inspiration?
Mark: When I write I just get into the zone and kind of focus on nothing specific. I just wait until someone speaks to me and I kind of stumble upon something and then I found the path that takes me in until it’s worked out…and show these guys, and sometimes they shoot me down…
Scott: We say “Go bad!”
Mark:…with the drag word “Loser”! I usually work stuff out until it’s presentable and show these guys and we get to soundcheck and jamming out and everybody will put in their two sense, pull it apart, put it back together.

alterbridge2

Rockpages.gr: You have quite a very busy schedule ahead. You are touring Europe, and then you’re going to the States in a short period of time. How do you cope with that? Do you like traveling and touring? You hate traveling and touring?
Scott: Yes and no…we all have wives and families and things that make it tough to be gone for as long as we are gone for. The only solution to that is to bring them out with us as much as possible. Like everybody misses their pets, or their couch and their bed, but we’re doing exactly what we want to be doing, we love doing what we’re doing. I think we all know that as much as we’d love for this to go on for thirty more years, nobody wants to see us at 65 years old rocking out I don’t think…so you have to do it while you are capable and while you’re able and just enjoy while you have the opportunity to do it, so do it as much as you can.
Mark: I think we all like touring, that’s we like doing it. That’s why our schedule is so tough.
Rockpages.gr: Do you have any funny stories from traveling around, on the road that you’d like to share?
Myles: I am a dumass and I forget what city we are in, what bands are opening for us. We were in the States in our last tour, we were in a place called Fort Wayne, Indiana, but I in my state of just aloofness I said “How you doing Fort Mayas?” …things like that. Actually there’s a commercial which is out now with the same exact scenario. Art imitates commercial, I guess!
Scott: Or commercials imitating…art! (they laugh)
Rockpages.gr: (To Myles) So, is it true that you made Myles to jump from a cliff?
(they laugh hard!)
Myles: Jump from a cliff? It’s so funny how stories change!
Mark: No, that’s for the next album.
Rockpages.gr: Did he jump or not?
Scott: He did jump, but it wasn’t a cliff! It was a bungee-like operation where you basically jump off and you get hoisted up at about three hundred feet in the air and then you are dropped and you swing back and forth like a pendulant.
Mark: But, it wasn’t cliff jumping…
Brian: That’s next time…
Mark: Yeah!
Scott: That’s for sure…
Mark: But, you’ve got to do it alone…
Rockpages.gr: So you guys have been to a band together before you got Myles. What’s Myles putting in that you didn’t have before?
Scott: Laundry services, lawn maintenance, he’s not a bad chef…
Brian: That’s bullshit!
Mark: Yeah!
Scott: No, he is a bad chef actually!
Mark: Shoulder massages after the show…
Myles: Hey, what happens if that gets printed and people actually think that… You guys are terrible
Mark: You guys will look pretty feminent…
Scott: Mark gets pectorial rub downs every night…Now Myles has an element we didn’t really have last time…which is a nice…easy to talk to similar person to the way the three of us are. He just makes it feel more, I don’t’ know, family-like is the right term or not…there’s just a lot more communication this time around, the ability to speak freely and not worry about the consequences of your free speaking and what might do to you down the road.
Rockpages.gr: (To Myles) And how is it for you to play with the guys?
Myles: It’s really nice and sensitive. We are so similar. It’s the first band I’ve been in where everybody is, I think it mellows the world, but it’s just kind like low-key. Which sometimes really mistake for being maybe Mellon collie, because we are really quiet. So, actually what it is we talk telepathically! (he laughs). No, that’s cool! Considering they played in a band which sold 30 million records and they are normal as people could be , so it’s really nice for me…
Rockpages.gr: How did you think that helped the band? The fact the you were in Creed before, I know you(Myles) had another band, how do you think that confuses some fans, if they havent’ heard your stuff before and expect that you’d sound more like Creed?
bandScott: I think it helped and it hurt as well. I think some people that see the similarities and like the differences, and there is some people that hear the similarities but don’t like the differences. There is some people who couldn’t stand Creed the first time around and are whiling to give us a try the second time around, just because the hype of the name attached to it. I think it’s been easier to get, I say this but I don’ think it will actually happen, I assimilate that it would be easier to get the name of the band out, because of our past, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case. We want to cross as much as many people that haven’t heard of Alter Bridge, but loved Creed, haven’t heard of Alter Bridge, have no idea that Creed broke up, when did that happen? I just got your greatest hits record, I thought you guys were coming out with a new record in six months. It just seems like the word hasn’t really gotten out there, like we thought that it had to who we were and what we were all about…I think that there is good points and bad points…
Rockpages.gr: Alter Bridge is a bridge near Detroit, and you named the band after that. I read that it symbolizes the unknown, the other side. How do you see that in this band? Is the unknown, is it the other side?
Mark: Yeah, well our past was our security blanket with Creed and the success it had, we could have kept going with it, being miserable, not having a good time with it, or we could have done what we are doing now. Go out do what we do. We didn’t know what the future held for us, so that’s what we are doing now. It comes with the name…
Rockpages.gr: Does the title “One Day Remains” have any signification?
Mark: “One Day Remains” was actually in the runnings for the name of the band, but we decided to use “Alter Bridge”. “One Day Remains” is pretty much our outlook on life. It’s to life your life like one day remains, do exactly what you want to do. I kept thinking towards the end of Creed that I am going to be 60 years old and look back in my life and say, you should have took that step, done what told your heart and broken up that band and broken your ties with Scott (Stapp), since you weren’t getting along with him, you didn’t have fun together, something I might enjoy doing and this is really something we all have to do…
Rockpages.gr: Classic rock is making it’s comeback with old and new bands, what do you think about that?
Mark: I hope it comes back, because some of the modern rock bands stuff I just don’t get. I hope the 70’s influenced rock comes back strong, cause that’s what rock is essentially about and right now is kind of top flatlined in the States, rock is really barely hanging on, comparing to rap rock and all the other styles that are coming out, rock is really fighting to stay alive, so we’ll do our best to keep it alive!
Rockpages.gr: I hope you do…Thank you very much guys…

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