Band of the Month – Tremonti

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Band of the Month – Tremonti (continued…)

Tremonti is an American rock band founded and fronted by talented lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Tremonti. Mark is best known as the guitarist for Creed and Alter Bridge. In addition Tremonti consists of rhythm guitarist Eric Friedman, drummer Garrett Whitlock and bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. Originally the band started out as Mark’s solo project which evolved into a fully fledged band after the release of the band’s first album titled “All I Was” on the 17th of July 2012. Mark played bass and lead guitar on the band’s debut album as well as fulfilling his duties as the lead vocalist. Mark’s band mate in Creed and Alter Bridge Brian Marshall was the touring bass guitarist for the band until his departure later that year. Brian was replaced by Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

Towards the end of Creed’s career in the early 2000s, Tremonti wanted to form a speed metal side project called Downshifter which would have included Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta and Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, but the project never came to fruition. Later in 2008, Mark and his brother Dan Tremonti formed FRET12 , an online musicians’ community, production company, record label and artist management company to release his 2008 instructional guitar documentary DVD titled Mark Tremonti: The Sound & the Story, where he teaches warm-ups, alternate tuning, finger picking style, legato techniques, and other advanced exercises. It marked the first in a series of  The Sound & The Story instructional DVDs which includes DVDs by Leslie West and Troy Stetina.

Mark started showing interest in releasing a solo album , because he writes a lot and he felt there was potential in songs he had written that didn’t suit Alter Bridge or Creed’s genre/material. Former Submersed members Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock formed part of the band. Mark described the music as melody driven and in an interview he described the album as being a heavier-sounding thrash metal album.

On the 20th of January 2012, Tremonti launched a website where fans can visit to find out about the latest news, previews, live streams and giveaways. A list of song titles and the title of the band’s debut album “All I Was” was announced on the website. The release date for the album was set for July 2012 on FRET12 Records under the management of Dan Tremonti & Tim Tournier. The first single from the album “You Waste Your Time” was made available on the 6th of May 2012, one day before its release on Loudwire.com.

One day after its release, the song reached number 10 on the iTunes Rock Songs chart and the live video for the song premiered on the 17th of May 2012 on Noisecreep. The official release date for the album was announced on Ultimate Guitar Archive as the 17th of July 2012. Produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette, the album shows prominent thrash metal influences. This album marks the debut of Mark Tremonti as a lead vocalist.

Tremonti originally consisted of Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Brian Marshall playing bass guitar as a session/touring member. The band’s first concert took place at The Social in Orlando, Florida, on July 17, 2012. Wolfgang Van Halen replaced Brian Marshall as a touring bassist in September 2012 and was named as an official member of the band in March 2013. A previously unreleased B-side “All That I Got” became available as a single on the 16th of April 2013.

In 2014 Tremonti began recording their second album with Wolfgang Van Halen playing bass. Another B-side called “Gone” was released as a single on the 16th of September 2014. On the 3rd of March 2015, the band released a sample of their song “Radical Change” and revealed the album title “Cauterize” along with the song listing for the band’s sophomore effort. On the 17th of March 2015 Tremonti released another song preview for the track “Flying Monkeys” and gave a concrete release date of the 9th of June 2015 for Cauterize. On the 20th of March 2015 Tremonti unveiled on Twitter that the first single would be titled “Another Heart” and that it would be released on the 24 March 2015. On the 23rd of March 2015, the single “Another Heart” was available for streaming via FRET12. The artwork for Cauterize was revealed on the 27th of May 2015, additionally it was announced that it will be the first of two albums that were recorded together to be released. The second single “Flying Monkeys” released in the US on the 15th of May 2015 and is available for digital download via iTunes.

After listening to Cauterize I was struck by Mark Tremonti’s vocal performance on the latest record in comparison to its predecessor. Cauterize engages all of your senses and doesn’t let up until the end. By listening to Cauterize you witness the development of the band as a unit. I love the philosophical lyrical content of “Providence” and Mark’s vocals shine on the song combined with some beautiful riffs.

I like the heavier, yet melodic style that the band has adopted, it attracts new fans without alienating existing fans especially since the genre of music the band play is so far removed from Mark’s other projects. I can imagine it takes a lot of investment and guts to start a third band from scratch, especially when your schedule is already planned years in advance. Tremonti is unique, because of the fact that the band consists of established musicians who really don’t have anything to prove and is making music purely for the love and passion that the band members possess for their craft.

You can follow Mark Tremonti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkTremonti

You can follow Eric Friedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IIEROCKII

Follow Garrett Whitlock on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWDrums

Follow Wolfgang van Halen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WolfVanHalen

Follow Tremonti Project on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TREMONTIproject

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Credits to Letarte Photography Source: https://www.facebook.com/letartephotographync?fref=photo

Credits to Letarte Photography 
Source:
https://www.facebook.com/letartephotographync?fref=photo 

Credits to the photographer/owner Source: https://www.facebook.com/TremontiProject?fref=ts

Credits to the photographer/owner
Source: https://www.facebook.com/TremontiProject?fref=ts

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Band of the Month – The Tremonti Project

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Since 2010 Mark has expressed his interest in releasing a solo album, since he has written many songs that does not fit the style of either Alter Bridge or Creed. He decided to the album within a three-month window where Myles Kennedy was touring with Slash and Scott Stapp was touring as well. He describe the album as melody-driven with elements of thrash and speed metal thrown in. Essentially Mark was going to back to  his roots, he was always interested in exploring metal music a little deeper, but never had the avenue to do so. He grew up on the likes of Pantera and Metallica. Although Mark was always interested in metal music, he was adamant to incorporate a strong melody in the songs. His sense of melody has improved through the years during his work with Creed and later Alter Bridge. I’m a strong believer in incorporating melody and structure to a song, it doesn’t matter how heavy the music is as long as a recognisable melody is present, I will probably like it.

On the 6th of April 2011, Alter Bridge announced that tracking of Mark’s debut album has begun. On the 20th of January 2012 Tremonti and FRET12 launched “The Tremonti Project”, a website where fans could go to find out more about the band, receive news and stay updated on the progress of the album. The song list, band members and title of the album were officially announced on the website. On the 20th of March 2012 the album artwork was revealed and the album was to be distributed by EMI. “You Waste Your Time” was announced as the first single to come off the album and the song was made available for listening on the 6th of May on Loudwire.com. A live music video for the song was released on the 17th of May 2012. The album’s release date was on the 17th of July 2012.

I will admit when I first heard that Mark will assume both the vocal and guitar duties, I was sceptical. I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t sure how strong Mark’s voice would be. Through my first listen to All I Was , I was overwhelmed. Keep in mind I hadn’t had much exposure to trash or speed metal. I was overwhelmed by the instruments at first, it was a lot for me to absorb. The more I listened to the album, the more the melodies and layers of instruments began to take shape. Mark’s voice has grown on me since the first few times that I listened to the album. He has a low register, but his voice can sound more tender when he sings higher notes. Garrett Whitlock did a stellar job on the drums, the drums play a huge part on the album and sets the ebb and flow for the songs. Eric Friedman is a fantastic guitarist and his style complements Mark’s in every way. Eric delivered impressive backing vocals as usual. The album is a technical masterpiece that only seasoned musicians could pull off. My favourite song off the album is “You Waste Your Time”, because of the fast guitars and heavy drums, it makes me want to headbang wherever I am. Last but not least the listener is treated to many guitar solos that once again demonstrates Mark’s amazing talent. His songwriting ability is remarkable to say the least and he manages to connect to the listener on another level through his songs.

You can follow Mark Tremonti on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MarkTremonti

You can follow Eric Friedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IIEROCKII

You can follow Garrett Whitlock on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWDrums

You can follow the band here: https://twitter.com/tremontiproject

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Guitarist of the Week – Mark Tremonti (Part 2)

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Continued from Part 1…

After Mark and Scott decided to call Brian Marshall to ask him if he would like to join them in their new endeavor. Brian accepted their offer and he decided to quit his band at the time called Head Heavy. They began auditioning singers for the  band asking potential vocalists to sing over demo tapes. Myles Kennedy auditioned and the band remembered him fronting The Mayfield Four as the opening act for Creed in the 1990s. They instinctively knew that Myles had the vocal range and tone that they were looking for. They flew him down and they got along so well that they asked him to join the band.

After juggling many different band names they finally settled on Alter Bridge named after a long-standing bridge near Tremonti’s childhood home in Detroit, just off of Alter Road. Parents forbade their children to cross the bridge as it led to the bad side of town. All of the band members were very excited to be on the verge of a new chapter in their lives.

While Mark Tremonti was between bands he got involved with Submersed a new band on Wind-Up’s label. Mark introduced Eric Friedman to the band who was impressed by his impressive guitar playing. Eric was then added as the band’s lead guitar player. Mark produced Submersed debut album “In Due Time”. The band opened for Alter Bridge’s US tour in 2004 & 2005. Eric ultimately left the band and the band was dropped from Wind-Up’s roster in 2008 and the band later broke up.

Alter Bridge entered the studio in 2004 to record their first album. The band turned in their first single and the producers edited the guitar solo out, the reason being that radio stations won’t play songs that have long guitar solos in it. Mark didn’t want to compromise and refused to surrender to their demands. Mark’s role in the band changed slightly from Creed’s setup. Mark contributed to many of the lyrics as well as more prominent backing vocals. “In Loving Memory” was a tribute to Mark’s deceased mother and “Shed My Skin” refers to the isolation Mark felt as a child when his family moved to Florida.

Alter Bridge’s debut album “One Day Remains” was released in August 2004. Their first single “Open Your Eyes” reached #2 on the mainstream rock chart. Alter Bridge began to build a fan base in the US as well as in Europe. Mark brought his brother Michael on as the band’s press and fan liaison as the band was about to embark on their tour. Alter Bridge mostly played small clubs and started earning acclaim for their live performances.

In 2005 “One Day Remains” has already sold 500 000 copies and reached Gold status. In 2005 Mark became a father to his first son Austen on the 24th of May. In 2006 Wind-Up was not providing adequate support due to its lack of mainstream success. Wind-Up wanted its much more profitable band Creed to reunite. Mark and Scott Phillips engaged in a multimillion buyout to release Alter Bridge from their recording contract. Alter Bridge funded the recording of their second album “Blackbird”.

Alter Bridge toured European Summer Festivals to keep going and when they returned to the States they tried to get signed by many record labels. They eventually signed with Universal Music who was happy to let the band keep up their creative independence. Mark became a father for the second time on the 19th of November 2006. The band completed Blackbird and their second album was released in October 2007. Blackbird was the first album where Mark incorporated a second guitarist whereas Myles contributed a lot of the songwriting, guitar layering and half of the title track’s guitar solo. The album achieved moderate success with the lead single “Rise Today” reaching number 2 on the mainstream rock chart. Alter Bridge continued to tour small clubs in the US, but they most notably gained more attention in Europe more specifically in the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Alter Bridge often returned to Europe where they were able to play larger venues to fund the band financially, making them able to tour the US’s smaller venues as well. Danish pedal maker T-Rex Engineering offered Mark a signature phraser pedal in 2008.

In 2008 Mark decided to release an instructional DVD – “Mark Tremonti – The Sound and the Story”. The DVD has technique practice routines, songwriting tips, a documentary and guest lessons offered by some of Mark’s guitarist friends. Mark has always been a fan of instructional dvds and Mark’s brother Dan released the dvd from a guitar venture he launched called Fret12. Dan owns a media marketing company called Core12.

Alter Bridge decided to record a live dvd in 2008, they originally planned to film it at the Brixton Academy in London, but logistical issues forced them to move the shooting to the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. The venue can hold about 6000 people. The band once again experienced label trouble and the DVD was delayed multiple times due to Universal’s lawyers. The full dvd was not released until January 2011, two years after the concert was filmed. The concert-only version reached number 1 on Amazon.com’s music dvd charts.

Throughout Alter Bridge’s career the ex-band members including Mark sought to distance themselves from Creed. Creed was often ridiculed in the media and their hits were often parodied. Mark was often quoted as saying that a Creed reunion will never happen and after 5 years since the breakup it seemed like rumours of Creed’s reunion was a thing of the past.

Early in 2009 rumours started to surface that Creed will return and initially the band didn’t even know about the rumours. Scott Stapp‘s management got in touch with Alter Bridge’s management and arranged a meeting with Creed’s ex-bandmembers. Scott Stapp apologized for his behaviour that caused the downfall of the band, saying that the past 5 years have changed him. Mark and Scott both had families now and both have matured. They decided to put the past behind them and before long the band decided to practice some of their old songs together. The first song they practiced was “My Own Prison” and the moment they started playing together the bond that they had as a band was reestablished. They knew they had to set up a tour and they started planning a 2009 summer reunion tour.

With a tour coming up Creed decided to write an album to support the tour. The first song that they wrote was “Full Circle” which was a reflection of Creed’s rebirth. After they completed the album, the band embarked on their first tour in six years with Mark bringing along Eric Friedman to play rhythm guitar.

“Full Circle” was released in October 2009 on Wind-Up Records and although it was Creed’s least-successful selling album it still reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 beaten only by Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” album. Creed recorded their first live dvd in Houston, Texas. At the end of the show the band received a Guinness World Record for the most cameras (239) ever used in a live recording. The dvd was released in December 2009.

After Creed’s 2009 tour, Alter Bridge began to work on their third album, internally codenamed ABIII. The band was once again faced record label issues and decided to fund the recording for ABIII themselves. Alter Bridge eventually landed on Roadrunner Worldwide, everywhere except the US where the album was released on Alter Bridge Recordings via Capitol Records a subsidiary of EMI.

After calling it ABIII for so long the band decided to name their third album ABIII. The album was released in October 2010 in Europe and November 2011 in the US. The album received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The album’s material was affected by the band’s frustrations on the music industry and Myles’s struggle with faith. Their first single off of the third album “Isolation” slowly gained momentum on the charts until it reached Number 1 on Mediabase’s Active Rock chart, as well as Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it stayed for four weeks straight. In 2011 PRS refreshed the Tremonti SE guitar by providing new colours and incorporating bird inlays.

While on tour with Alter Bridge Mark solidified his intentions to make a solo album, with Eric Friedman joining the project as well as former Submersed drummer Garrett Whitlock. Mark’s solo album “All I Was” was released on the 17th of July 2012 by Fret12 Records. He decided to make a solo album, because he writes so much material and some of it is not suited for Alter Bridge or Creed. All I Was was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette and the album shows prominent speed metal influences.”Wish You Well” the third single released off of the solo album was written by Mark when he was only 13, he released a demo recording of the song which was recorded in 1987.

Mark is known to be a collector of pinball machines and he is a car enthusiast. When he is on tour he will make an effort to fly back for his son’s birthdays.

Mark is well on his way to cement his name into the list of history’s great guitarists. A true idol that any musician can look up to, he is a hard worker and passionate about music. I hope that he will create music in any shape or form for many years to come.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Band of the Month/Year – Alter Bridge

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And so the countdown starts towards 2013 and the anticipation for Alter Bridge’s follow-up to 2010’s AB III begins. I for one absolutely cannot wait for it to be released. It might be strange to give the title Band of the Year to a band that hasn’t toured for the past year or so, but thats the beauty of this band. They don’t have to release new material or tour for more than a year and they still have the ability to touch people’s lives in some way. Mark, Scott and Brian has been busy touring with Scott Stapp as Creed this year, Myles has had a fantastic year touring with Slash and the Conspirators and Mark Tremonti has been occupied with his solo effort All I Was. All of the band members has had a successful year, so now its time to get back down to business guys!! Alter Bridge has personally been my favourite discovery this year, although I might be jumping on the bandwagon a little later on in their career I feel like I have been a fan for years.

Myles Kennedy and Alter Bridge has a few dedicated fan pages on Facebook that has been very active in publishing content surrounding Myles’s current endeavours and Alter Bridge’s official Twitter page has certainly not been inactive or dormant this past year. Its great when fans still feel they can connect with the band in some way even though they are busy doing different projects.

Here are a few fan pages you can check out if you’re a fan:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Myles-Kennedy-Fan-Page/193843620723265?fref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheKennedyEffect?fref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/#!/alterbridge?fref=ts (Official)

https://twitter.com/alterbridge (Official)

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Alter-Bridge-III/235680409963?fref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/#!/AlterBridgeSA?fref=ts

Alter Bridge is an American rock band that was formed in 2004 in Orlando, Florida. The group was named by Mark Tremonti after an actual bridge located in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, near his former home on Alter Road. Alter Bridge’s first album was met with mixed reviews and achieved gold status with One Day Remains which was released by Wind-Up Records in August 2004. After the band’s first tour they left Wind-Up Records in 2006 and signed with Universal Republic Records releasing their second album Blackbird in October 2007 which was met with positive reviews by critics. The band toured for the next two years and reconvened in 2010 to work on their third studio album. AB III was released in October 2010 through Roadrunner Records and the album was a critical success. In January 2011 Alter Bridge’s first live album and concert film was released “Live from Amsterdam” after two years of delays. Their second concert film “Live at Wembley” was released on the 26th of March 2012.

The band has had relatively low mainstream success (which isn’t always a bad thing, as we all know), but their music has been critically successful which proves that Alter Bridge consists of true artists and musicians in every sense of the word. In 2009 Ultimate Guitar Archive name Alter Bridge the 36th greatest band of the decade.

Afer Creed became inactive in 2003 following a controversial tour, that same year Mark started writing new material with plans to form a new band with Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips, being fans of Myles Kennedy‘s former band The Mayfield Four they invited Myles to join their band. The music of One Day Remains as well as most of the lyrics on the album was written by Mark Tremonti, although Myles also co-wrote the lyrics for about half the songs. A few songs from One Day Remains established an affiliation with WWE, most notably “Metalingus” which Edge adopted as his entrance theme in 2004 and used it as such until his retirement in 2011. Its ironic how I always loved that song and I always wondered who the artist was that performed it.

Alter Bridge experienced a bump in the road when their relationship with Wind-Up Records started to deteriorate. Alter Bridge still experienced some difficulty after parting ways with Wind-Up records which consisted of criticism for disbanding Creed, pressure to reform Creed and false reports of a Creed reunion. I can imagine this time in their career as being quite tough on the band and I think it was extremely unfair to blame Alter Bridge for Creed’s problems, but I suppose it was inevitable. Creed and Alter Bridge are two seperate bands and I think fans as well as the media should respect that.

Blackbird was released in 2007 and it has been dubbed by fans of the band as their best and heaviest album to date. In October 2010 “Ties That Bind” was listed by Total Guitar as the 41st Greatest Guitar Song of the Decade. Ties That Bind is definitely one of my favourite songs, its very energetic and the lyrics are powerful. In March 2011 the dual guitar solo performed by Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti on the song “Blackbird” was voted the Greatest Guitar Solo Of All Time by MusicRadar‘s readers, which is an AMAZING achievement considering the amount of talent featured in the top 20 that readers could vote for. Read more about Myles and Mark’s reaction to the news here: http://www.musicradar.com/guitarist/greatest-guitar-solo-poll-winners-alter-bridge-speak-403308

A single disc version of “Live from Amsterdam” was sold exclusively at venues during Creed’s reunion tour in 2009 and on Amazon.com. The dvd sold thousands and thousands of copies in comparison to the projected hundreds that Amazon expected to sell. The dvd reached No.1 on Amazon’s “Bestsellers in Music Videos & Concerts” and remained there for weeks.

On September 6th 2010 Roadrunner Records debuted Alter Bridge’s first single “Isolation” on their website, the song became the band’s most successful song reaching number 1 on active rock radio and on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, a first for Alter Bridge. AB III was met with overwhelming critical acclaim from professional reviewers upon its release. MusicRadar called it one of the guitar albums of the year and Artistdirect gave AB III a perfect score and called it a masterpiece.

Alter Bridge’s music is a spiritual experience and it touches your soul. Alter Bridge’s music is heavy yet melodic, because Myles has such a soaring voice it creates a great contrast with the heavy guitars and bass. Alter Bridge has a unique formula which you don’t come across often. As a listener Alter Bridge’s music soothes and renews your faith in music. I’m so happy I followed my instinct when I bought AB III earlier this year, because its very unusual for me to purchase an album without listening to a few samples on the album. I take the task of purchasing music very seriously and I don’t make the decision lightly.

I can’t wait to hear what Alter Bridge has in store for fans in the new year and I hope to hear a lot more from them in the future.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Mark Tremonti – All I Was

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Image

Photo from Mark Tremonti’s Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MarkTremonti

“Since his early years with Creed, Tremonti has become widely recognized for his technical and songwriting abilities and has received several accolades, including one Grammy Award for Creed’s single “With Arms Wide Open.”He was also named “Guitarist of the Year” for three consecutive years by Guitar World magazine,and in 2011 he was listed as the fourth greatest heavy metal guitarist of all time by Total Guitar.” Insert from Wikipedia.org

Mark Tremonti’s Debut Album and single.

So I finally got to watch the video for ‘You Waste Your Time’ today ,even though it made its debut on the 17th May 2012, I couldn’t view it. I assume it wasn’t available for viewing in South Africa yet.

Here is the link to the video: http://96xrocks.com/alter-bridges-mark-tremonti-debuts-new-video-for-you-waste-your-time-video/

I didn’t really know what to expect from the lead guitarist of Creed and Alter Bridge, since I haven’t really heard his voice before except backing vocals here and there. I was pleasantly surprised by Mark’s voice and the song, I like it a lot!

You can preview three of the songs off of Mark Tremonti’s debut album ‘All I Was’ here: http://www.tremontiproject.com/

Mark Tremonti is joined on his debut album by his solo band consisting of Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Creed & Alter Bridge bassist Brian Marshall.

For more information on Mark Tremonti’s solo album follow the link for complete track listing and more:

http://www.marktremonti.net/soloproject.php

Image

Official Cover Art for ‘All I Was’.

Mark Tremonti’s skills on guitar is impressive to say the very least and you will never cease to be amazed by his talent.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K