Guitarist Mark Tremonti is gearing up for the HardDrive Live tour in support of his first-ever solo project, All I Was, which was released on July 10th via Fret 12 Records. Tremonti sat down with Type 3 Media to talk about the project and tour.
Type 3 Media: How’s the preparation going for the upcoming hardDrive Live tour?
Mark Tremonti: We start in just under a week. We played 2 shows just before the last Creed tour started. Those went very well. I had a great time.
Type 3 Media: Are you excited to take the solo material out on the road?
Mark Tremonti: Absolutely. It’s a very fun record to play for sure.
Type 3 Media: How are fans responding to the new music, which is a bit different from what they’ve heard from you previously?
Mark Tremonti: It’s overwhelmingly positive. I get on Twitter nowadays and I see all the responses, the reactions people have, and the feedback has been great.
Type 3 Media: So you actually read all the comments on Twitter yourself?
Mark Tremonti: Yeah, whenever I get a moment. If I’m riding on the bus, that’s a good time to get on Twitter and reply to some people, answer some questions and check out feedback.
Type 3 Media: That’s cool to hear because so many musician social media accounts seem to be run by publicists.
Mark Tremonti: Yeah, our Facebook account is like that. I can’t keep up with the Facebook stuff.
Type 3 Media: How was the recording process different for your solo album, All I Was, compared to what you’ve done with Creed and Alter Bridge?
Mark Tremonti: With this, it was done whenever we could find the time. With both Creed and Alter Bridge when you get around to do a record you put everything else on hold and get it done without interruption. But I had to knock it out piece by piece. So we tracked the drums and rhythm guitars, then go out on tour for a month or so, then come back and record more guitars, then go on tour, come back… it took about four different sessions for us to finish it. But we’re happy with the way it turned out, and I think doing it that way gave me more time to really work out my parts, to make sure the lyrics were right, make sure I was singing things correctly. I have more responsibilities on this record so it gave me more time to take care of it all.
Type 3 Media: Was it a difficult transition to take on the lead vocalist role in addition to guitar?
Mark Tremonti: No. I thought it was a great time. I’ve been a songwriter since I was very young, so I’ve always been singing, and when I write with Alter Bridge and Creed I’m singing through the whole time, showing people my ideas, and singing along and singing harmonies. When it came to singing on this record, it’s very liberating to sing exactly what’s on your mind, what you’re feeling. It was almost easier than writing with a whole band. I’ll throw ideas out to the guys and 8 times out of 10 they’ll dig ’em, but those couple times… you never have that when you’re doing a solo record. Anything you want goes on there without any questions.
Type 3 Media: Have you run into a situation while you’re working out a part for the solo record and someone from the other bands heard it and said “hey that’s great, when can we work on that?”
Mark Tremonti: I try not to play other bands’ material for other bands so that doesn’t happen. I don’t want to cause any drama or stress in the bands. So I try to only play that band’s material, or lick that I’m playing for that band, or ideas that I’m playing for that band at sound checks a lot of times. I think it happened once or twice where I’d play an idea and Scott would say “Let’s work on that” and I’d have to say “Oh, that’s on the last Alter Bridge record” or something. I have to make sure I don’t do that.
Type 3 Media: How do you balance your time between the 3 projects you have going on?
Mark Tremonti: It worked out really good this year. We did 4 Creed tours this year, and there’s a month in between ’em, and the month in between is perfect for us to go out and do this hardDrive tour. The next European tour, which will probably be in February, that window opens up on the alter Bridge schedule because Myles goes out with Slash for about 3 weeks, so it’s the perfect time for me to get back out with my solo thing. Whenever I see gaps in the schedule, I take advantage of those with my solo stuff. Back in the day, it’s been an Alter Bridge year or a Creed year for the past few years. So, you just have to plan your time ahead.
Type 3 Media: You’ve been very busy touring lately; are you giving yourself any down time?
Mark Tremonti: Yeah, it’s been really busy. It’s one of the tougher years to be away from home, but I get to bring my family out here while we’re over in the States. I’m taking my wife and my sons over to London when we go the next time. That’s the toughest part, just getting enough time with the family.
Type 3 Media: How does it feel getting back into the clubs again, closer to the audience, with another project?
Mark Tremonti: I know the routine now, this is the third time I’ve done this. I know that you don’t start out playing arenas, you got to start in the clubs.
Type 3 Media: Any closing thoughts about your new project and what people can expect when they come out to see a show?
Mark Tremonti: We haven’t really developed a live show yet, so you’ll pretty much just see a band working things out and enjoying the hell out of it. We plan on doing this for years and years to come so whoever comes out gets to experience the very beginnings of this band.