Mark Tremonti: Track-by-track guide to Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist’s solo album
Mark Tremonti’s solo stuff is heavier than Creed or Alter Bridge and has a lot of ridiculously riotous rampant riff-work. Here’s a track-by-track guide to the guitarist’s just-released album All I Was.
All I Was was produced by Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette (who has previously worked on Alter Bridge’s ABIII and Blackbird, as well as the likes of Limp Bizkit, Cold and Trivium) and also marks Tremonti’s debut as a lead singer.
In addition, the guitarist will be taking the album on the road later in 2012.
Said Tremonti: “It’s a dynamic record. It’s probably heavier than either Creed or Alter Bridge, but it’s still melody-driven. Most of the stuff is more up-tempo and heavy-riffing though. I had to write 11 solos for this record so it took me a long time. There’s lots of soloing.”
There follows Tremonti’s exclusive track-by-track guide to All I Was:
Leave It Alone
The first song on the record is called Leave It Alone. We chose it to be track No.1 as the intro has a cool guitar effect that really draws you in. It also has my favourite solo in there, which could be one of my favourite solos that I’ve ever done. The lyrical content is pretty much about growing up and becoming jaded – putting your walls up after you’ve seen people take you for granted or turn on you, and I think as you go through these things in life you think this isn’t going to happen to me again and when you see signs of it happening you turn away – and that’s what this song is about.
So You’re Afraid
The second track is called So You’re Afraid. The origins of the song come from a Fret 12 DVD called Sound And Story where I did a rhythm/speed picking exercise and people would ask “Are you going to put that on the next Alter Bridge or Creed record?” and we never did. This track ended up being one of the first ones we worked on when we put this album together.
Wish You Well
The third track on the record is called Wish You Well and it’s by far the oldest song on the record. When I had my four-track in junior high school in 7th grade I started recording songs, and then in 8th grade my favourite song I played was Wish You Well and I recorded it a few times – whenever I would play songs for my buddies, this is the song I’d play for them. When we were getting ready for pre-production with the album almost written, Garrett [Whitlock, drums] asked “What happened to that song we jammed at your house the one time?” and I had no idea what he was talking about. Then I realised that he meant Wish You Well and I was shocked cause it’s an old, simple, thrash-type song. So we got there and played it and we all looked at each other and smiled so we decided to do it… and now it’s one of my favourite songs on the record. It’s a song about overcoming your adversary – it’s a shit-kicking song about a young kid overcoming whatever he’s up against.
The fourth song on record is Brains. It’s everyone’s favourite title and the only reason it’s called Brains is because one day I had my handheld cassette tape and I was transferring songs to computer when my son just kept singing “brains” on top of it, so we decided to call the song Brains – it’s not a song about zombies or anything, we kept it because the name is cool. It’s a song about somebody who has lost everything because don’t take care of those they love.
The Things I’ve Seen
The Things I’ve Seen is the fifth track and it’s one that almost didn’t make the record – and again it turned out to be one of my favourites. It’s kinda an old song as I had the ideas for verse and chorus for a long time. It’s another song about having confidence in people to take care of you in your career and personal life and having those people completely turn their back on you. The Things I’ve Seen is another song about putting up those walls and becoming jaded when you’ve gone through those things or witnessed it happening to other people. It has to do with this business that I’m in and you know, everyone wants to be in this business but it’s a tough life.
You Waste Your Time
The sixth song is called You Waste Your Time. It’s a bit old skool and starts off with an old metal riff that I’ve always loved, which I tried with Alter Bridge a few times but it never worked, so we used it for this. The chorus is something different to what I would usually do but I always dug it. It’s a high-energy fun song, which I think could be one of our first singles.
New Way Out
The seventh track is New Way Out and it’s the ballad on the record – it’s definitely different to rest of album but I like it because it’s ballady and it’s got the big melodic type chorus but it’s not too theatrical. I really dig it. It’s a song about being stuck in a rut and looking at world around us at the time and how we all seem to be struggling with the crumbling economy. There are still troops that haven’t been home in who knows how long and it just seems the world is in a tough place right now… it’s a song about finding some way to get by.
Giving up is track eight on CD. This is the song that we wrote in the first round of putting the record together. We had written five songs in that first session and it’s one of two that made it on the record, and the title says it all… it’s about feeling overwhelmed and giving up, but it’s a fun song and it has one of my favourite solos on record as well.
The ninth track on record is Proof. Proof is another of the more chilled songs on the record. I’ve always really dug the chorus. It’s always been fun to sing – it’s one of those songs I sing in the shower and it gets stuck in my head. The verse I actually wrote specifically for an Alter Bridge song but it never saw the light of day so I got it back out and put it together with this project.
All I Was
Track 10 is title track All I Was. That was one that had a riff that again I played with both bands and both dug the riff but it didn’t work out so we made a song out of – it was kinda the dark horse. I didn’t think it stood a chance of being a very important song on record and maybe it would make it and maybe not. Then when we heard the first set of demos it was one of our favourites. Sometimes songs translate well in the studio and sometimes they don’t – and this was one that translated very well. When we finished the song with the lyrics ‘all I was’ it seemed a great title for the song and it turned out to be the title track – being my first solo record, the name seemed to fit.
Doesn’t Matter, the eleventh track, is song about trying to forgive and forget, which the rest of the album isn’t about. The rest of the record is really going after the people who did you wrong but at the end of this record I’m saying that I’m trying to turn a new leaf, I’m trying to forget about all these things that happened in the past, and you’re just happier and healthier if you can get past that stuff… it’s a song about trying to forgive.
The final track on the record is called Decay. This song is another track that once I sang the song I had to redo the verse as I felt like the track was a quality song, but the verse really stood out as being the weak link. We wrote the verse last minute and it’s probably the hardest song for me to sing on the record – there’s just a lot of high stuff in there. I really dig the bridge in that song, it’s a good closer – and we enjoy it. And that’s the final track…
Tremonti has also launched his very own YouTube channel: check it out here.