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Bridge of Clay 06-23-2005 12:54 PM

The Guitar One Article
 
Thanks to Alicia for typing it all up, for abb.net;

Part 1 (had to split it in two posts!)
Quote:

Guitar One - August Issue.

The Dirt

It's been nearly a year since Mark Tremonti announced the end of Creed and the formation of Alter Bridge. Still, the specter of Creed haunts their every move. Now, once and for all, the band sets the record straight.
By Michael Mueller.

Alter Bridge is having an identity crisis. Some venues haves listed its name
with the words "Formerly Creed" on the marquee. New fans, upon hearing
the band's name, are apt to respond with "Ultra Bridge". Others, especially
the ones who crucified Creed for being a Christian Band - which, of course,
it was not - think it's "Altar Bridge". And then there are
the ones who don't even know that Creed broke up.

"I was getting my hair cut recently, and someone asked what I do for a living"
guitarist Mark Tremonti relates, settling back on the sagging sofa in the band's
drab basement dressing room at Atlanta's Roxy Theater. "When I said that I
play guitar in a band called Alter Bridge, he didn't know who that was. And
when I said that I used to be in Creed, he says, "Wow, Creed broke up?". It's
been rough getting the Alter Bridge name out there"

It's not for lack of trying. Tremonti knows that Alter Bridge, despite its pedigree,
is a "baby band", one that will need to spend months on the road in order to
win over fans. And the whole band understands that, musically they need to
be at the top of their game to succeed. Nowhere is this more evident than
in Tremonti's approach to the guitar. I arrived at the Roxy at 2:30 in the
afternoon, and by 3:00 Mark was shredding away. But what's most
impressive is that, except for the hour the band spent in our sit-down
interview, Mark never put down his guitar. He easily played for six hours,
jamming first with me, then with shredder Toshi Iseda, who had stopped by
just to hang out. Next, he warmed up to tracks of the band's songs, making
sure his solos were spot-on. He didn't give up his guitar until his tech took it
from him at 10:00 - just three minutes before the band hit the stage.

"I play guitar about seven hours a day", says Tremonti, reluctantly turning down
his guitar's volume for a moment, "and I get people coming up to me all the
time saying, 'I knew you could play guitar like that, why didn't you do it
before?'. And the answer, quite simply, is that it didn't fit the Creed format."

And there it is: the specter of Creed, still lurking beneath the surface, casting
a dull shadow on every step that Alter Bridge takes forward, the biggest being
what some see as disappointing sales for the band's Windup debut, One Day
Remains (though the album has gone gold).

"That is somewhat true; there is some disappointment", drummer Scott Phillips
admits. "But I think the record is selling fantastic, all things considered".

"Think about it: half a million records sold - that's a lot of people," adds Myles
Kennedy, Tremonti's new right-hand man and whom he refers to as the
"shredder of vocalists". "The rock scene has changed a lot since the last
Creed record. Plus, a gold record is certainly nothing I'm ashamed of".

"I think the only frustration we've had," says Tremonti, measuring his words
carefully, "is the lack of accessibility to the band. There hasn't been
much promotion or exposure. In Creed, people in the business
treated us as a top priority, and we had lots of money for radio promotions
and stuff like that. But when you're a new band, like us, and you're not
drawing financially, like you were before, that support isn't there as much,
which makes it much harder."

"Ultimately, we want to reach that goal again - who wouldn't?" adds bassist
Brian Marshall. "But I don't think it matters that much. I think that when you're
around us in general, it's different now. We're such a high-spirited band, so
much different than Creed."

That Alter Bridge, even though the sales numbers indicate otherwise, is in a
better place than Creed ever was seems to be the common sentiment
among the quartet. But in order to move forward and fully enjoy their new
environment they know they must bury the specter once and for all. So, in
this exclusive interview, Alter Bridge simply wants to set the record straight:

"The one thing we really wanted to come across very strongly in this interview,"
says Tremonti, "is that Creed will never, ever happen again."


Bridge of Clay 06-23-2005 12:59 PM

Part 2

Quote:

GO: So are you finally ready to dish the dirt?

SP: There's a fine line - we all want to tell the story, but there were legal
agreements in place. And we don't want to bash Scott Stapp.

MT: Over the final two years of Creed, everything just snowballed. Scott
{Stapp} was accusing our friends and co-workers of wrongdoings. Every day,
there was more drama. And there comes a point where you just can't
handle it anymore. It's hard to be around a person who's constantly trying to
turn you against all your friends and colleagues.

SP: When Stapp wasn't bitchin' to me about Mark, he was bitchin' about
something else. And at the same time he's bitchin' about Mark, he's saying
how it's been him and me from the start. And in the same day he'll call Mark,
bitch to him about me, and say that he and Mark were great. But Mark and I
were smart enough to figure out what was happening, and that brought us
even closer.

GO: Brian, let's start with your dismissal from Creed, during the Human Clay
tour. It wasn't just the Pearl Jam remark, was it?

BM: A lot of the time, I felt that everything was a lie, and I couldn't stand
living the lie and being in hypocritical rock band. It wasn't real to me. I
called Stapp our on a lot of things, and he didn't want to put up with that. He
threw his weight around and said it was him or me.

MT: It was tough. We'd already been pretty successful. Scott was coming
after Brian pretty agressively and accusing him of a lot of things - and a few
things that Brian didn't help us out with (looks across at Brian with a knowing
smile); he didn't make it very easy for us to defend him.

BM: Hey, I chose my battles, but, frankly, he deserved them all.

GO: At that point, did you ever consider saying "Stapp, you're out"?

MT: Well, at that point doing so would've meant our careers were over. We
weren't as recognizable then as we are now. And Brian did enough things
that didn't allow us to defend him anymore.

BM: But in the end, you kicked out the wrong guy!

GO: If there's one thing I sense in this band, particularly with you, Mark, it's an
incredible sense of personal loyalty. Was that ultimately the undoing of
Creed?

MT: Scott Stapp is a great frontman and a good singer, but he's not good
when it comes to treating people with respect. We walked on eggshells for
two years, just because we didn't want to get into a fight. We knew that Scott
was the type of person who would turn around one day and say, "OK, tour's
canceled, I'm going home." You have something you've worked for your
whole life, and there's this guy holding it all in the palm of his hand, saying "I
can take it or leave it - any time." And it felt that way for years.

SP: He held that over our head. And he was always talking about how he
wanted to be an athlete, that being a singer was his second choice.

MT: Very disheartening when your singer tells you that he'd rather play sports.

GO: I understand that writing credits got to be a sore spot in Creed.

MT: Yeah, it's a big sore spot when you work 24 hours a day writing songs and
you don't get credit for it.

BM: It's important to realize that Mark's always been the visionary behind both
this band and Creed. Stapp probably takes more credit than he deserves.

MK: When I came into it and saw how things worked, from song to song... the
best analogy I can use is The Wizard of Oz, where there was this figurehead,
so to speak, that everyone thought was Creed, but really, there was someone
else behind the curtain, pushing all the buttons. And it wasn't just Mark - it was
these other guys as well. I've never been a part of a band where, creatively,
there was something as unique and as special as these three guys being in a
room together. Their intuition is just so right.

SP: Scott would always find a way to change things, and if they had made
the songs that much better, I could have understood it. But it never felt that
way; it felt like he changed things just so he could have a part in it. To be
honest with you, I always enjoyed a lot of Creed songs - when I first heard
Mark's original version of them.

MT: That was one of the most frustrating things; working around the clock on a
song - or an album, for that matter - getting it really worked out, and then
having someone come in, after it's been written for months, and trying to alter
it.

GO: So how do you feel about it, Myles, considering that what these guys
went through turned out to be a great opportunity for you?

MK: I just wish people would stop trying to choose sides. If you like Alter
Bridge, great, we want you to be part of the family. But don't turn it into some
silly war' it's music, not sports. We're never gonna have the Super Bowl of
Scott Stapp vs. Myles Kennedy in a sing-off - it's ridiculous.

SP: Actually, we are setting that up.

MT: It was in your contract when you signed up with us.

GO: If MTV still did "Celebrity Death Match".......

SP: I think Stapp lost on that against Eddie Vedder.

GO: Will you guys ever play Creed songs? In our last interview, Mark said
"never," but there was some hesitation.

MT: Never. It would be like doing karaoke - Myles can't hit the notes!

MK: {laughs}

GO: What about the rumors that Creed is going to get back together?

MT: There's just no way. There have been a lot of rumors and misconceptions
in the press, where they say "Yeah, we just had an interview with Scott, and he
said you guys are definitely getting back together, that it's just a matter of
time". So we're just going around trying to put out those fires that he's starting
all over the place. It waters down what we're trying to do with Alter Bridge.
Alter Bridge is not a side project by any means. There is no way in the world
that Creed would get back together - unless it was for world peace.

BM: Scott Stapp is a pathological liar.

MT: There's your dirt!

SP: There's been nothing from this side of the camp to suggest that Creed will
get back together.

MT: It's been the exact opposite. He's still out there playing Creed songs with
a pieced-together pawnshop band. Scott {Stapp} and I discussed that
during the breakup. Since we wrote the songs together, we decided that if
we were no longer together, playing them would be unfair to Creed fans and
all the guys in the band. It's made me angry, because I thought we had an
agreement. I stuck to my end and worked hard to get my new songs out.

MK: You know, just from my perspective, these guys were quiet about all of
this until the other side came out and basically said things that weren't true.
The band's not getting back together; they don't still talk all the time. These guys
just want to lay it out there so the public will understand that they didn't just kick
this guy out of the band, and that they're not just a bunch of jerks.

SP: That's a really good point, because you'll get people who are very
diehard fans of Scott Stapp - fans who think he was the guy behind Creed.
And they'll say, "Well, why are they talking so bad about Scott? Why are they
always bashing him in the press?" And I just want to reach out and say that
we're only giving you five percent of the story. Everything we say is, with
evidence, true. We're not out just to badmouth someone; you don't win
fans by doing that.

MT: This last year, the bottom line is that we've had a lot of pressure to say a
lot of bad things. And we could have said a lot of very bad things - much
worse than anybody could ever imagine. But we haven't. Because it serves
no purpose. But you need to know that things were a lot worse than you ever
could have thought they were, because you don't know even a hundredth of
the problems we had with Scott Stapp. And no, Creed will never get back
together, no matter what. It's got to be set in stone; no one should be at
home waiting for another Creed record.

GO: No disrespect to Myles, but you guys must wonder sometimes, What if?

MT: Sure he was a great frontman, but Scott Stapp single-handedly destroyed
the biggest, most successful band of the decade. I think the walls just came
crashing down on him. He burned every bridge he had in this little world that
was Creed. The reason this organization here is still together today is
because we all dealt with the most stress from being in a band that anybody
could ever imagine. And it all came pretty much from one source. But
we're all together, and we're stronger for having lived through Creed.

SP: We're like our own support group.

MT: Yeah, this is our AA group.

GO: So the drama's been exorcized? All is good in the Alter Bridge camp?

MT: Yeah, we're just preparing for the next move, man, planning on world
domination. We're huge in Japan!

MK: What's that line from Singles? We're huge in...

MT: Belgium.

MK: Yeah, we're huge in Belgium, man!

GO: Given what you've been through already, do you think you'll still be
doing this in 10 years?

MT: I know we won't be touring as hard as we are right now. It's been a long
10 years in this business already - it's really draining.

SP: It would be great to someday be able to do only 45 dates on a summer
tour.

MT: And whatever members don't want to do it, we'll just find look-alike to
come do it. We''ll get McCauley Calkin to come sing, and David Faustin
can play drums.

SP: More like Brad Pitt.

MK: Who's that baseball player? Oh yeah, David Justice on guitar.

MT: More like Arnold Schwarzenegger - but he's governor now.

BM: Fabio playing bass.

SP: More like Fabio's retarded cousin playing bass.


Dogstar 06-23-2005 02:27 PM

Marcos, thanks so much for that!

tremonti4life04 06-23-2005 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alter Bridge

MK: I just wish people would stop trying to choose sides. If you like Alter
Bridge, great, we want you to be part of the family. But don't turn it into some
silly war' it's music, not sports. We're never gonna have the Super Bowl of
Scott Stapp vs. Myles Kennedy in a sing-off - it's ridiculous.

SP: Actually, we are setting that up.

MT: It was in your contract when you signed up with us.

GO: If MTV still did "Celebrity Death Match".......

SP: I think Stapp lost on that against Eddie Vedder.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Alter Bridge
MT: And whatever members don't want to do it, we'll just find look-alike to
come do it. We''ll get McCauley Calkin to come sing, and David Faustin
can play drums.

SP: More like Brad Pitt.

MK: Who's that baseball player? Oh yeah, David Justice on guitar.

MT: More like Arnold Schwarzenegger - but he's governor now.

BM: Fabio playing bass.

SP: More like Fabio's retarded cousin playing bass.


THAT IS SOME FUNNY SHIT!!!! I'm gonna be laughing uncontrollably for a while reading that! I gotta get this edition of guitar one. Who's on the cover?

Dogstar 06-23-2005 02:32 PM

LOL, I know, huh? I have to get it, too.

Bridge of Clay 06-23-2005 03:35 PM

Mark Tremonti is on the cover.

Anna1011 06-23-2005 03:46 PM

i dont think they sell it over here im so peed off i wanted to see it ahwell

TeriB19 06-23-2005 07:41 PM

Marcos!! Thank you for that!! Informative and hysterical!!! Thank you!!

scrit 06-23-2005 09:56 PM

Interesting/fun read, Thanks for posting it!

titan9 06-26-2005 10:19 PM

*sigh* I went to my local Borders today, hoping to find the new Guitar One mag and read the article. Sadly, my Borders must not have the new edition of Guitar One. The one they had did not have Mark on the cover and did not have an article in it about Alter Bridge. All it had was a tab for "Broken Wings".


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