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Old 09-22-2004, 01:19 PM   #1
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Life after Creed happier for Alter Bridge drummer

Life after Creed happier for Alter Bridge drummer
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
By Christina Fuoco
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Alter Bridge drummer Scott Phillips couldn't be happier about his post-Creed life.

Phillips makes no bones about being unhappy pounding the skins for his former band, which featured singer Scott Stapp and guitarist/ Grosse Pointe native Mark Tremonti.

Creed announced in June that it was disbanding, and Phillips, Tremonti, ousted Creed bassist Brian Marshall and ex-Mayfield Four frontman Myles Kennedy formed Alter Bridge. Phillips raves about the democratic songwriting process on the new band's debut, "One Day Remains," and the easy nature of working with his new bandmates.

Especially on its first single, "Open Your Eyes," Alter Bridge shows some of the same traits as Creed: swirling guitar solos, soaring vocals and anthemic choruses.

"Mark wrote most of the material (with Creed). He wrote probably 60 or 70 percent of the lyrics, did most of the vocal melodies and came up with all of the guitar riffs," Phillips said in a recent interview from the band's rehearsal space in Florida.

"This time around, it was more of a democratic process. If we had an opinion or an idea about something - not that we couldn't always express it earlier - this time it actually would happen. Mark was very open to suggestions. I like the way the songs turned out. ... It was a really, really fun process. It was really cool."

Phillips explained that Kennedy was one of the first singers at whom the trio from Creed looked. Kennedy, who toured with Creed as a member of the Mayfield Four, was "definitely the guy for the job."

"He's just a good-hearted, fun guy to be around," Phillips said. "It's really cool. He's very creative. He's got an expansive musical background. He's a musician just as much as he is a singer. Scott, being an amazing singer, didn't have a real extensive musical knowledge.

"He (Kennedy) is really good at what he does and understands what we do as well. We trust him and his abilities, and he seems to do the same with us. It's a good mutual-admiration society."

Alter Bridge will kick off its first tour Thursday at Clutch Cargo's in Pontiac with a set entirely of material from "One Day Remains." The band has decided to steer away from Creed material.

"We really feel like we're going to have our core audience in there, and people that are fans of the new projects, and (those who) understand that we're not going to come in there and do two new songs and a do a bunch of Creed stuff," Phillips said.

"We just sort of felt like it wouldn't be fair to Myles to have to go through that. It wouldn't be fair for Scott to go out and do Creed stuff. It's not fair to the fans who are used to Creed, which Scott was a big part of, to watch somebody else do the songs.

"The same goes with Scott if he goes out and does Creed songs with a different band," Phillips said. "I just don't know if that would be fair to us. If he choose to do that, that's up to him."

Phillips added that Stapp has teamed up with the Canadian band the Tea Party to work on new material. He said Creed met the band while they toured together in the late 1990s.

Phillips admitted that he is a little apprehensive about touring with a new band.

"I'm sitting here in our rehearsal space wondering if I can remember how to play the drums," he said. "We got off a 31/2-week acoustic promo tour. We went from station to station sort of around the country and up to Canada and did acoustic performances and interviews.

"Mark got to play and sing. Myles got to play and sing, and Brian got to play his bass, and I was beating on congas. It's probably more challenging for me to get back out there and play full on," he added with a laugh.

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Also, I met AB in London, and Flip said they've spoken to Scott once after the breakup, so "Uncel Mark" and "Band break up, not friend break up" is problably mostly bullshit.
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