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Old 06-23-2005, 12:54 PM   #1
Bridge of Clay
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The Guitar One Article

Thanks to Alicia for typing it all up, for;

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."
.:: "If people don't like guitar solos... then they're frikkin' stupid!" - Mark Tremonti ::.
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