Alter Bridge

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Alter Bridge


The link between the band’s UK and Australian career trajectories is very apparent to Tremonti, as he explained backstage ahead of the band’s Melbourne Sidewave with LA Sunset Strip glam overlords Steel Panther. “We came down here without knowing what the crowd response was going to be, and it’s just like we’ve been touring here our whole lives,” Tremonti says. “It’s incredible.” But with the Alter Bridge/Steel Panther extravaganza now a beautiful memory, Tremonti’s mind is on the future. Live At Wembley was released at the end of March on DVD and CD and will hit the stores as a 3D Blu-ray in a few months. “Dan Catullo is a great director,” he says. “It’s very well done. I think we played about 21 songs on there, so it’s a very long DVD, and if you’re a fan of the band you’ll probably dig it!” The timing of the Alter Bridge live material is designed to keep the band in fans’ minds while they concentrate on Creed. “We also have some B-sides we’ve never released that we might put out at the end of the year, to keep people happy. I think there are two or three from the first record, one or two from the second record. And when we get back home we’ll start rehearsing for the Creed tour. We’ve already started rehearsing for the tour which starts in April, and we’ll get a new record out whenever it’s ready.”

Before then though, Tremonti will release his debut solo album, All I Was. He says that while he’s always sang while songwriting, his natural inclination is to write in his falsetto range, knowing that someone with a higher voice – Stapp or Kennedy – will be singing. But on All I Was he tunes down to bring the pitch of the songs into his vocal range.

“Y’know, I just never had the confidence before. I think the more I’ve sang over the years the more I’ve developed the confidence in my voice, and I’m finally ready to do it on my own. But it’s a whole different world.” Tremonti describes the material on All I Was as melody-driven, but heavier than anything he’s released to date. “These are songs. It’s not shred for the sake of shred. It’s not an instrumental record, it’s a rock record, y’know? It’s definitely got some shreddy solos on there, but there are some more tasteful ones as well. The record’s a harder, heavier record than I’ve done in the past, so most of the solos are kind of pushing it a little bit. But no tapping or stuff like that.”

A hardcore guitar obsessive who has studied with the legendary speed demon Rusty Cooley, Tremonti is always open to new equipment discoveries. His favourite new amplifier is the Bludotone Universal Tone, which he likens to amplifiers made by Howard Dumble – a reclusive builder who only makes amps the players who he deems worthy. “Brandon who makes Bludotones makes all the amps for the old-school Dumble guys,” he says. “He builds for Carlos Santana, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, and now I got him to build me one of his newest amps. I’ve got a couple on order from him. Bludotones are incredible amps.” Another of Tremonti’s favourite gadgets is the Cornford RK100 amplifier, the signature model for Richie Kotzen, a blues-rock solo artist who has also played in Mr. Big and Poison at times when both bands were looking to move beyond their ‘80s hard rock roots into something more mature. “On my solo record I use that amplifier for rhythm and lead. It sounds amazing,” he says.

Tremonti has his own line of Paul Reed Smith signature guitars, and the company is preparing a baritone version for lower tunings. He has a few other fun prototypes to play with as well: “I’m real excited about two guitars, one with a fixed bridge and one with a trem coming, with the new crazy robot tuner. The newest technology there is. I think it has 327 tunings or something, and I use alternate tunings all the time so it’s something I’m really excited about. Because I spend half my time tuning the damn guitar and it drives me crazy!”

Alter Bridge’s Live At Wembley is out now.