After a run of festival dates and a stop in Glasgow, Mark Tremonti brings his high-octane metal outfit back to the UK and Europe next month for a headline tour. Guitarist Eric Friedman answered some of our questions about touring and what it’s like playing in a band with Mark Tremonti.
Hey, hope you’re doing well! You’ve been touring pretty relentlessly, do you find it takes it toll on you and you need some time to rest up?
I’ve always enjoyed touring and while we are out there, it really feels like we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Supporting the record and gaining new fans is a very important part of this whole thing. On the flip side, my lady and I have a 2 and a half year old daughter and that makes it hard to be away from home such for long stretches of time. Whenever I come home the road, she’s changed so much it blows my mind!
When you’re playing different cities and countries every night, do you find much difference in the audiences?
Absolutely! I’m sure you’ve heard this before across the board from other artists but usually the crowds in Europe are much more enthusiastic than our crowds in the U.S. of A. We really feed off of that and it’s just an all around better vibe to play in. It’s kinda funny though, one city we’ll play for a few hundred…then the next city we’ll have a few thousand. That’s just kinda how it is with different markets based off of local promo and the overall buzz for the band in those different cities.
What’s it like to be playing guitar alongside Mark Tremonti?
Mark and I have been playing together since I was 15 years old so it’s a lot like I’m playing with my big brother every night. He’s a great player and I have learned a lot from him over the years. We definitely have two different styles of playing so I feel like our styles compliment each other very well. I’m more of a bluesy texture player and he is a monster shredder as I’m sure you are aware of!
As a guitarist, who are your influences?
I’m kinda all over the map on this one but my early influences are guys like Jeff Beck, SRV, Hollywood Fats, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Albert King. When I was a kid, I had a blues band and had the opportunity to open up for guys like Buddy Guy and Jimmy Vaughan so that’s kinda where it all started for me. Later I got into a lot of rock and pop players…guys who have a knack for writing great parts and finding the perfect tone to best compliment the song.
Obviously this is Mark’s project but do you get to have input on your parts?
Totally. I write all my parts just as Garrett does on the drums and Wolfie on bass. I like to think of my role as the guy who helps make the songs 3D. I’m really big on texture parts to help widen the sound. Being that it’s his project, Mark has all these progressions to sift through but it’s our job as a band to help arrange everything, add our parts and find a way to best represent the song. I love arranging things and hearing it all come together and flow in the best way possible.
And you played bass on the previous album, All I Was. Do you find that presented different challenges or opportunities?
I really enjoyed doing that. I love all facets of recording and production. As well as guitar, I play drums, bass and basically anything else I can get my hands on. I just love recording! Playing the bass was a great opportunity for me to help accentuate certain things I loved about Garrett’s drumming. He’s one of my all time favourite drummers so it was fun to lock in with him on bass.
With Mark having Alter Bridge alongside this band, you’ll have quite a bit of down-time, what do you do to keep yourself occupied?
Well besides spending time with the family at home…musically I keep myself pretty dang busy! I’m always writing but I also do quite a bit of session work for other artists. A good mix of rock projects but quite a bit of pop stuff actually and I get a lot of enjoyment out of that. Lots of acoustic and mandolin playing in that stuff! I’m also currently in the process of recording some ideas with Wolfgang Van Halen that we’ve been working on over the last few years. Very exciting stuff!
You’re coming back to the UK in December. What’s next for Tremonti after that?
We’ve actually got another album in our back pocket…mixed, mastered and ready to roll out. There are a few things to figure out timing-wise but last I heard, Mark has spoke of releasing it around March 2016. We’ve also got some extremely exciting touring leads for the Summer of 2016 but at this point I’m not allowed to announce any details as it isn’t set in stone yet. I really hope it all becomes official soon!
Thank you for your time!
Thanks for the interview and your support!