A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to have a chat with none other than the bassist from the legendary Alter Bridge. After a warm welcome and brief discussion about how big the Hydro was, we got down to business…
How’s the tour been so far?
It’s been quite exceptional. It’s a great bill with a bunch of great bands and there’s something for everyone really. This time around, we actually pushed these UK arena shows to be a bit later in the tour so that we would be firing on all cylinders. You know, because when you start back you’ve to shake off all the cobwebs and make sure that everything is right. I think we’ve got everything right and there’s been so many faces turning out every night which is great to see.
The latest album, The Last Hero, came out earlier this year. How do you feel it’s been received?
I’m not sure of the exact numbers but it’s been our highest charting album since our first record. We’ve gone through a lot of changes and peaks and valleys over the years but I think we just did everything from the heart as we usually do. We did things a little bit differently this time around as most the music was written during the writing process and was more of a spur of the moment thing.
But no, I think it’s been well received and I’ve not heard any negative comments about it. Unless you have any!
I’ve not got any, I personally think it’s a very good album.
Thank you, sir, I’m glad you think way. Interview’s over! Haha, just kidding.
How well do you feel the year has been for the band?
It’s been busy! We got together early this year, pretty much straight after New Year last year and started working on things. There’s a lot of planning that has to take place given that Myles is with Slash, Mark has the Tremonti thing, Flip doing Projected and me in the real estate business with a child. My life has changed so dramatically in the past few years, for the better, I might add.
But no, there has to be a lot communication and forward planning to make sure that things are in order. We’ve pretty much got all our next year planned out as well. Anyway, the year’s been great and we’ve enjoyed the ride so far. We did a tour with Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin which was our first tour in about eighteen months and even then the album wasn’t out so we weren’t playing any new songs. We’ve mainly been busy touring but it’s been fun as well.
As you mentioned earlier, you work in the real estate business. How did you get involved with that?
Over the years I’ve bought and sold some properties on my own and in Costa Rica and I got involved with it and found myself really enjoying it. Because I knew I had so much time off and also have a toddler, I didn’t really want to jump ship and go off and do another thing. I wanted to stay at home and do something there which was very helpful. I thankfully have a good friend near where I live and he really took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of everything. Every transaction is different and that’s something I really like about the job.
You’ve probably been asked this far too many times, but do you think Creed will ever do anything again?
I would love to do something again and Scott seems to be in a good place. Right now I’d say it’s not a good time as everyone is doing other things and making a living from those things. I’ll be first to say though that if an opportunity for something arises then I would happily do something again.
What sort of equipment are you using at the moment?
Now we’re talking! Right now I’ve kinda switched over to the Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 5 with a neck through design which is my main number one bass. It’s an active bass which means it requires a battery and has a much louder sound. I always used to play the Ernie Ball’s on the albums but then played passive basses on stage so I was never able to get the same tone. Right before this record I got on the phone and called up someone from Ernie Ball and immediately fell in love with the one that they sent me. I have two rigs and as a result I don’t have even Musicmans to cover them both so I’ll be playing my other basses as well tonight alongside the Ernie Ball.
In terms of the amps I’m using, I’m using a Ashdown ABM 900 Evo 3 and two 8x10s and 8x15s on stage and I have one tuner pedal and run everything through a SansAmp to dirty it up a bit. I’m using a Dunlop Overdrive as well which I’ve been enjoying. They take three inputs off my bass to the front of house desk. They take a direct off my fingers, a direct off the amp and then a mic off the cabinet. Then our FOH engineer has our own digital input where he put the SansAmp through software to manipulate it. Basically just tone, tone, tone!
You’ve got to; going up against those two guitarists! Mark is very aggressive player and Myles is very smart with a guitar and very theoretical. Getting the bass to fit in between those is challenging but I think I’ve cracked it!
Have there been any new bands that have recently peaked your interest?
I’ve just recently been made aware of a band called Highly Suspect. They’ve got a really energetic frontman and their music is very melody based. Whilst it won’t blow your mind, they are very tight and do have a good sound.
What advice would you give to a new band?
Find musicians that will challenge you as a player and make you better. Make sure they are people you will get along with for years on end and make sure that you have fun and enjoy yourselves.