Dedication breeds the best results. Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum guitarist and singer Mark Tremonti continues to wholeheartedly
commit himself to his craft, barely drawing a breath for air in between his eponymous band, Alter Bridge, and Creed.
Following tours supporting his critically acclaimed 2012 solo debut, All I Was, and Alter Bridges chart-topping Fortress,
he immediately began writing in his Orlando Studio at the top of 2014. Joined by longtime guitarist Eric Erock
Friedman, drummer Garrett Whitlock, and bassist Wolfgang Van Halena studio firstTremonti penned more than twenty-five
songs over the course of multiple sessions.
We wanted to do a ton of songs, he affirms. I decided to take my entire catalog of material, get everything
out, and purge it. On All I Was, we couldnt spend as much time on pre-production. Now, we took the time to tear the
songs apart and put them back together again so they could become as dynamic as possible. That helped make the new music what
Emerging from the most prolific period of his two-decade career, Tremonti delivers successive albumsCauterize and Duston
his Fret12 Records with production by Michael "Elvis" Baskette [Alter Bridge/Slash]. With Cauterize leading the charge in
summer 2015 and Dust following in the near future, the one-two punch of modern thrash and melody that has become the groups
signature fuels this engine, but Tremonti tweaks it with a polyrhythmic jackhammer at just the right moments. As a result,
the music stands at a crossroads between timeless metal, infectious hard rock, and progressive pummeling.
We were going after three elements, he goes on. To me, melody is the most important part of any song. Combining
that with speed metal is the most rewarding aspect of assembling the music. Then, we color the songs with a modern twist of
polyrhythms. It makes a statement.
Blasting out of the gate, Radical Change tempers a galloping guitar assault and double bass charge with an unshakable
refrain as a searing lead explodes on impact. Its about somebody facing a huge change in his or her life and feeling
the weight of the world, he explains. If you equated it to my life, it could be when Creed was breaking up. I
was taking that step in a new direction as all of these decisions weighed down on me.
Flying Monkeystitled as such because it could serve as the perfect battle-cry for The Wizard of Ozs
flying monkeyschurns out a chugging groove and another jarringly catchy refrain. It could very well be the lovechild
of Gojira and Alice In Chains, or a glimpse at the future of heavy
Its one of my favorite riffs, he grins. The song itself discusses someone who takes a grudge to the
grave and cant forgive and forget. Its somebody I dont want to be. Youve got to let go of that anger
and resentment, but its not always easy.
The single Another Heart punctuates a dominant distorted stomp with a gargantuan melody. It goes right to
the heart of a hypocritical dark person, continues Tremonti. Everyone has an individual like that in their lives.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sympathy rises out of intricate instrumentation into a towering chorus worthy
of stadiums. In many ways, its a landmark moment for the musician who has penned some of the biggest rock anthems in
It enhanced the entire experience dynamically of Cauterize, he says. I love hard, dark, and moody music,
but moments like this really show you how heavy the rest of the album is. Its the light and positive energy of the record.
Its about the ups and downs of life and fighting adversity at all times. You get knocked down, but youre driven
to get by whatever problems youre having.
Tremontis tenacity is as loud as his tone, and it courses through Dust as well. The second album touts battering ram
intro of My Last Mistake, the undeniable hum of Unable to See, the expansive and enthralling title
track Dust, and more.
On these records, we knew what we were capable of, and we ran with it, he asserts. The great thing about
touring as a band is you realize what songs excite you on the road. Thats why when we got back into the studio, we followed
the path we did and fortified this sound.
Its a sound that continues to engage listeners. The group sold out countless shows on its first-ever tour in 2013 and
has a full slate of dates lined up aheadincluding appearances at major festivals such as Rock on the Range, Welcome
to Rockville, and more as well as ShipRocked. Meanwhile, All I Was solidified them as a metallic force with Ultimate-Guitar
awarding it an impressive 9-out-of-10 and Revolver praising it with 4-out-of-5 stars.
However, Cauterize and Dust usher in the next age of Tremonti.
I hope people can enjoy the music the way I do, he leaves off. As we were recording, there was this excitement
amongst everyone. We go into every record questioning if well be able to outdo the previous album. Thats my goalto
make a better record every time. If one fan thinks its better than All I Was, weve done our job.
Rick Florino, March 2015