Ex-Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti says it wasn’t the music that broke up one of the world’s biggest bands.
“It was personal,” he said. Singer “Scott (Stapp) separated himself from us. At one time, we were his closest friends. But put people in a bus for years and little things about us just rubbed him the wrong way.”
By the time the group entered the studio to record its fourth album, last November, the members were barely speaking. Several days into the sessions, Stapp and the band had what Tremonti calls “a little argument” — clearly an understatement since it caused the four members to kill a goose that had sold tens of millions of records.
The band’s company, Wind-up, didn’t announce the bust-up until seven months later, in June. They also revealed that two members — Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips — had formed Alter Bridge.
That band, named for an overpass Tremonti mythologized in his youth, issued its debut, One Day Remains, recently.
Tremonti said the label paired the stories of the old band’s death and the new one’s birth to get the most media play for Alter Bridge. Stapp releases his first solo album early next year.
Cannily, the band chose the song “Open Your Eyes” as its first single, since it sounds the most Creed-like.
“We didn’t want to come with something in a completely different direction right away,” Tremonti said.
Yet, on the full CD, Alter Bridge sounds more like Soundgarden, if only because new singer Myles Kennedy has a similar high-pitched yowl to that band’s Chris Cornell.
Tremonti and his cronies plucked Kennedy from the Mayfield Four, which had opened for Creed. They also hired Creed’s original bassist, Brian Marshall, who’d been fired several years back.
“The arguments between Scott and Brian would escalate and there was nothing I could do to defend him after a while,” Tremonti said.
As with Creed, Tremonti wrote most of the Alter Bridge melodies and many of its lyrics. But he considers this band more of a democracy.
“In Creed you’d do a lot of work and nothing would materialize,” he said. “This time I can get across all my ideas. And everyone’s open to everyone’s opinions.”
He said Creed also suffered from pressures to hold its commercial power.
“You always had to worry about how long a song could be, or what radio stations would play it,” he said. “It turned out to be a big puzzle on how to continue to be successful. I wanted to be able to put out exactly the music I want.”
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