Backstage at Download Festival earlier this Summer, we caught up with Tremonti mainman Mark Tremonti about a range of topics including life on the road, family life and his collection of pinball machines. Read on…
How are you doing Mark?
Mark: I’m doing well how about yourself?
A lot better now it’s all cleared up a little bit, no more mud. Well there’s going to be a bit of mud.
Mark: For now it looks like.
For now, let’s keep our fingers crossed. How’s your Download experience been today?
Mark: You know I woke up and got straight off the bus and started doing interviews so it’s just been chaos so far.
So you haven’t been here for the whole weekend?
Mark: No. We just did London and we’ve been touring all through Europe so we’re here and Glasgow tomorrow.
How’s the tour been? Have you been anywhere that’s been memorable?
Mark: Yeah it’s all been memorable. We did Rock AM Ring and Rock In Oark, we’ve played in Switzerland, we’re getting ready to play Amsterdam so I’m sure that’s gonna be bad-ass. We’ve been really looking forward to this show in particular, so this is going to be the highlight.
Are you going to try and see anyone? Are you going to try and catch Slash and obviously Myles Kennedy as well?
Mark: Of course, I always go see them. I also want to see Billy Idol today then after that we’re gonna have to split because we have to run halfway through Motley Crüe’s set to head to Glasgow. That’s gonna be a bit of a bummer actually but, hey, it’s what comes with being on the road.
I wanted to ask, what’s it like switching roles from being the frontman to having a frontman with Alter Bridge?
Mark: I think it’s fun, it’s a new challenge and I’m trying to learn something everyday. It’s the kinda thing you can’t learn in your bedroom, you can’t take lessons for being a frontman you gotta go out there and do it and get comfortable with it. So I learn something everyday.
What made you decide you wanted to start your own band and be a front man yourself?
Mark: I’ve been a songwriter since I was eleven years old so I always see all my songs just stockpiling and I know they will never ever get out, I’ll never be able to get all of them out so this is a great outlet for me to have. All the songs that would never see the light of day have a chance to be recorded.
What was the decision with naming the band after yourself? Did it just feel right?
Mark: I had some conversations with my brothers and they were like you know what, you’ve got to other bands, it’s probably easier to call it Tremonti because people are already familiar with it, it’s less confusing. If you’ve got three bands it starts to feel like too much but, if it’s a solo band it’s easier.
You’ve recently had your new album out, what inspirations did you draw from in the writing process?
Mark: My own personal experiences and the people close around me and then every morning I watch the news whilst eating my breakfast and a lot of songs just come from seeing what crazy things are happening in the world at the moment.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Where do you stand on this subject?
Mark: Star Wars but I still love Star Trek.
What do you think of the new films? The new Star Trek films?
Mark: Yeah they’re ok, I haven’t been a huge fan of them, I kinda give them a B.
So you’re more a classic guy then?
Are you excited about the new Star Wars films?
Mark: The new Star Wars looks amazing.
When you’re not on tour what do you like to do? What’s your hobbies?
Mark: Well, I’m a father of two kids so that keeps me pretty busy, so I play soccer, baseball and basketball with my kids. I collect pinball machines, I like to paint a lot, I could spend all day painting, I love it. I read a lot of books.
Pinball machines? So you’re a collector of extravagant, unusual things then?
Mark: They’re not really extravagant. When I started collecting them they were pretty easy to get your hands on but now I’ve seen the prices go way through the roof for them so I’m glad I bought them back when I did.
Thanks for talking to us today. Hope the show goes brilliant later
Mark: Thank you very much sir.