By Andrew Catania
There’s no way to hide the talent Mark Tremonti possesses. A talented lyricist, Mark has recently completed A Dying Machine that will also be put out as a book I caught up with Mark after they got back from opening for Iron Maiden on the Legacy of the Beast tour.
A Dying Machine was All That Shreds first 10/10 album. You’re one of the best songwriters out there in rock. When you were writing A Dying Machine, were you thinking of making this a concept album or did you just start writing words?
MT: I just spit out the words., Look At You Now. You’re A Dying Machine. What happened was I was reading some Stephen King stuff and I was in a book called the Wastelands. There’s a scene where there were these thousands of year old machines that were starting to glitch out. And it was just in my subconscious. So when I was singing I said, look, it’s a dying machine. And then I created a conversation between this man and this created machine was built to serve and love him while she was dying and glitching out. I developed that story within that one song. When I was done with it, I didn’t want to leave that world. I wanted to keep on staying in that mood and that vibe, keep telling that story. So I challenged myself to the next song as another chapter of that story and then I figured, maybe we’ll do a three or four song mini concept EP. Once I got to three or four songs, let’s keep pushing this, get creative and go the whole distance. That’s what I did and I’m glad I did it. It turned into a book now, the books being printed as we speak and it should be all done on the 29th of this month.
Did you tailor the songs around the Stephen King Novel or it helped you start writing your own story?
MT: Stephen King novel didn’t have anything really to do with this story. It was just because that was in my subconscious, that cool scene of these dying robots. So, when I came up with the theme it was a completely different story. When I finished the title track, I kind of opened my mind and said, you know, work that I’d go with the story from here. It opened my imagination and found what the next plot was going to be. I kept on going that way and it was fun because I got to sing from four different perspectives and points in the book just kind of laid itself out naturally. Then when I was almost done, I was like, I really would like to put this into long form. I’ve always had this bucket list item that was getting a book published and I’m just going to go for it.
Are you self-publishing your book or do you have a publisher?
MT: Right now I’m just getting it self-published and once we get those copies out, that’s when we shop at publishing houses. These first couple thousand copies of this book are going to be very limited edition once, once those sell, we’ll hopefully get a publishing deal, We’re not going to be able to sell anymore until they go ahead and, and reissue it. So that could be a year from now.
You had the lyrics wrote, how you did you incorporate the music?
MT: Depending on what perspective I was singing from or what’s the point of view the areas where the character in the story is going to be an angry song, he’s a very aggressive type of character. So, there are about three or four songs from his point of view. Then there’s a couple of songs from a very small character in the book that showed her face a few times on the record. There’s, of course, the main character’s Stella and Brendan’s point of view that, that comes in the title track and I kind of feed the whole story as a seed. I would just write the music around what the subject matter would be. If it’s a sad story, it would be more of a ballad. If it was big angry songs, of course, it’s going to be more metal and I would just kind of fashion that the music towards the subject matter.
How long did it take to write A Dying Machine?
MT: A year and a half maybe. In between Alter Bridge and all that. The moment I usually finish a record, I begin writing the next record or I’ll finish a record, then I’ll learn how to perform those songs, which takes a few months and then I’ll start writing the next record. Whenever I write an album, I write more material that is going to be needed on a record. So a lot of stuff overflows to the next project.
Are you more comfortable now singing leads than you were your previous records?
MT: I think you second guess yourself when you first get into singing, it’s such a personal thing. Most people don’t like the way they sound They’re self-conscious about it and that’s how I was for years. And then after I say my first record, I was like, you know, I think if I keep on pushing I’ll be able to feel good about it. And then with the second record, I felt good about it with this record, I no longer had those thoughts. It was just a thing which is something that I did and I tried to do it to the best of my ability. There are still a lot of things I can learn as a singer, but it’s um, I don’t second-guess myself anymore. Just do it. Try to get as emotional as I can and not second-guessing.
Did you use your new PRS Signature Amp on A Dying Machine?
Oh yeah, that was all over the record and the last Alter Bridge record. It’s the main tone for everything for leads, clean and, and rhythm.
What’s the tour schedule like in Support of A Dying Machine??
I’ll be touring with Tremonti up until the fall of 2018. I hope to see all of our fans out there!
For more information on Tremonti, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TremontiProject/
Mark Tremonti at https://www.facebook.com/MarkTremonti/