MARK TREMONTI Explains How METALLICA Influenced Him & How Their Guitar Dynamics Set Them Apart

Mark Tremonti, the driving force behind Alter Bridge, wears his Metallica fandom proudly. He attributes his musical journey to the thrash metal giants, particularly their 1986 masterpiece, Master of Puppets. While the shredding solos and headbanging anthems are undeniably powerful, it’s Metallica’s mastery of dynamics that resonates deeply with Tremonti.

Reflecting on Metallica’s impact, Tremonti shares his admiration for the band’s use of dynamics, a feature not as prevalent in many heavy bands of that era. He highlights Metallica’s ability to craft beautiful intros, citing songs like ‘Battery,’ ‘Damage, Inc.,’ and ‘The Call Of Ktulu’ as prime examples. In fact, ‘The Call Of Ktulu’ played a pivotal role in shaping Tremonti’s fingerstyle technique.

The ebb and flow, the whispers preceding the sonic thunder, set Metallica apart for Tremonti. He singles out “Orion” as a prime example, praising the contrast between gentle verses and gut-punching choruses. His appreciation for variation is evident in his favorite song, ‘Orion,’ where cleaner verses seamlessly transition into kick-you-in-the-nuts choruses – a pattern he admires in tracks like ‘Welcome Home.’

For Tremonti, the magic of Metallica extends beyond a singular sound; it lies in the interplay between two distinct guitar voices – James Hetfield’s chugging rhythms and Kirk Hammett’s electrifying leads. Acknowledging their differences, Tremonti emphasizes Kirk’s ability to keep up with James during fast riffs live, commending his skills as an alternate picker and his influence on Tremonti’s love for wah pedals.

Drawing parallels with his partnership with Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, Tremonti notes their distinct styles – Myles being more jazzy and bluesy, while he leans towards a metal sound. Just like Metallica, Tremonti and Kennedy complement each other, utilizing different amps to fill various frequency ranges and build a more extensive sonic landscape. In essence, Tremonti sees Metallica’s collaborative approach as a guiding principle for his musical journey.

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