Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti was recently asked by Metal Wani whether he’s “confident or concerned” about the future of rock and metal music, to which he replied (transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar):
“Both. I think that digital age has really created an oversaturation of information. iIt’s hard to make a splash out there, it’s hard to get noticed at all. Back in the day, if you got the record deal and you hit the radio, everybody knew about you. Nowadays you have a million and two bands putting clips on YouTube.
“Nowadays, I go to YouTube to see new bands and whatnot, and I don’t know who has a record deal, I don’t know who doesn’t have a record deal, I don’t know who deserves it. By the time you’ve listened to a three-minute song, it’s too late to figure that out.
“Good side of things is that people are getting better and better at their instruments, and more creative. I think it’s just harder to find them these days.
“I think the world needs a new band, a new rock band that comes out and shakes things up. They need a new Guns N’ Roses or a new Nirvana – something that comes and shakes things up.”
Do you feel responsibility to carry on the torch?
“I think we’re doing our best to create music that we’re passionate about, but I think we’re a long way off of being that big figure that pushes rock and metal to the next generations.
“I think that one thing we’re missing with both my bands [Alter Bridge and solo band Tremonti where he’s the frontman] is that larger-than-life personality kind of thing that comes along with some of these huge bands.
“There’s no Mick Jagger… Myles [Kennedy] is an excellent frontman, but we don’t get the media push like a lot of these massive bands that really become those Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana of the world that really changed the scene and created new excitement for genres.
“I think we kind of stayed under the radar when it comes to the public eye. You don’t go to the haircut to the local buzzclips and tell them what band you’re in. Like, ‘My kids love your band! I love your band!’ If you said you were Metallica, people would faint. We’re still kind of under the radar to outside of the rock world.”
What’s your secret to surviving in the music business?
“No matter what happens to the business… We know that the digital stuff has taken away the record sales, and this change in this, and this change in that. But I think at the end of the day, if you focus on the song, the strongest song is always gonna win. It’s always gonna be what keeps fans there, what keeps them coming back.
“I think a lot of bands focus on the presentation of the band, the image, the aesthetic – gimmick if you will. That works for some bands, but I think at the end of the day those bands need good, solid songs. And I think if you’re not digging to constantly evolve as a writer and develop bigger and better songs along the way, gimmicks fall away and fans disappear.
“I think the people that survived are the ones that love it for the right reasons or are passionate about creating music. Not necessarily just passionate about performing music, but passionate about creating music.”