Former Creed and current Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti discussed Eddie Van Halen in a new Loudwire interview. Wolfgang Van Halen played with Tremonti from 2012 to 2017. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Tremonti’s comments.
“He’s come a few times… He came out to our LA show and when Wolfie was sitting in with Alter Bridge on drums.
“He came out to our show at the Roxy in LA and he came out to the show in Kansas City where we had a meet-and-greet with fans.
“There were about a hundred of them and there’s a great picture of all the fans watching us on stage and then you see Eddie Van Halen standing right behind him, like, looking at the camera.
“If any one of them turned around and saw Eddie behind them, they would have rushed him. They had no idea who was standing right behind them. But it’s great – you play a show and you’ll just kind of see him sitting there, smiling, looking down.
“And when you’re on stage, I think a light-switch kind of turns and you kind of become this other persona, so it’s hard to shake your nerves. It felt good, to him being there – I’m doing something right if Eddie Van Halen’s in the crowd.”
So you don’t get on there and like hyper-focus on Eddie at any point?
“No. Really, I mean, I play so different than him, to begin with. It was just great to have him there.”
Did he ever give you a like a compliment on your playing? That’s a sacred thing, I would imagine.
“No. There’s a couple of funny things that have happened. We went to go see them play practice – it was me and Eric [Friedman, Tremonti guitarist], Wolfgang and his dad, and Alex [Van Halen, drummer].
“We were at 5150 Studios [in LA] and they’re playing the new record. They have finished the song and I was like, ‘Wolfie, that was a killer bass line. I love what you did, all the chord-y stuff and whatnot.’
“And Eddie’s like, ‘Were my parts good?’ [Laughs] Like, you’re Eddie Van Halen, your parts are always good! So he’s still this guy who’s still pushing to be the best he can. And he’s always been great.
“One time, I was warming up in LA for a show – I’m practicing, just warming my left hand up.
“And I see somebody standing behind me for a minute and I hear him go, ‘You don’t pick very much, do you?’ I turn around and it’s Eddie Van Halen! I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m warming up my left hand!’.”