Creed Member Speaks Out On Metallica Influence

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In a recent interview with Guitar World via UG, Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti, an unabashed Metallica fan, expressed his deep admiration for the iconic metal band. Reflecting on his musical journey, Tremonti credited Metallica, particularly their landmark album ‘Master Of Puppets,’ as a pivotal influence that shaped his guitar-playing style. His affinity for James Hetfield’s distinctive picking technique, marked by intense downpicking, became a cornerstone of Tremonti’s own prowess, influencing his grip on the pick with thumb, first, and middle fingers.

Tremonti vividly recalled the moment when his older brother introduced him to Metallica through the resonating chords of “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” Over time, he developed a keen appreciation for the band’s ability to stand out in the ’80s metal scene, attributing their uniqueness to the masterful use of dynamics. According to Tremonti, Metallica’s incorporation of beautiful intros, exemplified in tracks like “Battery,” “Damage, Inc.,” and “The Call Of Ktulu,” played a significant role in his musical evolution. Notably, he acknowledged that it was through “The Call Of Ktulu” that he crafted his own fingerstyle technique.

Dynamics remained a focal point in Tremonti’s admiration, emphasizing Metallica’s capacity to transition from cleaner verses to impactful choruses, as showcased in his all-time favorite, “Orion.” He underscored the importance of variation, praising Metallica’s ability to seamlessly shift between musical textures, a trait he incorporates into his own compositions.

When comparing Metallica’s lead and rhythm guitarists, Tremonti acknowledged the distinct styles of James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. Highlighting the necessity for Kirk to match James’s speed during live performances, he commended Hammett’s prowess as an alternate picker and praised his contribution to the allure of wah pedals. Tremonti recognized the synergy between the two guitarists, emphasizing the value of diversity within a band. Drawing parallels to his collaboration with Myles Kennedy in Alter Bridge, he noted the complementary nature of their styles—jazzy and bluesy versus more metal-oriented. Tremonti affirmed that such diversity, echoing Metallica’s approach, contributes to a richer and more expansive sonic landscape.