Mark Tremonti has had time to reflect on the journey that took him from the pinnacle of commercial success with Creed to the more critically acclaimed but commercially modest realm of Alter Bridge. In a recent interview, Tremonti candidly discusses the challenges of navigating fame, dealing with critics, and the enduring legacy of Creed, which has become a subject of memes in contemporary online culture.
During the height of Creed’s radio dominance, Tremonti emphasizes the necessity of developing thick skin to withstand the relentless scrutiny and criticism. He recalls a time when the band was constantly on the airwaves, and haters would attempt to dampen the experience. Tremonti admits to adopting a resilient attitude, urging friends to let him relish the success without being perturbed by online negativity.
In the interview, Tremonti acknowledges the infamous shirtless photoshoots that became synonymous with Creed’s image. Reflecting on those early days, he recounts the pressure to conform to industry expectations, including posing shirtless for a Spin magazine cover. Despite initial reservations, Tremonti and the band succumbed to the trends of the time. Now, years later, he humorously accepts that those images have become a source of teasing among friends, a visual relic that he’ll likely carry throughout his career.
He stated: “You have to have thick skin. Back when Creed were on the radio 24 hours a day, if a friend would call me and say, ‘Man, this this person online said that said this or that about your band’, I’d be like, ‘just let me enjoy myself.’ I’ve been able to live on both sides of that fence across my career; to have the very recognized commercial band that had a lot of success, but also had some backlash, and then had Alter Bridge, who everybody’s always been very complimentary about, but we never sold the millions and millions of records that Creed did.”
The guitarist’s journey is characterized by a duality in musical recognition – from the massive success of Creed, with both acclaim and backlash, to the critical acclaim but more restrained commercial success of Alter Bridge. Tremonti’s insights offer a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of a musician navigating the intricate terrain of fame, revealing that growing a thicker skin is an integral part of the game. As Creed takes on a new life as a meme, Tremonti remains pragmatic, embracing both the accolades and the jests as lasting imprints on his musical legacy, but one question has always remained – what about the shirtless pic, Mark?
He went deeper into that saying: “Back in the early Creed days, we got the cover of Spin magazine, they set us up with some great photographer. We get in there and it’s like, ‘Okay guys, let’s take the shirts off.’ Come on man! I didn’t want to take our shirts off, but when you’re young and impressionable – I think we were like 23, 24 years old – you see all these other people doing this kind of stuff so you go along with it. My friends, when we’re trying to be funny and making fun of one another, they just send me that picture to shut me up. It’s something that I’ve got to take for the rest of my life.”