The hard rock troupe Alter Bridge had a concrete goal for its second album, "Blackbird."
"We really wanted to step further away from our past," says guitarist Mark Tremonti, a Detroit native who named the band after the bridge that connects Detroit and the Grosse Pointes.
Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips were all part of Creed before that group imploded in 2003 after three multi-platinum albums. They joined forces with former Mayfield Four frontman Myles Kennedy and scored a gold album with their 2004 debut "One Day Remains." But Tremonti says the shadow of Creed hung heavily over the new band.
"The constant thing we would have to explain our way out of is we were no longer Creed or part of Creed," Tremonti, 33, recalls. "We wanted people to know this was a different band. We wanted it to be its own thing."
"Blackbird," which has sold more than 86,000 copies since its Oct. 9 release, is "a much larger departure from our old sound," according to Tremonti -- especially since Kennedy was able to make a greater contribution both as a second guitarist and as a songwriter.
"He brings a lot of great ideas and takes a bit of the load off my shoulders," says Tremonti. "I've felt through my career that if I didn't constantly write, 24 hours a day, the ship would sink. It's great to have someone else in the band who works just as hard."
Alter Bridge and Another Animal perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 21) at Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Tickets are $22. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.