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Interview:
Alter Bridge's new EP and beyond, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Alter Bridge had planned to be on the road much of this year, continuing to promote its 2019 album "Walk the Sky."



The COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans, of course, but that doesn't mean we can't hear the quartet play live, anyway.



"Walk the Sky 2.0" is a new EP (out Friday, Nov. 6) featuring six songs recorded during Alter Bridge's pre-shutdown concerts earlier this year plus a new studio track, "Last Rites," recorded in quarantine and taking stock of the world's current situation. It's a little something, but something guitarist and co-founder Mark Tremonti and company hope will tide fans over until it's time to step on stage again...



• Tremonti, 46 -- who was raised in Grosse Pointe and started Alter Bridge during the waning days of Creed -- says "Walk the Sky 2.0" was a direct result of having the live music business shut down this year. "We always kind of carry a ProTools rig with us and record what we can, 'cause you never know what you might need it for. So when we had this big break with no end in sight, we decided to take all the songs we'd played from ('Walk the Sky') and give the folks something to listen to while we're sitting around waiting."



• "Bits and pieces of "Last Rites" were around before the pandemic, according to Tremonti, and he and producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette, who both live in Orlando, Fla., fleshed it out remotely with singer-guitarist Myles Kennedy. “Myles put together some great lyrics for the song that kind of reflect on what's going on in the world at the moment. We're never too super-direct in our songs but I think everybody gets what it's about. It's been great to see the feedback, that people get the meaning of the song and are enjoying it."



• While off the road, Tremonti has been preparing for the next album by his other band, Tremonti, with plans to commence recording with Baskette on Nov. 16. "I want to sit down with Elvis and give him some pretty well-recorded ideas so we can hit the ground running. Who knows when it will come out, but I'd rather not just sit around getting nothing done. I want to be prepared, and when that green light comes on we'll hopefully finish some Alter Bridge touring and we'll schedule a release for this Tremonti record so I can hit the ground running with that."



• As part of his preparation Tremonti has been working on his singing, using what might seem an unlikely model. "I'm really into Frank Sinatra right now, so I'm practicing singing like Frank Sinatra every spare minute I have. On this (Tremonti) project I'm the lead singer so I need to make sure I can improve on what I've done in the past. He's somebody I've always appreciated, so why not go with one of my favorite singers of all time and dive into what he does and see if that can trickle into what I do?" Tremonti says he may possibly consider recording an album of Sinatra songs at some point, too.



• Wolfgang Van Halen was the bassist in the first Tremonti band lineup, and the guitarist has been in touch with him since the death of his father Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6. "I gave him a couple days and just sent my love and said my heart breaks for him, and he responded and sent back his regards. He seems fine on text, but I’m sure he's heartbroken. It's one thing losing a father -- one of the worst things you can go through -- but losing a father who's such an epic figure that everybody in the world's gonna remind him about for the rest of his life...I've known grown men who have shed a lot of tears over Eddie Van Halen; Imagine being his one and only son? It's got to be the hardest thing in the world.”

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