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Mark Tremonti: Metal Ex Machina

Issue #57

'A Dying Machine' is Tremonti's most-diverse musical offering to date, all backed by Mark Tremonti's signature vocal style. Songs like, "Throw Them To The Lions," "From The Sky," and "A Lot Like Sin" are the powerful additions to the Tremonti catalogue that fans have come to love and expect from the trio.
Jonathan Graham

Metal Ex Machina

Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum guitarist, singer and one of the hardest working men in hard rock—Mark Tremonti chats exclusively with Guitar Interactive Magazine editor, Jonathan Graham ahead of the release of the brand new Tremonti album 'A Dying Machine' which drops June 8, 2018, and gives some insight into the writing of the concept record, the upcoming novel as well as a demonstration of his MT 15 signature amp from Paul Reed Smith launched earlier this year.

After two decades at the forefront of all things guitar, 40 million-plus units sold between Alter Bridge, Creed, and Tremonti, plus countless other accolades, Mark Tremonti is once again climbing an uncharted creative peak in 2018.

Not only is his eponymous Florida metal crew, Tremonti ( Featuring Mark Tremonti on vocals/guitars, Eric Friedman on guitars, and Garrett Whitlock on drums) back with a new album, but to accompany the release, for the very first time the guitarist and singer has also crafted an immersive novel that will give fans a deeper understanding of what influenced the forthcoming album.

Released worldwide via Napalm Records on June 8, 'A Dying Machine', was produced by longtime Tremonti collaborator, Michael "Elvis" Baskette. The album is a sonically diverse and at times cinematic experience from the militant drum assault of the album opener "Bringer Of War" all the way to the instrumental closer "Found." 

'A Dying Machine' is Tremonti's most-diverse musical offering to date, all backed by Mark Tremonti's signature vocal style. Songs like, "Throw Them To The Lions," "From The Sky," and "A Lot Like Sin" are the powerful additions to the Tremonti catalogue that fans have come to love and expect from the trio. However, the tracks "Trust," "The First The Last," and "Desolation" take the band in an inspired new direction that will undoubtedly please the band's loyal fan base as well as to help expand it.

A Dying Machine is the first concept album of Tremonti 's career. The music is inspired by a story that came to Mark while on the last Alter Bridge tour. During that time, the epic title track "A Dying Machine" was born. The story, which is being turned into a full-length work of fiction authored by Mark Tremonti and John Shirley, takes place at the turn of the next century where humans and fabricated beings called "vessels" are trying to co-exist. Tremonti and Shirley are in the final stages of finishing the novel and  expect to release it not long after the record is in stores.

Since emerging in 2012, Mark and his bandmates have continued to build on their solid foundations with each subsequent ambitious release. Their full-length debut, 'All I Was' sailed into the Top 5 of the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart and Top 30 of the Top 200 back in 2012. The 2015 follow-up 'Cauterize' then bested its predecessor by taking the #1 spot on the Top Rock Albums chart on iTunes upon its release.

2015 also saw the frontman take home "Best Guitarist" at the Loudwire Music Awards just a year removed from his 2014 "Riff Lord" win at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods.

In between sold-out headline gigs and festival appearances all across the globe, 2016's 'Dust' maintained that momentum, however, with 'A Dying Machine', Tremonti reaches heights like never before.

As if that wasn't enough PRS Guitars and Mark Tremonti also announced two new signature models earlier this year: The MT 15 amplifier & SE Mark Tremonti Standard. The models are the result of a close collaboration between PRS Guitars and the Alter Bridge guitarist. The Mark Tremonti MT 15 amplifier—which is incredibly tonally versatile, as well as coming in a portable "lunchbox" size—was designed with players in mind and truly offers some exceptional value for money.

“We knew we wanted a low-wattage amp. The challenge was getting a lot of great tone and features in a little box. We’re all blown away with how it turned out. It’s going to be great for someone to take it out of the box, set everything to noon, and have it sound great.” States Tremonti.

The MT 15 is a commanding two channel amp with balanced aggression and articulation. Powered by 6L6 tubes, the MT 15 has a seriously large, bold sound, so you can dig in heavy with rhythms while still having the option of a singing lead tone out of just one amp. Whether recording, practicing, writing, or playing a small room, this amp has everything you need.

The MT 15’s design originated with heavier players in mind, but ultimately, it has a lot to offer players of all genres. Similar to the PRS Archon amplifier, the MT 15 features five gain stages before the Master for full, inspiring distortion. The gain channel gets big, chunky tone with massive, tight low end, but amazingly it never loses its articulate note definition or great lead tone. The amp also boasts a bright and chimey clean channel that features a push/pull boost control that allows the user to add a little overdrive for that old school crunch sound.

Additional features include an effects loop and bias adjusters that are accessible from the back panel for ease of access. Despite its 15 watts, the MT 15 sounds more like 50, so the half power switch that takes the MT to 7 watts is a welcome addition in many settings. With the combined amount of features, massive sound, and the raw horsepower of the circuit make the MT 15 a seriously awesome lunchbox sized hero.

Rumours and speculation had been flying around relating to this amp for the best part of a year before its official launch, however, fans can now dig into all the specs and demos and finally place their orders, with shipping expected to begin in the next month. The MT 15 is Mark Tremonti’s first signature amplifier, however, if the pre-sales alone are anything to go by it certainly won't be his last.

Be sure to check out our full review of the PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti Signature Amp in this issue's main reviews section.

Tremonti's 'A Dying Machine' will be released on June 8, 2018, via Napalm Records.

'A Dying Machine' tracklist:

  1. Bringer Of War
  2. From The Sky
  3. A Dying Machine
  4. Trust
  5. Throw Them To The Lions
  6. Make It Hurt
  7. Traipse
  8. The First The Last
  9. A Lot Like Sin
  10. The Day When Legions Burned
  11. As The Silence Becomes Me
  12. Take You With Me
  13. Desolation
  14. Found

Tremonti will also be embarking on a six-show UK tour in support of the new album which will kick off later this month and includes the following shows. 

Tremonti - UK Tour Dates:

28th Jun - Glasgow - O2 ABC

29th Jun - London - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

30th Jun - Birmingham - O2 Institute

2nd Jul - Belfast - Limelight

3rd Jul - Dublin - Academy

5th Jul - Portsmouth - Pyramids

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