However, after his first year at Clemson, he transferred to Florida State University. At FSU, he met up with singer Scott Stapp and former guitar player Brian Brasher and started writing music. Contrary to the common belief, Tremonti and Stapp were not friends in high school, they knew of each other but hung out in different crowds.
Together, Tremonti, Stapp and Brasher held auditions for a bassist and a drummer that resulted in the selection of Scott Phillips and Brian Marshall. They initially named themselves "Naked Toddler" (from an article title on a press clipping that Tremonti used to carry in his wallet). The band eventually settled on the name "Creed" at Marshall's suggestion (having previously been in a band called "Maddox Creed"). Creed went on to sell over 30 million records worldwide in seven years. Due to personal issues between band members, Creed split and Alter Bridge was born in 2004.
However, on April 27, 2009, despite Tremonti's statements that Creed would never reunite, Creed announced its reunion. The band toured in support of the album and released Full Circle on October 27, 2009. There are more solos on the album and it is heavier than on previous Creed releases. Mark has stated that he is "very proud of the solos on this record" beforehand.
Since Creed split up, Tremonti has worked with many different guitarists and musicians such as Michael Angelo Batio, Thomas and Ethan Gospodareck, Zach Straley, the band Paradigm Shift, and Fozzy. He took extensive lessons from guitarist Troy Stetina. He stated, “After all Creed achieved professionally, I felt that I needed to refocus on the goals that I had personally. One of those goals was to get back to my rock and roll roots. After Creed took a break, band-mate Scott Phillips and I started to jam together again and realized that we both shared the same vision and were surprisingly anxious to get back out there and start doing it again. ". They reunited with ex-Creed bassist Brian Marshall and recruited former Mayfield Four vocalist Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge. The name symbolized going over and into the unknown, and while the new band mates decided collectively on the name for the new project, it was inspired by Tremonti's youth in Detroit, and eventually, they settled on a moniker named after a real bridge in Detroit located near his childhood home on Alter Road. The children in the neighborhood weren't allowed to cross the bridge as it led to a bad section of town, and thus to them what lay on the other side was unknown. Since Alter Bridge's formation, the band has released two studio albums: One Day Remains in 2004 and Blackbird in 2007. A live DVD titled Live from Amsterdam is to be released on February 23 and a currently untitled third album will be released this fall.
Tremonti's brother, Michael, is Alter Bridge's publicist and fan liaison.
In the late 2008, Tremonti released his very first guitar instructional DVD titled The Sound & The Story. The DVD included in-depth lessons by not only Tremonti, but also had guest appearances from Michael Angelo Batio, Rusty Cooley, Troy Stetina, Bill Peck, and Myles Kennedy. The DVD can be purchased through the Fret12 website
Tremonti has worked with several artists over the years, since the beginning years with Creed. Most recently was his contribution to the Sevendust album Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow, to which he provided a guitar solo that can be heard on the song "Hope." Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy also provided vocals to the song "Sorrow." Tremonti and Kennedy also appeared on the Fozzy album All That Remains, performing on the songs "The Way I Am" and "Nameless Faceless," respectively.
Tremonti has also collaborated with comedian Larry the Cable Guy and helped co-produce several songs the 2004 Submersed album In Due Time, including the song "Flicker," which features Tremonti on guitar. In 2008 he also appeared on Bury Your Dead's self-titled album, where he performed on the song "Year One," and on Michael Angelo Batio's album Hands Without Shadows, performing on the Deep Purple cover "Burn." He will be appearing on Myles Kennedy's upcoming solo album in 2010.
Mark Tremonti's all time favorite blues player is Stevie Ray Vaughan. However, he has mentioned on several occasions that his favorite modern guitarists are Zakk Wylde and Joe Bonamassa. He is also influenced by Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Audley Freed, Neal Schon, Slash and other hard rock & metal guitarists and bands. He is known for being good friends with guitar virtuosos like Michael Angelo Batio, Bill Peck, and Rusty Cooley.
Mark Tremonti plays his signature Paul Reed Smith Tremonti Model Guitar. For touring, he has 3 or 4 Black, 1 Tribal, and 1 Tiger Eye models that have fixed bridges, while his Charcoal Burst, Black Cherry (24 fret), Black Cherry (22 fret), Blue/White, and Platinum guitars have floating vibrato bridges. He has only one standard made 2007 Tremonti in black cherry. He also has one black model that has only three knobs. He also uses Taylor . acoustic guitars more specifically a 614CE.
He plays with Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks; he told Guitar One magazine, "I decided to play with only that pick for a couple of days, and after that my 1-mm nylon pick felt like a paddle. Now I can't go back."
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Mark Thomas Tremonti (born April 18, 1974) is an American musician and songwriter best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the American rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge.
Mark Tremonti was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan. He listened to hard rock and metal like KISS, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Journey and Metallica. At the age of 11, he bought his first guitar. It was a Tara, which was a Gibson Les Paul copy and cost about 25 dollars. Mark then attended one music lesson but decided to quit because the teacher would not teach the style that he wanted, stating, "They were teaching me 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' or something, when I said I wanted to learn Metallica." Instead, Tremonti learned guitar by ear, tab books, and instructional videos. At 16, Mark and his family moved to Florida, where he attended high school at Lake Highland Preparatory School. Here, he first met future Creed bandmate Scott Stapp. One of the first songs Mark wrote was called "Yesterday". Mark played in many bands before his venture into Creed, one of which was known as Night Stalker, and another one known as Wit's End with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes.
After high school, Tremonti went to Clemson University and even pledged the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.