Mark Tremonti, who started playing guitar at age eleven, attended Clemson University in SC. But after a year, he bounced back to his home state of Florida (Tremonti was born in Detroit, and after a stop in Illinois, his family moved to Orlando when he was fifteen), to attend Florida State University.
It was there that he reconnected with vocalist Scott Stapp, a high school friend, to form Creed. The group became a multi-platinum success with albums, "My Own Prison ('97)," "Human Clay, ('99) and "Weathered" ('01). They also won the Best Rock Song Grammy for "With Arms Wide Open" in '01.
Disputes between Stapp and other band members created an unbearable tension. The first casualty was bassist Brian Marshall who left in '00. Though the group recorded another album, "Weathered," with Tremonti handling bass (as well as guitar), the dye was cast. Matters weren't helped any by Stapp's addiction to painkillers following a car accident. Then there was a disastrous show in the Chicago where Stapp was obviously intoxicated.
Creed was soon history. Stapp embarked on a solo career (notable for '05's "The Great Divide and '12's "Between Lust And Love").
Tremonti started Alter Bridge with ex-Creed bandmates, Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips. Vocalist Myles Kennedy rounded out the line-up. Despite essentially being a rehash of Creed, something critics pounced on, Alter Bridge enjoyed nowhere near Creed's success. Their debut album "One Day Remains" ('04) 'only' went gold. Of the group's first three efforts though, it proved to be the commercial highpoint. The band also issued "Blackbird" ('07), to more positive reviews, and "AB III" ('07).
Tremonti produced an instructional guitar documentary DVD in '08 titled Mark Tremonti: The Sound & the Story. His guitar solos from "Blackbird" served as the core curriculum.
Tremonti claimed there would never be a Creed reunion but in '09 that's exactly what they did - thanks in no small part to Stapp's sobriety. The group's original line-up unfurled "Full Circle." However, it became the first album in the Creed catalog to neither go platinum or gold. Still, Creed and Alter Bridge went out on alternating tours, often dictated by the schedule of each band's vocalist -Stapp's solo career and Kennedy's work with Slash, formerly of Guns N' Roses.
In '10, Tremonti discussed his plans. "I'm going to do a solo record because there are some songs that I'd hate to think wouldn't see the light of day because they don't work for Creed or Alter Bridge," he said at the time. Not only did he play guitar, he sang as well.
Michael Baskette, who had produced Alter Bridge albums, was enlisted. Also brought in were former Submersed guitarist Eric Friedman and drummer Garrett Whitlock. Tremonti had played on Submersed's '04 debut, "In Due Time." Submersed disbanded four years later but Tremonti kept in touch.
While Kennedy and Slash were touring in support of the latter's sophomore solo album, Tremonti and his crew, now operating under the Tremonti banner, rolled out their debut set, "All I Was."
"It's a dynamic record," said Tremonti. "It's probably heavier than either Creed or Alter Bridge, but it's still melody-driven. Most of the stuff is more up-tempo and heavy-riffing though. I had to write eleven solos for this record so it took me a long time. There's lots of soloing." The album debuted at #29 on the Billboard 200.
Creed/Alter Bridge bassist Brian Marshall was a session/touring member. But by September of '12 Marshall was gone and Wolfgang Van Halen (the son of Eddie and Valerie) was in as the touring bassist.
The group's second album, "Cauterize," with Van Halen on bass, dropped in '15.
2012 All I Was
Also see Tremonti, Creed and Alter Bridge.