Interview conducted June 8 2017
Interview published June 16 2017
Metal Covenant hooked up with drummer
Scott Phillips of American outfit Alter Bridge
before their show at Sweden Rock earlier this month.
Tobbe: You put out a record in September
[8th], Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities, so tell me a little bit about
the live recording and also the rarities.
Scott: Yes. So we had the fortune of getting
to do a headline show at the O2 Arena in London, which is a really prestigious
accomplishment for us and we felt like we needed to capture that moment
and share it with, you know, our fans around the world. So we recorded
the O2 and we ended up recording 6 or 7 shows on that tour, I think.
of the songs that we didn't play at the O2 that we wanted to include
with that. And then a rarities CD, which is full of songs that were
b-sides that, you know, might have not made a specific record, but still
songs that we liked. So this was a perfect opportunity to kind of put
those two collections together in one cool package and let the fans
get a chance to experience it.
Tobbe: Your last record, The Last Hero,
was out in October last year and after getting to know it for quite some
time now, what has it brought to the overall Alter Bridge discography?
Scott: I think we're, you know, as proud of this
record as we've been of any record. I think there's a ton of great songs
on there and we try to always incorporate anywhere from 3-5 of those
on any given night. There's obviously a lot of songs, you know, on our
previous records that the fans still wanna hear, so we don't wanna,
like, play just Last Hero stuff and a couple of other songs. We really
try to incorporate a blend of all five albums into the live show. But
yeah, there's some really great songs and a lot of fun to play live,
Tobbe: Do you guys agree on most decisions
in the studio, or is there kind of a constant, but friendly, battle between
you guys when you're recording?
Scott: Yeah. I feel like we always tend to, you
know, get on the same wavelength pretty quick when it comes to the writing
and recording process. And then we'll get everything out in pre-production.
You know, if there's a part that somebody is not digging they'll speak
up and then we'll work on maybe trying to change that part and we have
Elvis, Michael Baskette, our producer, who kind of becomes a fifth member
of the band nowadays.
know, everybody respects each other's opinion and if there's something
that's not vibing with somebody then everybody else will do what they
can to make that part better and just try to do a part all together.
So by the time we actually go in, or tracking it, everybody is real
confident with the song.
Tobbe: But is a strong will and a little
bit of ego also important to get somewhere in music, like you guys obviously
Scott: I think so, yeah. You gotta be able to
lay your foot down. You know, Mark [Tremonti, guitar] and Myles [Kennedy,
vocals] are the primary songwriters, so all of the beat, the riffs and
the melodies are all born from them and if Brian [Marshall, bass] and
I, or whoever, is like "I'm not digging that." then, you know,
I guess you've gotta have the balls to stand up and say something to
Mark has said it a lot of times that he's really
grown thick skin over the years, because, you know, at the end of the
day if somebody is telling you your idea is no good then that's gotta
be, you know, a blow to your psyche, to your ego, and he's really learned
how to let that roll off of his back, The four of us are fortunate enough
to be able to make things work the way we make them work. There is probably
a little bit of ego involved, but I think there has to be in order to
get, you know, where you wanna get in this business.
Tobbe: Have you guys already talked a little
about the direction for another record? Just some loose talk, you know.
Scott: No, not yet. I know that Mark is doing
a lot of writing now, but it's probably gonna sit for the upcoming Tremonti
album. Though, from some of those ideas Alter Bridge ideas are born
and then from some Alter Bridge ideas is where the Tremonti idea can
be born from as well, so. We haven't sat down together and start working
on anything new at this point, but soon enough
Tobbe: And you're playing with a side band
too, Projected, and you put out a new album in about a month [Ignite My
Insanity. Out July 21st.], so what can you tell me about that album?
Scott: So Projected is myself, John Connolly
[vocals, guitar] and Vinnie Hornsby [bass] from the band Sevendust and
then Eric Friedman, the guitar player for Tremonti, and we did an album
in 2012 [Human] that John basically just put out by himself, online,
through social media and channels and stuff like that that got a lot
of really positive reaction from fans.
never had a chance to tour it, but, you know, five years and many Sevendust
albums later John had sort of a stockpile of material that he really
wanted to do and decided to do another Projected record. I recorded
my parts about a year ago, but yeah, coming out soon. We actually signed
with a label this time, so we're gonna want somebody else to do the
heavy lifting of promoting and getting it out there.
Tobbe: So why is it necessary to have a
side project or a solo project? Why don't you guys put all effort into
Alter Bridge instead?
Scott: Well, it sort of started around the time
that we did that Creed reunion in 2009, which occupied most of that
year. We had just finished touring on Blackbird  at the end of
2008 and had not gone in to record AB III  yet.
So it sort of occupied a lot of our time and
Myles ended up doing some stuff with Slash, that, you know, turned into
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators and it just so happened
that the cycles were sort of working out, where anytime we'd do something
with Creed, he was doing that, and then we could get back together with
And then Creed kind of fizzled out again, but
Myles and Slash were having really great success, so. I think Mark decided
to do a solo record from knowing that once we'd finish up AB III Myles
was gonna be going back to Slash. You know, he had a lot of material
that he'd written that he didn't get a chance to get out.
So Tremonti was born out of that and then, you
know, Alter Bridge is sort on this every 3 year cycle of getting out
music and then there'll be a Slash record and a Tremonti record. And
now we're throwing a Projected record in the mix as well and Slash is
on tour with Guns N' Roses, so I don't know what the schedule is next
year. If it's gonna be Myles working on a solo record, or what
in so many damn bands right now. It's hard to keep track of, but somehow
we're making it work and people seem to enjoy, you know, all the entities
that have sort of spawned off of this band. So we keep it going as long
as we can.
Tobbe: All you guys have accomplished a
lot in music and what could possibly be the next step for you guys in
order to maintain a high-energy level?
Scott: First and foremost it all comes down
to the music. And this next record will be just as important as anything
we've ever put out, so we'll definitely spend a lot of time making sure
it's the right direction that we wanna go in.
We've been, you know, extremely fortunate that,
through Europe and the States and now, you know, we're starting to get
out to the rest of the world as well, we have fans that really seem
to appreciate what we do. And we're just trying to continue to build
that. You know, finding territories.
We go to South America for the first time this
year ever as Alter Bridge. We've got a huge fanbase down there; at least
we've seen their presence online, but never had the opportunity to get
down there, so I think we're very excited about that.
We did a tour through Australia and New Zealand
a few months ago that was really, really amazing. First ever time that
we've gone down there and really done any headline shows. So yeah, you
know, just keep trying to make new fans and continue to, you know, hopefully
put out good music.