Alter Bridge Drummer Talks New Music, ‘Live at the O2 Arena’ + More

2017-08-07

Story by Anne Erickson

Scott Phillips of Alter Bridge chats with Anne Erickson about the status of new music

The guys of Alter Bridge are certainly road warriors, playing not only a full slate of concerts each year in Alter Bridge but also many other projects.

That onstage energy is captured on the band’s upcoming live set, “Live at the O2 Arena and Rarities,” out Sept. 8.

Drummer Scott Phillips says playing live shows in front of passionate crowds is the heart of the Alter Bridge experience.

“It’s what we’ve all dreamed about the time we were little kids to now,” he told Anne Erickson with Audio Ink. “It’s our passion for music, and the fact we are doing it in front of people– it’s what we’ve always dreamed of doing. We’re lucky enough to still get to do it.”

Phillips and the Alter Bridge crew — which also includes Myles Kennedy on vocals, Mark Tremonti on guitar and Brian Marshall on bass — have a gig Monday (Aug. 7) at the Jackson County Fair in Jackson, Michigan, along with Skillet and Stone Sour.

Ahead of the show, Phillips spoke with Anne about “Live at the O2 Arena and Rarities,” band members’ many musical projects and the status of new Alter Bridge music.

First of all, you guys have a really cool live set due out in September. Tell me about “Live at the O2 Arena and Rarities.”

The show itself was a really incredible experience. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and that opportunity to play such a prestigious building with such a great crowd felt like it was important to capture and give everybody a chance to hear. It was a great show. We have a lot of memories from that and are certainly excited for everybody to have a chance to check it out.

Alter Bridge is known for having a solid live show, and you guys are always on the road. How important is the live show to Alter Bridge?

It’s what we do. We go into the studio and get those creative juices flowing and get a chance to record it and tour on that for the next 12 to 18 months. For lack of a better term, it’s what we do. It’s what we know. The blood that runs through our veins is the live show.

The guys of Alter Bridge are involved in so many musical projects, from Tremonti to Slash to Projected. How do you guys keep it together and grounded?

I think as far as keeping it grounded, it’s simply focusing on the fact that we’re touring and traveling musicians and that we all like each other, which is not necessarily rare, but there a lot of bands out there that are doing it just to do it and not appreciating the people they are with. We all enjoy being around each other, which makes it easier to be in the road together.

As for as planning the calendar for years and years in advance with everybody doing their own thing, it’s a bit of a chore, but we’ve been able to do it pretty successfully over the last seven or eight years since everybody has branched off into their own directions. But at the end of the day, we’re just four dudes who like being together, and as long as we keep that as our focus, everything will work out.

Of course, what people really want to know about is new music. What can you tell me about new music from Alter Bridge on the way?

We’ve sort of getting there. We’ll finish up this album cycle probably December of this year. I know Mark is working on new Tremonti stuff, and Myles is working on a solo project, which he’s been working on for a very long time but it’s actually going to see the light of day here pretty soon. With the writing processes that Mark and Miles are going through, there are probably a plethora of Alter Bridge songs.

The plan is to probably get together September, October, November of next year and start putting those ideas together and the four of us probably getting some new music out, I would say, in early 2019. Between the two of those guys, there’s constant writing, and I’m excited for the next chapter.

Photo credit: Carlos Amoedo

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