Schon knapp 5 Jahre alt, handelt es sich hierbei doch um etwas spezielles! Das aller erste Interview von metalingus.de mit Myles und Brian im Dezember 2005 vor ihrem Gig im Paradiso in Amsterdam. Nach der Veröffentlichung des ersten Albums One Day Remains im Herbst 2004 hatten Alter Bridge zu diesem Zeitpunk im Prinzip über ein Jahr getourt. Dieser Gig war einer der letzten in Europa bevor es zurück in die USA ging und mit dem Song Writing für das zweite Studio Album begonnen wurde, was dann später Blackbird werden sollte. Ein teilweise sehr lustiges Interview. Viel Spaß beim lesen!
Me: Last time I met you, you told me that you are planning on coming to Germany this November. Now you are already here in the Netherlands , right next to Germany . So why didn't it work out with some Gigs in Germany ?
Myles: That's a good question! I was wondering the same thing! I think it just had to do with our booking-situation and a bunch of logistic things.
Brian: We didn't really want to overexert the market, I guess. Right now we are kind of in negotiations to come back in July I think.
Me: So July is the next chance for us in Germany to see you guys?
Brian: That's correct!
Me: What do you think of Germany as a country. Have you ever been to Germany except from touring?
Myles: I never have. What about you Brian?
Brian: No, but Germany is my favourite country in Europe to travel to. The people are always nice and the food is good and its just beautiful!
Little story: Every time I go to Berlin I get a piece of the "Berlin Wall". So I have quiet a few up on the shelve, trying to piece it al back together in my backyard.
Myles: As many times as we are going to Berlin, you probably have to rebuild it…
Me: Brian, you said in a past interview, that outside the US, Germany would probably be your favourite country to tour. Why is that? Is there a difference between the fans?
Brian: It's not only the fans. I mean we just spend an hour and half on stage. It's awesome, but it's the other 22 hours of the day that I just have a great time over there! Great food. I just enjoy it. And Germany has a lot of history!
Me: Ok, next questions will get you 5 Bonus-points per answer. We'll see who wins. Do you know any German music-acts or bands?
Me: No, they don't count, they are too popular!
Myles: Scorpions! (singing very high: "we're the scorpions")
Me: Myles is ahead 5 points, Brian!
Brian: I know some Ice-figure skaters. *Names some Russian*
Myles: That's a Russian name!
Myles: Is Nena from Germany?
Me: 99 Luftballons, yeah! So Myles is ahead 10 points now!
Myles: Brian, I crushed you
Me: We already talked about it a bit, but is there a real difference between Germany and the US in terms of touring? Is there any significant difference?
Brian: Yeah, the crowds are much better for us in Germany! There's just a certain stigma with our previous band and it seems like there's a movement over in the states. It's more Hip-Hop. And it seems like the crowds up here love some Rock 'N Roll. They're just more…
Myles: They're passionate! Which makes our shows better. All it is for us is a give and take. And if the audience gives us that energy, we'll just throw it right back. If we are not feeling it from the audience, it's just hard to get in that headspace and to put on a great rock-show.
Me: So you say that German fans are more passionate?
Myles: Well, I'd say it depends and what part of the US you are talking about. There are portions that are fantastic, which are on one level with the UK and Germany, as far as that excitement goes. Our experience so far, most everywhere in Germany we played it's been a consistent one. Where as the US hast not been consistent!
Me: Do you have any rituals as a band or personally that you do before a show, except of warming up of course.
Brian: Yeah, we definitely do a lot of warming up. I do a lot of pacing. Just recently we acquired the ritual of listening to AC/DC "Long Way to the top if you wanna Rock 'N Roll"!
Myles: We turn it up real loud and rock out and get all pumped up!
Me: If that is possible at all, can you describe how you feel when you come on stage and the crowd is just going crazy?
Myles: It's exhilarating, but at the same time you also become aware of, that for the next 75-90 minutes you want to forfill your obligation to make these people happy. When I walk out and there is that intense well… it doesn't add to the pressure, but it's a big reminder that you gotta give this people 110%
Brian: It's different for all of us really. I try to realx as much as I can. Centring on myself and my instrument. I don't know, it's really different. Mark gets in his real aggressive personality. For me, I have to make sure that I'm attacking the strings at an even pace rather than going out hard. Especially in the rhythm section.
Me: While out on the road, what is the most you miss? I mean, you all have families and somebody waiting for you at home. How do you deal with that?
Myles: It's hard. Thank goodness for technology. I mean we all have cell-phones. Ten years ago a tour over here wouldn't be that easy with all you loved ones. I have pictures, but it's so hard for me to be away from my wife. She's such an important part of my life. But at the same time I'm probably the happiest one over here touring. I never wake up over here depressed. I always can't wait for the show that night.
Me: Can you describe how a typical day of touring is like? Isn't it sort of like the movie "Ground Hogs Day" with Bill Murray?
Brian: Yeah, you are pretty accurate in that. I mean it's different in some areas. We are in Amsterdam today and this is a place we all love. At least to see a piece of it. Everyday is, well it depends on what you make of it I guess. You see a lot of venues. We don't see much of the city outside, unless we have a day off. That's the time where we go out and explore everything.
Me: Have you ever been overwhelmed or surprised by something a fan has said or did to express his gratitude?
Myles: It happens a lot! People tend to get emotional sometimes! Actually it was in Germany where someone pulled us aside and told us that he was very unhappy and contemplated in taking his own life and how "Metalingus" essentially saved his life. And that was a heavy, heavy thing for us to hear! That a song can have that impact on a human being. Those are the things that probably mean the most to me.
What about you Brian?
Brian: I think its just the really "Die Hard" Fans that follow us and travel around. Just seeing them in the line there, at the first sight in the morning when I get up.
Me: Last week you played in London. And there were several camera-crews spotted, taping the whole concert. And Myles, you where quoted, saying to a fan that there is some kind of secret thing to happened. What is that all about?
Myles: It's a secret (laughing). Well, let's just put it this way: We had a little malfunction that occurred and we didn't expect this, as we found out after the show. Basically, all the audio we have for that, a cable got cut.
Michael: It was just more for ourselves!
Me: So it wasn't for a DVD or something?
Myles: You never know of that sort of things! You can never predict how a show is gonna go. If you bring out big camera crews and a big production than there is a lot of pressure that you gonna do good, cause its going to be a DVD. Then you get to nervous and screw up.I'm not really saying anything on this… Say anything Brian!
Brian: We tried to do something cool and it didn't work out.
Michael: There was a guy with the camera where the soundboard was. And he accidentally cut through the cable. So we found out that there's no sound in any camera.
Me: What's the time schedule for 2006 in terms of touring and, of course, the next album?
Myles: Good question! We are just gonna get off the road here. Then we have a handful of dates in the states. Then there's kind of a regroup. Settle down for the holidays.
Me: Can you give us people some advice on what bands we should listen to? Are there any bands that you think don't get nearly as much attention as they deserve? Or what bands do you personally like to listen to right now?
Brian: I like "Tribune"! Although I haven't heard much of them. Just a few songs. And I like "Muse" and "System Of A Down". And the old classics: "Iron Maiden"," Rush" and "Ac/Dc". All the old school stuff.
Myles: There are so many great artists that people never get a chance to hear. There's a guy I would turn to, he's not extremely well known cause he passed away a few years ago, but there are definitely pockets of "Die Hard" fans. It's Jeff Buckley. He's arguably one of the greatest artists of our time. A true artist!
Well, he's not really a hard rock guy. As far as that goes, definitely: "System Of A Down"!
Me: We all know that you can really play the guitar! More than you even do on stage. Are you planning on doing more guitar on the 2nd Album?
Myles: Yeah, that's the plan. It's gonna be real fun for me! And hopefully add another dimension to the sound of the band!
Me: Do you already have kind of a plan for the next album, for the "musical-directions" that you want to go?
Myles: I think we are just hoping to make it… Well, it's a hard thing to plan cause it's really just a matter of how you feel. You're a documenting a specific period of time. You can never sit there speculating that it's going to be a heavy record or a melodic record. You never know!
Me: I already got to hear the "Taco Salad" and it totally blew me away! Also because it's such an untypical sound for Alter Bridge. Was this just kind of a "side-project" song or was this already the direction where you want to go with the next Album?
Brian: It was never designed for anything to do with Alter Bridge. It was just to capture Mark's solo ability. We wanted to do something for Total Guitar as well, cause they've done a lot for us! Now they gave us the opportunity to do something different and Mark was real excited!
Me: When writing songs, what is mostly the basis for your lyrics? Is it some kind of, let's say fairytale or story you are narrating or are you talking about real stories, issues and memories you actually had when writing a song?
Myles: It really depends on the song. If you take one like "In loving memory" which Mark wrote for his mother, that's very specific for his life! That's basically calling out for the person you love so much!
Then there's a song like "Find The Real" where I tried to put myself in someone else's shoes who is basically lost and you sing from their angle then.
I look and talk to people a lot and try to gain perspective and insight form their lifes and then try to cooperate that into a song, cause I think people get bored hearing about just my perspective all the time. That's important.
Me: In times of TV-Casting shows like "American-Idol" which are spread all over the world in different formats and in times of Hollywood-actors trying to start a 2nd career in the music business, do you think real honest and self-made music, which is played by guys right out of their hearts and very soul, music like you guys are playing, do you think that is in danger of sort of dying out? Or where do you think classic and pure rock-music where Alter Bridge has it's roots, will head in the future?
Brian: I think those "American-Idol Shows" that all falls into that "boy band thing". But ultimately, at the end of the day, there are guys like us that just get together just for the pure love of their instruments. And these kind of things happen.
Myles: Right! I don't think it is going to necessarily kill Rock 'N Roll or any kind of artistic music. There has always been to me that sub-culture, those pockets of people like yourself that recognize the passion about that. And they want more than that canned "Fast Food Music"(as I like to call it). Whether it's American Idol or that Pop-Stuff. It's not timeless. It's here and gone later that day.
Me: Ok, for the next question, I just have to tell a bit first: On July 2nd people came together to call for dept release in an event called "Live 8". I'm sure you heard of that.
Well, no doubt that the people in Africa do get something positive out of that, but Bono from U2 who organized the whole event besides Bob Geldof of course, he strongly uses his popularity to achieve political claims.
And in times of American actors that are forming together to use their popularity to demonstrate against Bush's Iraq politic.
Rage Against The Machine played at many political demonstrations. And Audioslave recently just was the first American band ever to play Cuba in front of some 50,000.
I don't want to start a discussion about right or wrong here, but Eric Clapton for example was quoted that one of the reasons he didn't take part in Live 8 this year was that he doesn't think its right to mix up music, popularity and politics like Bono is doing.
Clapton says he'd rather just plays music. Cause it's all about the music and nothing else.
Do you think there has to be drawn some kind of border between music and politics?
Myles: That is really a good question! I'm kind of split down the middle on this one, cause there are artist out there that do that and do it well! And that's great! For a band like us it doesn't work. We're not that kind of a band!
As far as Bono goes, I'll take my hat to Bono. I don't feel like that Bono's agenda is that much political. He's more humanitarian. I believe that he really is doing it for the right reasons. I really have a tremendous amount of respect for him!
There are other artists out there, who do it just simply to make their careers look great. And when it comes to actors and politics, frankly, most of the time they come off, looking poor because of that! They think because of their clout with the American public, they can get on a soapbox and tell how they feel about the Bush administration. But a lot of times it is just an uneducated opinion. A lot of times I watch those people and think, "Man, they don't know what they're talking about!" And that's part of the reason we don't do it! Cause you know what? We are musicians! We go up and talk passionately about music, the power of music and how music can have a profound an effect on people's life.
I'm not going to tell you how to vote! I have my personal opinion and I'll keep it to myself!
Me: So it's all about the music!
Myles: It's all about the music! Unless there is anything we can do about our fellow men, we're there! If we can help put food in someone's mouth, if we can fix something, we'll do it!
Myles: Like everybody knows, you already showed off your acting skills in the movie-business.
Me: Can we expect more from you in the future? I mean if somebody would call you up saying, "Hey Myles, do you want to play in that movie?" Would you consider doing that?
Myles: Probably not. I'm not really an actor. But if anybody ever wants to make a Kevin Bacon story…
If there ever was a movie to be made about your guys' life, who would you choose as your actors?
Brian names some guy… *laughter*
Michael: Brian, I know exactly who should play you: Viggo Mortensen, the Aragon from "Lord of the Rings"
Brian: Myles, what about you?
Myles: Well, that's pretty obvious…
Brian: What about Flip?
Myles: The guy that plays Bud Bundy… What's his name again…?
Michael: David Faustion!
Myles: For Mark… Well… We just take Arnold Schwarzenegger for him!
Me: Well, if we are already talking about movies? If you have time to watch some at all?!
Myles: Oh man, I'd say it is a toss up between "Boggie Nights" and "Field of Dreams". I love Boogie Nights!! And Field of dreams…it's with Kevin Costner…it's a fantastic movie about Baseball! It's kind of a heart-warming story about fathers and sons and things of that nature!
Me: What about you Brian?
Brian: I like those slapstick comedy. Like "Airplane" and "Spy Hard". Some people don't get that humour, but I love it! And I like suspense movies! And old horror stuff like "Shining".
Me: Now it's been almost 1 1/2 years since the release of "One Day Remains". And I already said that you've been basically touring your asses of since that. Back then, what were your biggest fears and is there anything you would have done differently?
Myles: I think we would have waited a little longer to release the record.
Myles: Yeah! We have been a band for four months or so and should have taken the time to get to know one another!
Me: But you really get along quiet good!
Myles: Oh yes! We really care for another and respect one another! And as long as that is there, you'll be fine!
Me: Out on the road all the 1 1/2 years, what has been your most memorable moment?
Brian: I'll say the festivals. We played with bands that we grew up listening to: Black Sabbath, Motorhead, System Of A Down, Nine Inch Nails. We played with a lot of real, real great bands! There was just so much history there! Real intense!
Me: Well, lets just come back quick to the upcoming Album: Would you consider of doing a studio-album in live recording? I'm just asking because I read a statement of Tom Morello saying that the next Audioslave Album will be a total live-record in the studio cause he promises himself a better live-performance and a whole lot more atmosphere on the Cd.
Myles: I think a lot of the greatest Rock 'N Roll records are made that way! And there's a certain energy that's captured! When you take Rock 'N Roll, and "ProTool it to death", I think a lot of the times you tend to lose that "Rock Power". I would certainly be up for it! It would be a fantastic way to make the record!
Me: When can we expect the next Album? Is it due to Fall?
Brian: Hopefully! We have some obstacles that we are trying to hurdle… We just do what we do and regroup after the year and discuss it from that point!
Me: What are your role models as vocalists? And if you would ever have the chance of doing one of those "classical-duets", who would you choose?
Myles: There are tons, there are so many out there! But right now I'm on a biiiiiig Bon Scott trip! He has such a unique sound and such a unique approach to the way he was sinning. It was fantastic and very clever! I watch that AC/DC Dvd "Family Jewels" all the time!!! And I notice his performance!!! It's perfect for that band!
Then, on the other side of the spectrum, there are guys like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gay. And that is really where my foundation is! Those two in particular! Their records where the ones I tried to copy and tried to be like that initially.
Me: What are you going to ask Santa Claus for Christmas?
Brian: I know what I want! A "lasik surgery"!
Myles: A what?!?!
Brian: To fix my eyes! They are just too bad! When get back I got to make some appointments.
Myles: You know what I want? In London I jumped into the crowd and someone took my other shoe! I just want my shoe back!!! And my in-ears too! For anybody out there: Those in-ear monitors were kind of fancy and they kinda cost a little bit. So whoever got away with those: That cost a whole bunch of money! If you want to send them back, that'll be awesome!!
I miss my in ears!!! I was very attached to those!
Me: What do you want to achieve Alter Bridge in the next couple of years? If you got to choose between, let's say in 4-5 years AB to become multi-platinum sellers, selling out arenas one the one side, then on the other side staying at kind of the level where you are right now. With a very, very dedicated fan base, playing in small clubs?!
Brian: We want to tour Japan and Australia and capture as many fans as there are! We are just having a blast being over here! That is the ultimate of what we want to do.
Myles: When you have huge success and playing arenas, I'm sure that this is probably fantastic! But what I like about the level where we are at right now, as you said, talking about the fans, they are so passionate! They are not just about the hit single. They are about he band, about the record! And if you are out there and know that about the people you are playing to, it feels like you are all in the same team.
You are not just playing to a bunch of indifferent people who are just there to hear that one favourite song and it makes the whole show seem something special!
We are really happy with the way things are now. And if we are able just to tour, tour and tour, I think I'd be happy.
Me: I don't want to take away anymore time of you and I guess I'm running out of questions too. So, thank you for taking your time. We really appreciate it.
Myles: We really appreciate you guys more than you will ever now!