Alter Bridge continue to grow, paving their way to the top of the pyramid of today's hard rock music. A few hours before another fantastic performance on the main stage of Hellfest we had the chance to catch up with Scott Phillips and have a quick chat about the current status of the band and some other interesting topics as well.
Hello Scott, how are you? How are things going on the Alter Bridge camp?
We're doing great. This has been a great run so far. We've been out for weeks now, we've been doing lots of festivals and we got to see a lot of amazing bands. The fans have been awesome... So, things couldn't be better right now. We're really having a good run.
It's been some months now since the release of "Fortress". Do you see that album as a milestone of your career?
Yeah, you could say that... I think, definitely, at this point of our career... I think we always felt that "Blackbird" was sort of a career record, the one that defined the Alter Bridge sound. "One Day Remains" is an awesome record, but we really found what Alter Bridge was at the time that we wrote "Blackbird". And I think that this is definitely one of those milestones where we feel like we turned another corner musically. Not change our sound by any means, but just sort of found a different avenue that we might pursue with the way "Fortress" was written and recorded, the style of songs that are on it. So yeah, I think it is safe to say that this is one of the milestones of our career...
Do you think that it helped you get to the next level? I mean you got the second slot for the Download show, a second sold out show at the Wembley Arena etc. What do you expect to have achieved before you go into the studio for another album?
I hope we continue to grow. I mean, I don't think we can have any sort of preconceived notions of what we are going to become. We certainly have things that we'd like to try to achieve before the next record. I'm not sure if it will happen or not... Basically, t's the fans that ultimately kind of decide how popular we're going to become and how big we'll get. Now, it really feels like we're right on the threshold of becoming a headliner on some of these festivals and doing shows around the world in larger venues than we've played so far. If that will happen or not I don't know... I hope so... We certainly are happy with where we are right now, we're certainly not disappointed.
If I'm not mistaken, at the end of the Live At Wembley DVD you seem to be very satisfied and you mention that you may have done lots of things with Creed commercially, but Alter Bridge managed to do it with the real thing, without any compromises. Ιs that very important for you artistically?
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel like we've always done what we wanted with Alter Bridge, we didn't have to perform or write three minute and forty five seconds singles to be played on the radio. We just wanted to do what we did. And not that we didn't do that with Creed, we definitely did, but after a while, I think the artistic side, the ability to push ourselves musically kind of faded away, cause people didn't really want that from Creed – well, that's what it felt like to us. So, with forming Alter Bridge the goal and the one thing we all had in common was to not compromise, make the music that we want to make, make songs as long as we want to make them and I think we managed to do that.
The other thing is that with "Fortress", you decided to go a little bit heavier than the usual for Alter Bridge. Could you see the band growing even heavier in the future, or maybe revisiting some of your more mellow side of the first album?
We'll probably do a lot of both. We definitely started to explore the heavier side of rock, even bordering on metal. I think a lot of that came from Mark doing a solo record and exploring that much more than Alter Bridge had in the past and realizing that it's safe for us to try this, people are not going to freak out if we put out some double bass grooves. So I think that sort of lent itself to this record. I feel like the mix on this record is the heavier that we've ever had, where I think "ABIII" and "Blackbird" had some moments like that but it just didn't translate that way. So I think that people are finding that this record has this sonic quality of it and the songs in general are heavier.
"Fortress" was no1 on my list for 2013 and I think there are some amazing songs that could have more commercial success, for example my favorite one is "Calm The Fire". I think that if this song could be supported by a good videoclip it could broaden your audience. Have you thought about doing that, maybe like what you did with "Watch Over You"?
You know, videos are tough man! It's something we've been talking about doing. We did a video for "Addicted To Pain", but to do videos for other songs there won't be singles. We even talked about doing a video for "Blackbird" and that album came out seven years ago, but it was sort of to give it movie quality, give it something that people who maybe aren't fans of Alter Bridge could watch, and follow the storyline. To do it for "Calm The Fire" I think it would be awesome, that's one of my top three songs from the record, because I think it's different than what we've done in the past. But there are no plans at this point to do it. Unfortunately, videos cost money and it's something to discuss with the label, see if they are interested in it, and where the money is going to come from... It's something we talk about for sure.
Myles and Mark have most of the time the spotlight on them, but you and Brian are an amazing rhythm section. Do you feel sometimes like being in the shadow of these guys, and not getting the recognition you deserve?
I think Brian and I are very comfortable with who we are in this band and what our roles are in this band. Like in most bands, the spotlight tends to be on the singer and the guitar player, there are some bands where the drummer is very prevalent, he's a monster player and gets the spotlight drawn on him. I'm not that type of a player... I always wanted to showcase what I'm capable of doing, but doing it within the confines of the songs that we do. And that's just not the type of music that we particularly make. Brian and I , we talk about this in several interviews and amongst each other as well. We love doing what we do, we love what the band is dong, we know that we're appreciated by the fans, but we don't have to be a focal point, we don't have to be in the spotlight.
I hope to see you in Greece very soon. We really hope you'll come.
I really hope so.
Just continue being one of the best bands in the world right now...
Haha, thank you...