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Monday, 24 December 2007
Interview with Brian Marshall of Alter Bridge PDF Print E-mail
On Tuesday, October 25th, Nags got the chance to sit down and talk to Brian Marshall, the bass player for the band Alter Bridge.  Brian took the time to answer questions about Alter Bridge's next CD and more.

Brian MarshallNags:  You guys are releasing a song called Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad in Total Guitar's December Issue.  Where exactly did you get that name from?
Brian:  "Umm... Actually it was going to be called Fridgean Taco Salad, because it's one of the guitar theorist terms, but we decided against it.  And it was just kind of a humorous stab at this theoretical guitar playing and it was just something we came up with off the top of our heads.  Kind of like Metalingus.  It's just a handle basically."

Nags:  Will this song be like what we'll hear on the next cd then?
Brian:  "No.  I doubt that.  Probably nothing like what you'll hear on the next cd.  But, it was just kind of something to show off Mark's guitar licks basically.  Kind of an upbeat, uptempo thing and it went into a little more sort of a fleminco style bridge part.  So that's where the taco salad came in."

Nags:  How many songs have you written for the next CD so far?
Brian:  "We've, uh, haven't really gotten into that too much yet.  We should start doing that after this tour.  We've got a lot of ideas and things like that, but nothing that's solid."

Nags:  Well that leads into my next question.  The first album featured songs that seemed from what we heard, to be mostly written by Mark.  Will this next album feature a more collabrative writing style among the band?
Brian:  "I would say that him (Mark) and Myles get together alot, and they peice a lot of guitar parts and melodies and that sort of thing.  And then eventually it makes it way into the rehearsal space and they throw it to me and flip.  And we throw it against the wall and try to work on arrangements and what not.  So it's not a collabrative effort amongst all of us, but the core of the songs come from one well and that's Mark and Myles."

Nags:  So you guys have spent the past few weeks on tour with 3 Doors Down and Shinedown. How's that tour been going for you guys so far?
Brian:  "It's been great.  We've opened the show right before Shinedown and it's a little bit frustrating I think for us because we really don't get a soundcheck or anything.  And it's something that we're not really used to.  You know with Creed, we always headlined all of our own shows and then with Alter Bridge, until this tour, we had headlined all of our shows.  But it's good to play with good friends like 3 Doors Down and Shinedown.  We've really got the chance to know them as friends and as musicians and peers.  It's a nice, good refreshing environment for us."

Brian MarshallNags:  I've actually heard a rumor that your first instrument that you ever played was the drums.  Is this true?
Brian:  "Yeah, actually my father is a drummer.  So there was always a drum kit around the house.  So, I always played.  I started to do some shows with his drum set and scratched it up a couple of times and he decided that it was time to buy me a bass."

Nags:  That would do it.  Have you ever wanted to try to take over a song on the drums for Flip at all?  Maybe Metalingus?
Brian:  "No, not at all.  I'm way out of practice on the drums."

Nags:  You guys seem to be incredibly gracious to your fans.  And first of all, as a fan I would like to thank you for that.  You don't see that too often anymore.  What keeps you guys interacting with the fans so much?
Brian:  "Well, just the fact that they have been with us since the start.  It's definately a two way street, they've given to us throughout the years and if it weren't for our fans then we wouldn't be here.  So we respect them and thank everyone for that."

Nags:  When you left Creed, you formed a band called Headheavy.  Are those guys still around and do you still keep in touch with them?
Brian:  "Well, I did in about the first six months away on the road.  But then it got that we tried to find a new bass player.  And then Thatcher, our drummer, he got uninterested and frustrated so it kind of fell apart.  I built a studio in my house and we recorded the album and things were looking on the up and up.  But I had some unfinished business here with my fellow former bandmates.  So I just thought that I had to go do what I had to do.  Ya know?  I shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears behind the Headheavy stuff and it's something that will always have meaning to me as well."

Nags:  We are glad to see you back here.  It's a great thing.  OK.  Being that we are in the House of Blues tonight.  I have half of a line here from the Blues Brothers, and I was going to see if you would be able to complete the line.  "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas..."
Brian:  "Half a pack of cigarettes.  It's dark.  And we're wearing sunglasses.  HIT IT."

Nags:  Alright, that's what I like to hear.  So, what's your favorite area of the US to play in?
Brian:  "It would definately be either the midwest or the northeast."

Nags:  What about in Europe?
Brian:  "Europe would be Germany."

Nags:  Halloween is next week, are you planning on dressing up at all?  I know you guys have a show that night.
Brian:  "I have not throught about it.  But, I was thinking about going as one of the Baseball Furies."

Nags:  What's your favorite style of music?
Brian:  "It depends on my mood, I like a little of everything."

Brian MarshallNags:  Do you have any preshow rituals at all?
Brian:  "I pace...  *laughs*  I breath. I usually concentrate on my breathing and my walking."

Nags:  Do you stretch out your wrists at all being a bassist?
Brian:  "Oh definately, I warm up for at least an hour and a half before a show."

Nags:  Have you ever had a rockstar moment?  For example gluing the furnature of a hotel room to the ceiling.
Brian:  "Ah.  No. *laughs*  Not as of yet."

Nags:  If you were able to peice together an all-star band to play in.  Who would you fill it out with?
Brian:  "Live or Dead?"

Nags:  Either
Brian:  "John Paul Jones.  Ah, he's a...  I'd be the bass player I guess.  John Bonham, and a....  Eddie Van Halen.  Singer would be Freddie Mercury."

Nags:  What's it like sharing such a small living quarters such as a bus with so many people?
Brian:  "It's not so bad, once you have the right personalities out with you.  It's very important when picking the people that work for you and everything.  It's just real important to have a kosher environment that there's no egos or attitudes or anything like that.  And if there is, you must have communication, so that's the important part."

Nags:  Do you find that you need any comforts of home out on tour?  For example a playstation, or movies or anything?
Brian:  "Umm..  no.  If I could have any comfort from home with me, it'd be my dog.  But I can't bring him."

Nags:  Being in a touring band such as you guys are, do you guys get a lot of cd's given to you?  And what do you do with those cd's?
Brian:  "Yes, we do.  We usually have them on the bus. They just kind of make the rounds and where ever they end up when we get off, that's where they end up."

Nags:  Do you usually take time to listen to all of them?
Brian:  "Sometimes, we do.  Yeah, yeah, we try to listen to everything."

Nags:  If the statement, "You are what you eat" is true, you would be a ...?
Brian:  [19 Second Pause]  "I would be a ...  FRUIT LOOP"

Nags:  And finally, it's time to go on the Music Equals Life hotseat...
Brian:  "OK."

Brian MarshallNags:  Is it Illinois or Illinoissss (pronouncing the 'S')?
Brian:  "Illinois"

Nags:  In the spirt of being at the House of Blues again - Jake or Elwood Blues?
Brian:  "Elwood"

Nags:  Do you prefer playing bass, drums or guitar?
Brian:  "Bass"

Nags:  Would you rather play in clubs or arenas?
Brian:  "That's a double edged sword.  I like playing in clubs cause I like to meet and mingle with our fans.  With arenas, that's a bit more difficult because there's more security and that sort of thing.  So I don't get to see as many faces.  The intimacy in the clubs are great, but the facilities in the area are great.  You don't get a nice bathroom and a good shower in clubs."

Nags:  What's your favorite song off the album?
Brian:  "One Day Remains"

Nags:  Soundgarden, Audioslave or Rage Against the Machine?
Brian:  "Soundgarden."

Nags:  Old Metallica or new?
Brian:  "Old."

Nags:  Alright, well, thank you Brian very much for your time and it was nice to meet you."
Brian:  "PEACE OUT."

I would like to thank Brian again for his time.  I would also like to thank Michael T. and the rest of the guys in Alter Bridge for all of the time and courtesy that was shown to me.  You can catch Alter Bridge's "Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad" on an CD that will come with the December Issue of Total Guitar Magazine.   It should be available November 9th.  It's a British Magazine, but can be found at some bookstores and news stands in the US.  

Alter Bridge is on tour with 3 Doors Down and Shinedown until November 3rd.  They will then headline an eleven day tour in Europe with a promising young British band called Logan opening for all of the dates.

You can purchase Alter Bridge's CD - One Day Remains by clicking below.

 **All photos of Brian are being used courtesy of Alter Bridge Band.Net Photos include promotional pictures from WindUp Records and various fans of Alter Bridge.**