Mark Tremonti first rose to prominence as the guitar player in Creed, but before the multiplatinum success (and later, a No. 1 album with Alter Bridge), he was a thrash loving teen studying the licks and riffs of Slayer, Death Angel, Mercyful Fate, and most of all, Metallica, for which he has selected his dream set list.

On a brand new episode of Speak N’ Destroy, a podcast about Metallica, the Alter Bridge and Tremonti cofounder talks about swiping his older brother’s Metallica tape, learning how to play songs like "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" and "The Call of Ktulu," meeting James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo over the years, and how Metallica shaped his playing.

The movie-enhanced shredding of Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future and Ralph Macchio in Crossroads (released the same year as Master of Puppets) inspired Tremonti’s interest in guitar. He scored an imitation Les Paul from a buddy at school for a mere ten bucks. He discovered bands like Aerosmith via one older brother and bands like Venom from another. After he worked up the courage to ask to borrow that Master of Puppets cassette, he was immediately transfixed.

“I thought it was epic, I thought it was beautiful. The musicianship was top notch, the vocals were probably my favorite in the world,” he recalled of his first few listens to 1986’s Master of Puppets. “I had a little boombox that I got for Christmas that had a spectrum analyzer on it, so I could see the frequencies pop on the EQ. I remember sitting there with my headphones on and stare at that thing. I would stare at that thing all night, hypnotized by the songs, it just sucked me in.”

“Orion” became his favorite track. All of the instrumentals on the first four Metallica records – “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth),” “The Call of Ktulu,” “Orion,” “To Live is to Die” – were meaningful.

“A very, very important song for me, that really helped me develop my guitar style, was ‘Call of Ktulu.’ That’s probably my second favorite Metallica song.  It’s really how I developed my style.”

During the in-depth conversation, Tremonti also spoke about the time Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy nearly joined a reformed Led Zeppelin and his multiple encounters with Eddie Van Halen.

He also put together his dream Metallica set list, a marathon set of classic bangers that draws liberally from Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All, the Black Album, and the 1987 Garage Days Re-Revisited EP, with a smattering of Load, Reload, Death Magnetic and the legendary band’s most recent album, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct.

Mark Tremonti’s Dream Metallica Set List:

  • “Fight Fire with Fire”
  • “Ride the Lightning”
  • “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
  • “Trapped Under Ice”
  • “Jump in the Fire”
  • “Seek and Destroy”
  • “Am I Evil?”
  • “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)”
  • “Whiplash”
  • “Phantom Lord”
  • “Hardwired”
  • “All Nightmare Long”
  • “Helpless”
  • “The Small Hours”
  • “The Wait”
  • “Crash Course in Brain Surgery”
  • “Last Caress / Green Hell”
  • “To Live is to Die”
  • “Blackened”
  • “One”
  • “Frayed Ends of Sanity”
  • “The Unforgiven”
  • “Nothing Else Matters”
  • “Wherever I May Roam”
  • “Enter Sandman”
  • “Sad but True”
  • “Until it Sleeps”
  • “Hero of the Day”
  • “King Nothing”
  • “Mercyful Fate”
  • “The Memory Remains”
  • “Fuel”
  • “Frantic”
  • “Orion”
  • “Leper Messiah”
  • “The Thing That Should Not Be”
  • “Disposable Heroes”
  • “Battery”
  • “Damage Inc.”

The Speak N’ Destroy podcast features diverse conversations, all anchored around Metallica, with guests including M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Animal (Anti-Nowhere League), Robb Flynn (Machine Head), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), and many more. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Anchor, and all other major podcasting platforms.

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