For a year, Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti secretly worked on an album of Frank Sinatra covers. With the help of Sinatra’s old musical director Mike Smith, he tracked down many of the remaining members of Frank’s touring band as he could, then recorded an album of classics like Fly Me To The Moon, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and My Way.
Below, Mark Tremonti tells the story of Tremonti Sings Sinatra.
Hi Mark. You’ve just released an album of Frank Sinatra covers. How did a man obsessed with Celtic Frost end up recording a Sinatra record?
“I grew up singing Sinatra songs, it was kind of my happy place. I love metal, but I love to feel happy and sing these songs. About three years ago I became obsessed with learning how to sing like Frank, just for fun, but I tried harder at it than I did at learning guitar!”
And it’s come about thanks to a charity really close to you, hasn’t it?
“Yeah, I found out that Sinatra helped raise over a billion dollars for charity. When we got the diagnosis that my daughter was going to be born with Down Syndrome it made all the sense to do an album of his songs to raise money and awareness alongside our partners at the NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society).”
Were you terrified of tackling these legendary songs?
“I felt pretty good, I’d been practising it more than any other thing I’ve ever done in my life! During Covid, one of the best times for me to practice was during my son’s soccer practice. He’d have three hours of training and the parents weren’t allowed to get out of the cars, so I’d sit in the car with my notes and my laptop making setlists. Plus, if you’re doing something for charity, you don’t have to be nervous!”
How has the rest of the metal world reacted to the album?
“Really well. I think Sinatra is just a universally accepted guy. Ray Luzier from Korn told me how much he loved it, Paul Stanley from Kiss tweeted how much he loved it, even Kirk Hammett from Metallica, my all-time favourite band, said a great quote about it.”
Are there any other secret crooners in the metal world? Maybe you could have your own Rat Pack?
“I’ve actually already got a guy who is going to be my Dean Martin! It’s a buddy of mine who is going to cover a Dean Martin song with me… but I can’t say who it is, I don’t wanna ruin the surprise. I’ve got a handful of people who have come to the table and shown an interest, so who knows, if we get enough people then we could do a whole tour.”
The Rat Pack used to really party. Are you going to have to adopt their hard-drinking stance for this upcoming tour?
“Dean Martin was the hard-partying guy. I read Frank Sinatra had a rule that he could only have one drink an hour and no more.”
So, you’ll only be having one drink an hour?
“Hmmm… I might have a few more than that.”
Is a Vegas residency is on the horizon, then?
“I’d love that. One of the things I’m trying to put together is this project live in Central Park. The charity do a buddy walk in New York in September and they end in Central Park. Imagine doing New York, New York in Central Park with the guys who played with Frank Sinatra. That’s my next goal.”
Any plans to tackle other non-metal singers in the future? An album of Tom Jones covers, maybe?
“Oh God! I’m not sure about that. To be honest, these songs aren’t that far out of my range to sing, so if I wanted to get even further outside of that then maybe singing Prince songs would be truly outside my comfort zone.”
You collect pinball machines. How’s the obsession coming along?
“Still as addicted as ever. I keep on collecting, but the problem with pinball is that you only have so much room in your game room. So, when a new one comes in you have to look at your room and think, ‘Which one has to go?”
How many pinball machines have you got right now?
“I’ve got about 13 to 14 pinball machines in there right now.”
Sabaton’s Joakim Brodén is another obsessive pinball player. Fancy taking him on in a pinball death match?
“Hey, I’m a fan, but I never claimed to be a great pinball player. You see those professionals and I’m way below that level. So, if he’s near that then I don’t stand a chance.”
Mark Tremonti sings Frank Sinatra is out now