"[Master of Puppets] is the record that transformed me from somebody who liked music to somebody who's obsessed with it."

It was such a privilege having Mark Tremonti join us on the latest edition of The Ultimate Metallica Show. Among many other things, we dove deep into some of his favorite Metallica memories, all of which stem from that foundational experience hearing Master of Puppets when he was in middle school.

"I had two older brothers that lived upstairs from me," Tremonti told us. "They fought and argued all the time and they played different music. I had my one brother, Mike, on one side who played Van Halen and KISS and Ted Nugent—more the stuff that everybody heard on the radio. Then my other brother, Dan, he listened to extreme metal, he listened to Venom and Slayer and Metallica ... One night I couldn’t fall asleep and I was like, ‘Hey man, what’s that song about a sanitarium I keep on hearing?’ I borrowed that tape from him—I still have that same tape in my drawer here. It just blew me away. All night long I was up listening to that thing."

It's been quite a journey for that young kid, going from listening to the Master tape to growing up into an internationally-respected rock star; Tremonti clearly doesn't take anything for granted and is still in awe of some of the things that have happened to him along the way, including some epic experiences seeing Metallica perform live.

"Metallica has their fan group on the stage and there must have been 100 fans onstage watching," Tremonti recalled on the show, talking about one of his favorite memories of catching Metallica live in concert. "James [Hetfield] came up—they were playing "For Whom the Bell Tolls"—and he's in full rocker mode. He looked at me and I looked at him and he gave me a fist bump. I was like, no way, that was one of the best moments of my career right there."

At that same show, Tremonti found himself chatting with Kirk Hammett while the rest of Metallica were jamming onstage.

"[He] was under the stage, under the drapes," Tremonti explained. "I knew he had a solo coming up and he was talking to me. We were talking about guitar rigs ... we're talking and all of a sudden I knew he had a solo coming up and he was like, 'Oh shit,' and he put his in-ear [monitors] in and ran out onstage. How cool is that?"

It's pretty freakin' cool, Mark.

You can listen to our full conversation and see the complete playlist in the recap below. And as always, you can stream The Ultimate Metallica Show 24/7 right here.

The Ultimate Metallica Show — Hour 1

"The Master of Puppets record is what I heard above me when I was a kid. I think I was in sixth or seventh grade at the time…it was game over. Completely. This is my new path."

"My favorite song from my favorite record in my entire life is "Orion.""

The Ultimate Metallica Show — Hour 2

"Mercyful Fate was another one of my favorite bands growing up. Some of the greatest guitar riffs and great tones. I can see how Metallica would be a fan of those players."

"I do a lot of fingerstyle guitar playing and it all came from this song, "The Call of Ktulu.""

Stay up-to-date with Alter Bridge's tour schedule and everything happening in their world right here.

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