Mark Tremonti performs at a solo show on Feb. 12 in Pontiac, Michigan (Getty Images)

Mark Tremonti performs at a solo show on Feb. 12 in Pontiac, Michigan (Getty Images)

Mark Tremonti performs at a solo show on Feb. 12 in Pontiac, Michigan (Getty Images)

In the meantime, Mark Tremonti is out promoting his first solo album: "I think doubling back, doing a few tours on it now, the crowds are growing"

Mark Tremonti is spending plenty of time on the road these days with his own band and promoting his first-ever solo album, "All I Was." But his mind is also on Alter Bridge, which started work on its fourth studio album last month.

The guitarist tells Billboard the quartet has "about five songs outlined" for the set so far, and he reports that "all of them are kind of real high-energy, just real fun rock/metal. We want to not be predictable; we want to make it a little surprising, and we're having fun with it."

Tremonti says Alter Bridge plans to return to the studio during late April "and record throughout the summer," with the band planning to hit the road in September.

He might also line up some Tremonti shows during that time, however, while frontman Myles Kennedy plays dates with Slash. "It's always good when you're recording a record to go take a break and come back," Tremonti says. "That way you can make sure it's still exciting and fresh to you."

Tremonti, meanwhile, is happy with the reception he's getting for "All I Was" and his solo band, which now includes Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, replacing Tremonti's Creed/Alter Bridge mate Brian Marshall, who had to drop out for personal reasons.

"I feel like it's really gotten some traction now," he says. "I think doubling back, doing a few tours on it now, the crowds are growing. People are becoming more familiar with the songs. It's exciting to see things spreading." Tremonti, he adds, "is a completely different feel. Each band, to me, feels like a new band and a new challenge. It's definitely keeping me on my toes, especially having to keep recreating new sounds for each band."

With a third single -- "Wish You Well," which Tremonti wrote as a teenager -- out from "All I Was," he's already eyeballing a second solo effort, though that will take second seat to Alter Bridge in the near future. Nevertheless, some new ideas have surfaced, and Tremonti predicts that "we're going to just keep pushing the limits of what we can do. We'll try to be as heavy and progressive as we can without losing the vocal melodies and the reasons why most people listen to music. I don't want to be just self-indulgent, but we want to have a lot of fun with it, too.

Creed, meanwhile, remains on hiatus after extensive touring during 2012.

"It's Alter Bridge's year," explains Tremonti, adding that he has yet to read Creed frontman Scott Stapp's book "Sinner's Creed: A Memoir."

"I think the solo thing will always fit in the gaps of either band that's on tour. Those bands will always take the big priority, then we just try to fit the solo stuff in wherever it can."