Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE, SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS) was interviewed by Full Metal Jackie on the May 13 edition of her “Whiplash” program on Los Angeles’s 95.5 KLOS. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the “vulnerability” he displays on his debut solo album, “Year Of The Tiger”:
Myles: “I wanted to make a record like this for a long time. I wanted to make a record that was a little more stripped-down and really just trust my instincts as a songwriter without the safety net of a band to bounce ideas off of and have that filter system in place, and see what would happen. It was a challenging undertaking to say the least, but after it was all said and done, I felt like I grew a lot as a songwriter. I think there was such a profound level of catharsis to the whole thing. It was like the best therapy session I could have asked for. I feel like on all fronts, it ended up being a beneficial thing for me.”
On whether he’ll ever revisit the solo material he originally wrote and later decided to scrap:
Myles: “I was just talking with my brother a few weeks ago about this. He’s heard the entire [scrapped] solo record, and he’s, like, ‘Man, I really hope that some of those songs eventually see the light of day. It would just be such a shame.’ With that said, I took that into consideration, and I think that whether I re-record some of those songs and use them on another solo record… my hunch is that’s probably the only way I could use those, because they’re so different from what I would bring to ALTER BRIDGE or something that SLASH & THE CONSPIRATORS would use. As you can hear by the sound of ‘Year Of The Tiger’, I have such a love of acoustic-based music, and that was the original intention of the first solo record as well, but I just for a number of reasons decided that wasn’t the record to put out first. I’m sure a few of those songs will find a place in the future, hopefully. We’ll see how it plays out.”
On how he benefited from making a solo album:
Myles: “I think it’s just part of the evolution. I try to look at everything I’m a part of as a chance to grow and evolve as a writer and a performer, understand my voice better, understand myself as a songwriter. To me, it’s just an ongoing process. I never feel like I’ve completely arrived, and hopefully, I never will. I feel like if I ever wake up one day and feel comfortable where I’m at and don’t have something toward, I think that would be a sad day, because I fear that I might get complacent, or I might stop driving as hard to evolve. I’m always wanting to grow, and I took this opportunity to continue to do that.”
On how his bandmates received “Year Of The Tiger”:
Myles: “They were just incredibly supportive. I’m very lucky that I play in entities with people that I respect and I love, and who understand that it was something that I needed to do. I’ll never forget — I was on the bus touring late last year. We were in Europe finishing up an ALTER BRIDGE run, and I was putting the sequence together for the record. I remember Mark [Tremonti] came in, and he was, like, ‘Hey, is that your new material?’ I was kind of sheepish. I’m generally not the guy who’s, when I finish something, super-excited to run it up the flag pole. I’m kind of guarded initially, and a little bit shy with my songs. He was just so excited and wanted to hear it, and I sat with him as he went through the entire record. He was so supportive, and it really meant a lot to me. Not just with Mark, but with Slash and Todd [Kerns] and Brent [Fitz] and all those guys. It means a lot, especially when you have respect for the people you play with that they’re giving your stuff a listen and giving you a vote of confidence.”
On having to work around GUNS N’ ROSES‘ schedule when recording a new album with Slash:
Myles: “There had always been talk that there would be something in the future, and I think it was just a matter of waiting for that window to open. Because of the magnitude of that entity, which has been extremely successful, I think that finding time when we would have the opportunity to record again and tour again was, for lack of a better word, challenging. When it finally looked like things were going to open up and there’d be a window of opportunity to record, it was good news, certainly, because I felt like there was unfinished business. There were songs that we started working on together years ago, back toward the end of ‘World On Fire’, so knowing that we’d be able to document that was a good thing.”
“Year Of The Tiger” was released on March 9 via Napalm Records.
The new SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS album is expected to be released later this year. A full North American tour will follow in the fall.