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Et Tu, Brute?: An Exclusive Interview With MYLES KENNEDY

By Halo, Heavenly Contributor
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 @ 8:47 AM

"You have to have some passion and love for what you're doing, otherwise why are you doing it?"

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When the opportunity arises to interview Myles Kennedy, one does not say no! Being a fan of his from seeing 'Baby Myles' as I referred to him on the big screen in the movie Rock Star (2001), to watching him dominate the stage with the band ALTER BRIDGE and sharing the stage with Slash, he's certainly become easily and undeniably one of the biggest names in Rock music today. For me personally getting to chat with Myles is the holy grail of interviews. He is not only a phenomenal vocalist but a true musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He's an absolute music man.

KNAC.COM: Well I'm not gonna call you Rockstar but you know I'd be remiss if I didn’t. (Myles laughed) Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat for a while. Feeling abundantly blessed. Truly it's an honor.

KENNEDY: You're so welcome, my pleasure.

KNAC.COM: I could go on and on about all your successes with ALTER BRIDGE, the fame that came with being in Rock Star and your time with Slash. I won't repeat what many ask. I want to dive right into your solo projects. This is about your personal journey and the music you have created.

KENNEDY: I appreciate that. So many times, these interviews don’t go in the direction I'd hope for. I do appreciate every bit of notice or attention any of my work gets.

KNAC.COM: Your first solo album in 2018, Year of The Tiger was very well received. I understood it to be a musical journey, a therapeutic project of sorts. This is where I think you found your own unique sounds and styles or at least your fans finally heard it for the first time.

KENNEDY: Yes, I was proud of my first album. It makes me feel good to know that fans understood what the album was about. It was very therapeutic. It was more autobiographical.

KNAC.COM: How long was it until you decided you wanted to do another solo album? Were there already ideas of what you wanted to do differently? The first album and tour were successful, did this worry you and did you feel pressured to achieve the same or more acclaim?

KENNEDY: Well I think as an artist, we all feel a bit pressured but for me, I always say I'm a work in progress. If I'm not trying to improve or evolve in different ways and I think I've done all I can do, then it's time to stop. I feel like music is something you can always evolve with. I'm always writing and thinking about new music.

KNAC.COM: So The Ides Of March, the concept or premise is obviously about the state of the world and how the pandemic changed things. Was this album difficult to write?

KENNEDY: It was a work in progress for 6 months. Actually, the initial progression and melody for The Ides of March came to me in a dream. The title track took me more than several months to complete.

KNAC.COM: A dream? That’s amazing. I had read in an article that The Ides of March was written fast. I had to question that because I didn't quite believe that. What was the song on this album that took the least amount of time from start to finish?

KENNEDY: {laughing} No, The Ides of March was definitely not a quick write. Thanks for questioning that. Actually, "Moonshot" was the one we finished quick. It took 2 hours. Sometimes it just flows and comes together. Some lyrics come fast but the instrumental follow up is not so quick. "Moonshot" was one of those that happened. “If there is a miracle to be found, it’s a matter of time”, those lyrics came quick. I remember hearing a story about the song "I Alone" by the 90s band LIVE. Such an amazing song off the album Throwing Copper, it was the reason THE MAYFIELD FOUR used Jerry Harrison to produce our first record. Jerry told me that song was written very quickly, and it turned out to be the most important song on that album and sold millions of records. I firmly believe some of the best ones are ones that you are not overthinking. Overthinking is not good for artist for many reasons.

KNAC.COM: So Covid and the pandemic as harshly as it has affected the music business along with many other professions has been at times devastating, I tend to think for musicians or some at least it allowed them to retreat and revisit writing, slowing down and focusing on things they had possibly been too busy to focus on. What are your thoughts on this? I'm curious.

KENNEDY: I agree we were forced to slow down. I'm very proud of what we created. I miss touring, I miss our fans. That’s true though, when we're always touring we don’t have time to do some things so being forced to stay home allowed us time for our personal projects. Powering down so to speak and recharging has been welcomed. Waking up in my own bed for multiple days has gotten me spoiled.

KNAC.COM: This album showcased your loves for the bluesy, soulful, southern influences. When I listened to "In Stride", all could think of was the band GOV'T MULE and the incredible Warren Hayes. I had to say that. I'm a huge GOV'T MULE fan. I kept hearing their song "Soulshine" while listening to "In Stride" along with a couple other songs.

KENNEDY: OH WOW, that is a huge compliment!! I refer to Warren as the JEDI MASTER. I have tremendous respect and admiration for him and their music. I have actually played with him. I feel so honored that you just said that. That means a lot, it truly does.

KNAC.COM: You're welcome. I worry sometimes when I say one artist reminds me of another artist. Whew... that went well.

KENNEDY: {laughs} You did good and again, thank you. That’s one of the most flattering things that you can say.

KNAC.COM: For basically close to a decade after new releases from 2 bands and your solo project there is a support tour schedule. What is it like to not have a tour schedule? You're such a busy artist.

KENNEDY: Well we have a few dates and I’m optimistic. It will happen, just not sure what degree we will be playing, if it's just one guy and his guitar or a band. I really believe by 2022 more shows and tours will get back up and going.

KNAC.COM: Not to deflect from your solo album, but are there any new releases we can look forward to from ALTER BRIDGE and/or SLASH AND THE CONSPIRATORS?

KENNEDY: As far as a SLASH AND THE CONSPIRATORS' CD, we have many songs written and complete. It's going to be a really cool album. I think the fans will enjoy it. ALTER BRIDGE on the other hand, we have a lot of work to do. We need to write an entire album. {LOL} Mark and I need to get busy. We both have ideas for the next album, we just need to start knocking some out.

KNAC.COM: I think your fans are patiently waiting for all your projects. They are a very loyal fan base. They seem to follow you. It doesn’t matter where or what you're playing, like you said, even if it's just you and a guitar, they’ll be there. The Ides of March is beautifully written. Your passion for the guitar is evident. I believe this album is a project that reflects your passion for what we are all going through. When you are passionate, it is obvious with the completed album.

KENNEDY: YES! You have to have some passion and love for what you're doing, otherwise why are you doing it?

KNAC.COM: Thank you so much for this interview. It has been a highlight for me thus far in the music business. This truly has made my year. You are such an amazing musician. I genuinely am a fan and thank you for what you given us. I hope to see you at a show soon.

KENNEDY: I'm so humbled to hear that. Come find me at show soon. Would love have you, give you a hug.

KNAC.COM: Count on it.

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