Intervju med Myles Kennedy i
Jag fick nyligen hastigt och lustigt möjlighet att snacka med Myles en sen kväll i slutet av april.
När man får 15 minuter att snacka infinner sig en viss stress. Att skivbolaget sedan ringer upp en timme tidigare än bestämt gör inte saken bättre. Nu gick det ganska bra ändå och via Slashs managemnet fick jag en fråga att ställa till Myles. Något han skrattade gott åt.
Myles Kennedy: Hey Niclas.
Hey Myles, how are you?
MK: I´m good man. How about you?
I´m good too. Where are you calling from?
MK: I´m in Spokane, Washington.
Ok, I think I actually went through there once when I travelled by train from Minneapolis to Seattle.
MK: Yeah you would´ve. Cool!
Tell me about the new Slash album? How many songs were actually written since there´s a bunch of different bonus tracks?
MK: Yeah, I´ trying to remember… I think the total written might hover around 18 or something in that area and then I think we ended up recording 15 of them. I believe so.
How did you work? Was it you and Slash doing the most of it or was it a group effort?
MK: As far as the writing goes, Slash and I wrote the songs and brought the songs to Todd and Brent and started arranging them as a band and they were very helpful in that respect, as was Eric Valentine the producer. There were different stages that helped us achieve our goal.
What did Valentine bring to the whole production of the album? Did he bring ideas for songs as well?
MK: Eric´s great and a really great filtering process, which is what you want with a producer. Somebody whose instincts you trust, so he would certainly help with the arrangements and parts and he was very involved. I have a lot of respect for Eric and he´s probably one of the best producers in the business. He´s so passionate and he works so hard. Not only was he producing it, but he was engineering and he mixed it and mastered it. He did everything in that respect so it was pretty incredible.
Cool. I´ve got a question for from two fans of yours. They´re called Morgan and Junior and they wonder if it´s true that your favorite breed of dog is a pug?
MK: (laughs) You know what? It´s definitely one of my favorites. I love pugs and I know exactly who you got that question from. (laughs)
So far I´ve just heard the samples that are out and one full song, but I gotta say that your voice sounds amazing!
MK: Oh, thanks bro.
It´s really powerful and comes through in the music. Do you have any favorite tracks off the album?
MK: Yeah! I´m really happy with how the whole record turned out and there are a few tracks I kinda find myself listening to. There´s a song called “Not for me” which from a thematic and lyrical standpoint definitely took some soul searching and some digging. I´m very happy with how that turned out. There´s a song called “Standing in the sun” which I think has a really good feel to it. It might be my favorite solo that Slash played on the record. I think it´s a really incredible solo. Those are two songs that constantly come to mind for me.
How are you gonna go about picking song for the forthcoming tour?
MK: Good question. Slash likes to mix up the set pretty regularly, so hopefully we´ll get to touch on most of the songs on the record on one point or the other. I think it´s just a matter of what will fit the set on any given night. Which other tracks are in the mix.
Your solo album, is that finally coming out this year or what´s the plan?
MK: Nah, with this record coming out, we´re gonna be touring extensively so there is just no window of time. That is probably the hardest part, trying to get that finished up and out there and just finding a period where I can promote it somewhat. Not just throw it to the wind and it´ll disappear.
Is it all done?
MK: You know what, it´s written and the music is all recorded and we just have to take about two weeks and record the vocals. The lyrics are done and all that. My friend Brian Sperber, who did the record with me, I just have to go to his studio in New York and knock out the tracks and finish them up and mix them.
What other guys are on the record?
MK: It´s actually a lot of friends, local friends of mine from here in the north west for the time being and Slash was kind enough to offer his guitar prowess on a track which turned out really cool and then I have some other friends to bring in as well, so we shall see.
What kind of style of music is it? Leaning towards Alter Bridge or Slash´s stuff?
MK: You know, it´s actually… people who have heard it say it´s closer to my previous band back in the late 90´s, The Mayfield Four. It kinda has that vibe to it. It´s something that I´m really excited to get out one of these days. It´s definitely different from both Slash and the Conspirators and Alter Bridge stuff.
What was the Hall of fame thing like? That must´ve been really cool?
MK: Oh yeah! A huge honor that those guys asked me to sing the songs. I was flattered and blown away actually.
I heard today that you´re coming back to Sweden this fall for more tour dates.
MK: Yeah, that´s the plan. We´re gonna be over there and I´m really looking forward to it.
What about Alter Bridge then? Are you gonna go back and do more stuff next year or…?
MK: Yeah, the plan is to make another record next year so Mark and I are chipping away and stockpiling ideas and we´ll get that wrapped up next year.
Since you´ve got that and Slash and your solo album, when you write songs, do you always set out thinking “Well, this is for Alter Bridge!” ? Do you write for a specific album or do you just write regularly during the year?
MK: For me it´s kinda a regular thing and it´s like I´m always sitting around with guitars and having something come up and then you record it real quickly and I can usually tell where it would fit best. Like it would be something leaning more towards a solo record at one point or for Alter Bridge. You kinda learn that everything will find its place eventually just through your own instincts.
You did some jazz stuff and released an album way back, didn´t you?
MK: Way back yeah. More of a fusion thing, yeah.
What was it that turned you on to jazz? Was that from your parents?
MK: It actually came from musicians in the area where I lived here in Spokane back in the day. I had the opportunity to hang out with really talented players here and a lot of those guys were into jazz and fusion, so I really got into it and studied it quite a bit. I spent two years in school just learning that art form the best that I could and then I went out and started playing it. Actually with some of my teachers. That record that you´re referring to was with them, basically my teachers in the school I went to. I was really kinda in over my head because they had been playing it for so long and they had absorbed that style and had it down so I was kinda learning it by when. It was a very gratifying period musically because it was so improve based and improvisation, when it works out, can be really special. When it doesn´t turn out, maybe not so special. (laughs) But there were definitely some great moments there.
Could you see yourself doing something like that again?
MK: I would love to! I don´t know if I have the technical ability at this point to do what I did back then. All I did back then was play the guitar. Between teaching and playing in my band, I was playing 8-12 hours a day. Now my focus has shifted more towards singing and song writing, but I would love to get to do that one day again. It´s very rewarding.
I had a period for a couple of years in the early 90´s where I was totally absorbed with fusion and I listened to a lot of Lee Ritenour and Spyro Gyra and loved it.
MK: Yeah I was the same way. Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and all that stuff. I´m with you. (laughs)
Cool! Finally, do you remember the first time you met Slash? Since you knew who he was, this major rock star, were you nervous?
MK: I don´t know if I was nervous, but I was certainly not wanting to come across like a total dork. (laughs) Because of his position he´s so calm and he makes you feel comfortable so any sort of insecurities about that fell by the wayside pretty quickly. He´s a genuinely nice guy and he made me feel very comfortable right from the get go.
Nice. He´s actually in Stockholm today and the question about pugs actually came from his management.
MK: That´s so funny! (laughs)
Thank you so much Myles! A pleasure talking to you and I´m looking forward to catching you live here in Sweden!
MK: Sounds good man. Looking forward to it. You take care!