Interview With Myles kennedy via Pop Break

Interview: Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge

In an exclusive interview with Pop-Break, Alter Bridge Vocalist Myles Kennedy sat down for an in-depth discussion regarding Alter Bridge’s heavier sound, balancing the band with other obligations, and their continual musical progress on Fortress.

Pop Break: Your new album is out now; this is your fourth studio release and there is no question, this is your heaviest album. What was the thought process or inspiration behind going in such a heavy direction?
Myles Kennedy: I think it’s just kind of where we were at creatively. I know speaking personally, last year when I was out touring with Slash, I was stockpiling ideas and there was more of that mindset for me. I was listening to heavier bands and with Mark [Tremonti], he’s always been a fan of heavy music. When we reconvened in January and started putting our ideas together, I think we were on the same page more so than we ever been on our previous records. It really allowed us to take the direction it did.

Pop-Break: You have worked with Mark and the band for almost ten years. Through all your albums, how has your relationship grown with Mark in terms of songwriting and collaborating?
MK: I think what happens after this much time, there is a certain trust that is developed and you learn to trust each others instincts. When you first start working with a new songwriting partner, you’re not necessarily sure if you have that trust and what the outcome is going to be. Once you develop it, it really frees you up and it ultimately helps the songs. The songs are what live more than anything. When you have that trust and understanding that you’re all it in for the same reasoning, which is to create the best song possible; that’s when you know it’s going to turn into a special record.

PB: Elvis Baskette produced your past three albums. In terms of your relationship, you don’t really see too many bands stick with one producer album after album anymore. How does he challenge you creatively, vocally, and musically?
MK: Elvis is great. He’s the unofficial fifth member of Alter Bridge. Going back to that trust thing, we have complete trust with what he brings to the table in terms of sonic and songwriting ideas. He does push us and we know with him, he won’t sit there and go, ‘Oh, that sounds great!’ and just candy coat everything to avoid conflict. If he feels like something is a bullshit part, he’s going to bring it up and try to make it better by motivating us to chase it down. That’s why he’s so valuable to us.

PB: With your band, everyone has other projects; whether it’s your collaboration with Slash or Mark working on his solo material. Your band does not have all the time in the world to make music. Regardless, you still find a way to pull all your time and effort into creating a catalog of songs. Fortress especially, from top to bottom, every song is so well crafted but meanwhile, your band is on a limited time schedule. How do you manage to balance that?
MK: I think some of it is just because we been doing it for so long. I feel like that helps. With songwriting, when you’re doing it a lot, it’s like you’re using a muscle, so that muscle kind of stays at a certain level and keeps the atrophy from setting in. At the same time, the fear is that you will write so many songs and you will be so creative that the well will dry up. That is always a possibility so you need to be very conscious and very careful not to burn yourself out. I’m really glad and I appreciate that you find the songs were well crafted. That is the highest compliment someone could say, so I really appreciate it.

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