Myles Kennedy Interview via Inked Magazine

Via: inkedaustralia.com

He’s played guitar with many musical idols and role models, but when Myles Kennedy finds his own voice it comes out hard and fast. Meet one of the nicest guys in rock ‘n’ roll.

INKED: So first impressions are often what will get you hooked on a band, but my first impression was neither of you as a singer or guitarist. I learnt who you are when one of my friends wanted to jump the Soundwave barrier to meet you when you performed with Slash…
MYLES: Hopefully she didn’t want to hurt me.

[Laughing] No, apparently you’re a bit of a sex symbol. 
Oh wow! I did not know that. Now I’m blushing.

You weren’t aware? 
Did my mum call you and ask you to say that?

No, but I can check with her later. [Laughing] My second introduction was a private acoustic set with Slash. After hearing you sing ‘Civil War’ I remember googling you due to your amazing voice, but it must be strange to be known for your voice when you’ve primarily been a guitarist for much of you life. Did singing come naturally? 
It came naturally to a point, but there was some stuff I definitely had to work on and develop. It is very strange how life has turned out because I did start out as a guitar player. I’m quite shy by nature, so early on I had no intentions of standing in front of a microphone. I just wanted to lay back and play my guitar, but I lived in a smaller town and when I started writing songs I had a hard time finding a singer. So I basically had to sing my own songs and I spent a lot of time trying to develop and strengthen my voice. And kinda learn how to use it. It’s an ongoing thing; I mean I still feel like I have a lot to learn and hopefully I’ll be able to develop some more…

One of the weird terms I came across with Alter Bridge is that you’re known as an “excessive” touring band, is it excessive to you? 
I don’t think Alter Bridge is as excessive as certain bands out there, but we certainly try to take it out on the road  as much as possible because with the kind of music that we play you can’t rely on the radio or TV [for airplay], it’s not the genre. It requires you to get out there into the trenches and take it to the people and so that’s probably where that comes from.

Is touring something that you always envisaged doing? 
When I was younger I certainly daydreamed of getting to be out on the road. I definitely didn’t have any idea though that it would be such a common occurrence [Laughs]. But it is definitely part of the business and there are some people that don’t enjoy it. I mean there are certain parts that are a little more challenging than others, but when you’re standing on stage in front of people who like what you do and there is that interaction with the crowd, there aren’t many things that can get me off as much as that, it’s a natural high. You do kind of get addicted to that!

I’ve never understood musicians who say they hate touring; surely it’s a guaranteed part of the job?
RIGHT! I don’t understand! If you’re coming in to this business and if you don’t like to travel that you might consider just NOT doing this. You might want to be a teacher of music, but if you want make records then it just goes along with it that you’re gonna have to tour to support it.

You travelled with a lot of bands in a lot of crazy places, I’m sure there are some stories that go with those experiences… 
Definitely from certain parts of the world. Playing down in Jakarta or the Philippines you learn so much about different cultures. We were in South Africa and I learnt a lot of things I just didn’t know and don’t hear coming from America, so it’s definitely an eye opening experience almost everywhere you go. Especially if you’ve not been there before… The one thing you do see is different customs, like some places will tell you keep your shirt on [Laughing]. Yeah, it’s true. And in others they say no cursing, you learn to respect those customs. Rock ‘n’ roll is about rebellion, but it’s not the nicest thing to end up in jail for doing so… so no breaking the law!

So what was your very first concert; we’re hoping it’s kind of embarrassing… 
My very first rock ‘n’ roll concert would have been Sammy Hagar in 1985. I’d finally crossed the threshold and my parents were like “once you get to a certain age we’re going to let you go to concerts”, so right after I hit this age they were like “ok, next concert that comes to town you can go”, so Sammy was the next one and he was great! He was an incredible front man and got us all riled up. It was a lot of fun.

Is your approach to making an album always the same for Alter Bridge? 
I think the general… what’s the word I want, I guess formula of the process has evolved over time. We’re getting more and more open to trying new things and also keeping ourselves, and the fire, burning. Instead of doing the same chord progression over and over and breakdown the verse here, we’re instead trying to veer into different territories musical and try to keep it interesting. We started doing that a little while ago and found our fans really gravitated towards that, and with this record we certainly did a lot more of that tried to break the rules and take people on a sonic journey.

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