Myles Kennedy of Slash, Alter Bridge Interview – Back on the Road

2021-09-02

Myles Kennedy standing with an acoustic guitar.

Myles Kennedy – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Chuck Brueckmann

Myles Kennedy discusses his fall tour and the status of new Slash and Alter Bridge music in this in-depth conversation

Myles Kennedy is a man of many different musical projects and passions. His debut solo album, “Year of the Tiger,” showed off his penchant for acoustic sonics, while his just-released set, “The Ides of March,” went in a completely different direction with a very plugged-in, amped-up feel.

Now, for the first time in more than a year, Kennedy is embarking on a proper tour. He’s thrilled for the opportunity to perform songs off “The Ideas of March” live for the first time.

“I think when you’re playing new material, it’s definitely exciting, but it’s also a bit terrifying, because you’ve got all this new material that you’ve recorded and been able to fine tune, and when you go out and play the songs live, it’s that maiden voyage,” Kennedy tells Audio Ink Radio. “You want it to go smoothly, especially with the advent of phones and people recording shows, and you’re like, well, there may be a number of people in this room, and there’s a chance it will end up on YouTube. So, it’s a bit of a rush and it really helps you stay on your toes.”

Aside from his solo work, Kennedy also fronts Alter Bridge and sings leads in Slash’s band. The vocalist joined Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio to discuss his upcoming tour and what’s new with Slash and Alter Bridge. Read the Myles Kennedy interview below, listen via the YouTube player and hear it via the Audio Ink Radio show on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here.

Anne Erickson: Congratulations on your upcoming tour. You reach The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan, on Sept. 20. That’s a popular venue and artists often mention how much they enjoy playing it. What draws you to that venue and playing Michigan?

Myles Kennedy: It’s one of those rock and roll meccas. It’s steeped in years and years of history in terms of rock ‘n’ roll. So, it’s great returning there. It’s one of those venues that’s kind of like CBGB was to me, where CBGB was a very small venue in Manhattan, and I had the opportunity to play that a few times before it was torn down. It just had a certain vibe. It’s kind of the ghost of shows prior. There were so many important shows along the way. They just continue to resonate in the walls, and as an artist, it does something to you. Getting back to the music scene stuff, for me, it’s been years. I can’t even remember the last time I was there. So, I’m definitely excited. Also, The Machine Shop has the best swag!

It’s so great that you’re back on the road, but so many artists have been forced to cancel or postpone dates due to someone in their camp getting COVID-19. Are you nervous about it at all?

It’s definitely interesting seeing how that’s all playing out. I’m staying optimistic. At the end of the day, when it’s man versus virus, virus is going to have its way with you if it wants. (Laughs) So, we’re just going into this trying to follow every protocol we can and be careful. Fingers crossed, we’ll come out unscathed. But, if the nasty virus makes its presence, then we’ll have to figure it out from there.

You also sing leads in Slash’s band. What’s the status of your new album with Slash? I see it’s coming out on Gibson Records.

Yeah. So, we made a record earlier this year, and it’s in the can. I think the goal is just when the time’s appropriate, we’re going to put it out, hopefully next year- hopefully early next year. And, it’s number- I’m trying to remember which number record it is. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for, gosh, I think the first songs I recorded with Slash were in 2009, which is crazy. So, it’s definitely a long run there.

What can you tell me about the new music with Slash?

The thing about the record is that it’s got a live vibe to it. It was a record that was recorded in kind of an old-school way. So, with that said, without giving too much away, it definitely has a bit of that energy and that vibe that a lot of us listened to growing up. So, it was fun. It was a fun record to make.

You’re also, of course, the lead vocalist of Alter Bridge. Is there anything new in that camp?

Not yet. No. We’re talking about trying to do something at some point next year, but we’ll see how the schedules (line up). Everybody’s got so much going on, so we’re just going to have to drive our agents and managers crazy with logistics and trying to open up a window to get that done! … It kind of goes back to when we were talking about a little bit ago with COVID and the state of the world. I think a lot of us are just kind of waiting to see how things are going to play out. Before getting too deep in the trenches with more records and whatnot, (you) just want to make sure that if you do make a record, you can tour and support it. Because in this day and age, that’s why artists make records. You make a record, you can go out on tour and promote it and play the songs for people. And, if there’s something standing in the way of that, it just makes you kind of put the brakes on and try to figure out when the appropriate time would be to do so.

I just heard Charlie Watts passed away from the Rolling Stones. Did you hear that?

No! When did you hear that?

Just a few minutes ago. What are your thoughts on Charlie? Are you a big Stones fan?

The Stones are amazing. I saw them a few times back in the ’90s. It was an amazing show, both of them. Wow. I’m kind of speechless right now, to be honest with you. I mean, the Stones. The Stones and Beatles, those are two of the- and for me, the Stones, Beatles and Led Zeppelin, those are the three entities that wrote the blueprint for everything that the rest of us have ultimately followed for the last 50 years. So, wow. That’s a really heavy loss.

What’s ahead for you?

In a perfect world, I’ll be out touring. I really want to tour this record, “The Ides of March,” as much as much as possible, but obviously, it’s a little more complicated. As far as 2022 goes, it would be great to get in the studio with Alter Bridge if we can make it happen. And, just to continue to keep pressing forward and just trying to just do the best we can with the current state of things.

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