ALTER BRIDGE's MYLES KENNEDY: Why I Decided To Cover IRON MAIDEN's 'The Trooper'
October 27, 2020
An audio recording of ALTER BRIDGE frontman Myles Kennedy performing an acoustic cover version of the IRON MAIDEN classic "The Trooper" for SiriusXM can be streamed below.
Prior to launching into the track, Kennedy explained that he first came up with the idea to play "The Trooper" during the tour he undertook in support of his debut solo album, 2018's "Year Of The Tiger".
"I hit the U.S. a few times, did Europe, did South Africa," he said. "It was amazing — a lot of fun. I played tracks from my career over the last few decades and also played some covers that I would mix up in the set. And there was one track that kind of became a fan favorite.
"I was laying in my bunk in a bus one night, and I thought, I just need something at a certain tempo and [that] has a certain vibe, but I want it to be a song that's from my kind of formative years as a young, angst-ridden teenager," he continued. "And I was thinking about a lot of the bands that I was listening to back then, and I thought it would be interesting to take one of those tracks and change the arrangement to fit the context of what I do within the realm of my solo project, which tends to have more of an Americana vibe, amongst other things. It's kind of a potpourri of sonic whatever. So I thought, man, I was a big MAIDEN fan as a kid. And one of my favorite IRON MAIDEN tracks is 'The Trooper'. And I thought, what would happen if you took 'The Trooper' and kind of mixed it up with how Johnny Cash might have approached it. I thought that would be interesting."
Myles recently completed work on his second solo album. The LP was tracked at Studio Barbarosa in Gotha, Florida with the same team that worked on "Year Of The Tiger", including producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette, engineer Jef Moll, as well as drummer Zia Uddin and bassist Tim Tournier.
In July, Kennedy told "Offstage With DWP" about the musical direction of the forthcoming LP: "'Year Of The Tiger', first of all, is a very dark record, and it's very stripped down, very acoustic based. This one has elements of that. I wanted to keep a common thread with it. There are acoustic elements. There's definitely still that element of a lot of slide guitar, a lot of lap steel, 'cause I just love how emotive both those are. But it definitely rocks a little more. There's no doubt about it — this is more of a rock record, with kind of a heavy R&B undercurrent at times as well. There's even one song — if it makes the record — which is a full-on Motown thing.
"I've got so many [songs] right now," Myles added. "[The overall direction] is really gonna depend on what makes the record. I think I learned that from David Bowie interview, where he [said he] would try and write… He'd have 40 songs to choose from [for an album], so that way you can make the best statement you can."
Myles's tour in support of "Year Of The Tiger" featured music from the album as well as selections from Myles's work with ALTER BRIDGE, THE MAYFIELD FOUR and SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS.
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