MYLES KENNEDY Says He Didn't Want His Acoustic-Based Solo Album To Sound Too 'Soft' Or 'Pretty'

May 5, 2018

Vocalist Myles Kennedy (SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, ALTER BRIDGE) was recently interviewed by Australia's Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On his recently released solo album, "Year Of The Tiger":

Myles: "It was difficult to dive in initially, just because it was so personal, but once I was able to kind of open the floodgates, it was hard to shut off. I almost feel like I could write an entire body of work based on the same theme, because there's so much inside that I kind of needed to work through, I guess, and express. I think that one of the challenging things was just knowing how personal it was, and when you let the listener in to this point, I'm not really hiding behind anything. You're definitely getting the story and kind of getting a front-row seat to everything we experienced after my dad died and when my dad died. In that sense, it was kind of… I don't want to say 'uncomfortable,' but I certainly at times asked myself, 'Do you really want to let the world in? This is pretty personal. Know what you're getting yourself in for.' I'm glad it's done and it's been documented, because it was so personal, and something I just needed to do for me. Having the opportunity to share music with the world is a wonderful thing, and something I don't take for granted, but I try not to think about it too much, to be honest. It's one of those things where it's so personal, I could overthink it and it could go from being excited to then suddenly I'd be real nervous, like, 'What have I done? I'm putting my heart on the line here.'"

On how it was different to write a solo album compared to working with a band:

Myles: "When you're with a band — like, say, with ALTER BRIDGEMark [Tremonti] and I will come in with musical ideas or melodic ideas and bounce them off each other. If we both like something, then we'll try to build a song from that. You have, like, a filter system, and then we take it to the other guy and go, 'Well, what do you think of this?' If they like it, then we keep working on it. When you're all alone as a solo artist and you have nobody to bounce things off of, it's very challenging, because you don't have the benefit of that help editing, knowing what's good and what isn't good. For me, it was about stepping away from things — I'd record an idea, not build it too much, step away from it, go back and listen to it a few weeks later with fresh ears — and that would let me know if it was something I thought could be a good track or not. It changed the process a little bit in that respect."

On whether he hopes "Year Of The Tiger" will "take the listener on a journey":

Myles: "Yeah. I try to do that in general as a writer. Whatever it is, lyrically, I want it to kind of suck the listener in and put them there. I feel like it's important to have a compelling melody and a compelling lyric. If you can get both of those together, I feel like it makes for a much stronger song as opposed to just one or the other."

On the album's frequently sparse instrumentation:

Myles: "When I wrote the record, I made sure that every song could be conveyed with just a voice and a guitar. But when I sent the tracks to Elvis [Baskette], my producer, and said, 'Let's make a record together,' he came back and he was definitely on the same page that it should be acoustic-based, that we didn't have to rock it out too much, that we should definitely keep it organic. That was really exciting for me to hear, because that was the kind of record I'd always dreamed of making and utilizing different instrumentation. At the same time, I didn't want the record to sound soft — I didn't want it to be too pretty and too singer/songwritery, whatever that means, and still have it hit kind of you in the face when it needed to."

"Year Of The Tiger" was released on March 9 via Napalm Records.

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