Myles Kennedy spoke to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about the writing and recording process of the new SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS album, "4", which will be released on February 11, 2022, via Gibson Records in partnership with BMG. "4" is Slash's fifth solo album and fourth overall with his band featuring Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass, vocals) and Frank Sidoris (guitar, vocals).
"I think the writing process was pretty similar [to previous albums]," Myles said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Obviously, because we couldn't get in the same room together during the writing process, given the state of the world, we were exchanging a lot more files [via the Internet], demoing that way.
"I think the difference with this record to previous records was the way that it was recorded — the way it was documented was more live," he continued. "The guys set up almost like they were playing a show. They were all in the same room together and just rocking out live. And I was in a vocal booth. So a lot of what you hear on these tracks are just five guys playing at the same time.
"A lot of times with modern recordings, you start out and you get the drums, you get the bass and you get the guitars, and this was just a very fast… I think the majority of the album was recorded in about five days," Myles revealed. "That's unheard of. I don't remember the last time we made a record where the majority of it was done that quickly."
Asked if the album was recorded so quickly because he and the other guys in the band were so well prepared before entering the studio or because they just chose to jam through all the songs, Myles said: "I think that we were prepared, which helps. A lot of the arrangements were kind of in place. But with that said, [producer] Dave Cobb did come in — like even on the first single, on 'The River Is Rising', he had ideas and made changes with certain parts moving, repeating certain parts and whatnot. And what's fascinating, and it just shows how I think when you've been doing this as long as we have, you are able to move quicker, you are able to get things right a little faster. And so we ran it, like, two or three times — I don't even know how many times I actually sang it. What you hear is what we call the 'scratch vocal.' What you hear on it is basically what I sang to the guys to make sure that we knew where we were in the song. And then I found out, Dave, the producer, was, like, 'Yeah, we're just gonna use the scratch vocal as the lead vocal.' [And I was], like, 'Great. I don't have to come back to the studio.' So, yeah, I think it's a very live… There are a lot of imperfections, a lot of mistakes, which is cool. It's that human element that I think you miss nowadays with records that are doctored up, quantized and everything is absolutely perfect. And this record is about the human element."
For "4", Slash and the band traveled across the country together to Nashville, Tennessee and recorded the new album at the historic RCA Studio A.
Slash told HardDrive Radio that "everything" for the LP "was just done live in the studio, and it's very spontaneous. This is actually the most live I've recorded so far," he said. "I've always done the bass, drums and guitars live in the studio — bar none — except for when I do other people's sessions. But in any band that I've worked in, it's always been like that. But you come back and you do guitars later because you wanna get the right sound and you go into the control room and you do the guitars from there. And a lot of the reason is because you can't have the amps in the room when you're recording the drums; producers hate that, 'cause they don't want it to bleed. And I don't give a shit, but I'd never been able to find a producer that could deal with it. So you just sort of bite the bullet and you do it where you do the guitars later, and vocals are always done after that. This one was done with the amps in the room with the drums and Myles singing all at the same time. So that's how this record was done."
Slash went on to say that the reason he wanted to work with Cobb was that they both had this "fantasy about doing a rock and roll record live in the studio with everybody in the same room at the same time. And when he and I discussed that, he was into doing it," the guitarist explained. "I said, 'Let's do this.' So that's how we hooked up with Dave Cobb. But we did in this great room, which, with all due respect to every other producer I've ever worked with, this is one of the only rooms where you can get away with having the guitars, the amps and the drums in the same room."
Last month, SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS released the official music video for "The River Is Rising", shot on location in downtown Los Angeles with Gibson TV director Todd Harapiak.
SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS will kick off a North American headlining tour on February 8, in Portland, Oregon and hit 28 major cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and more, before wrapping up March 26 in Orlando, Florida.