ALTER BRIDGE vocalist Myles Kennedy was recently interviewed by James Geiser of Antihero Magazine. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On ALTER BRIDGE's recent performances with a 52-piece orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall:
Myles: "You know, why not? We just thought, 'It's been 13 years — what haven't we done?' We felt that a fair amount of our catalog would work well in that environment, thinking that strings and all of the dynamics you could incorporate... being able to paint a musical canvas with that as well as just guitar, drums and bass would be really fun. I have to say, it far exceeded our expectations. We weren't really sure how the whole thing would be received or how it would go, but I remember the first day of rehearsals, I had a lot of goosebumps — a lot of hair-raising moments where it was obvious they were bringing something really magical to the entire process, which we loved getting to experience."
On whether the band plans to do any similar shows in the future:
Myles: "I would love that. After we did those two shows, we definitely got to talking, and I think everybody agreed that we need to find a way to do this again, though there are a lot of things we'd need to do to make that happen. It's a lot of people to take out. It's different when you have a four-piece band versus a big orchestra, but if we can make it work logistically, I'm sure we will approach it in the future. There's just something about hard rock and metal with that very symphonic, orchestrated element that just seems to work. You can't say that about every genre of music, but I feel like with some things, it's like chocolate and peanut butter — it just goes together well."
On how he juggles his various musical commitments:
Myles: "It's certainly been busy, and that's a good thing. In 2017, as a musician, if you can stay busy doing this, you're very fortunate. The traveling part of it, if you ask most any touring musician, it's probably high on the list as far as what's difficult — not to be a whiner, but that part of it can kind of, just from a physical side, can beat you up if you're not sleeping right, not eating right. But with that said, you get to play music; you get to get up on stage; you get to connect with the fans; and hopefully that will refill the well, so to speak. If you're feeling a little haggard from road life, then that energy will hopefully will fill the tank, so it kind of balances itself out."
On where he thinks his work ethic comes from:
Myles: "It's a delicate balance. There are days when I wish I could clone myself, but somehow, I've managed to make it work. I think at the end of the day, a lot of it has to do with a love for music, and when I'm not doing music, I'm kind of lost. We just did this tour overseas, and it was fun, and we came back and I told myself since I'd recently finished my solo record, I didn't have to worry about writing for that or putting a ton of energy into that. I'd been working pretty diligently between touring and writing all year, and I was like, 'When I get home, I'm going to try to power down — I'm going to try and kind of balance myself out a little bit.' It was fine for the first few days, but then I discover that I start going a little crazy if I don't have music in the mix, so that really didn't last too long. Before I knew it, I had a guitar or was doing something that involved music. It's my bliss — it's just me following my bliss."
On his 2018 plans:
Myles: "The plans are still getting ironed out. I've been talking with Slash about seeing what's going to come next. I definitely have plans to release the solo record next year and tour on that. It will be another busy year."
On his upcoming solo debut, "Year Of The Tiger":
Myles: "The solo record is definitely different from pretty much anything I've done. That was intentional. I think there was a part of me that was really longing to express music a little differently, and strip things down musically and try some different instrumentation. I really wanted to make a record about the vocal, so with that said, you do things differently. I stripped away the high-gain guitars and the big wall of sound — the bombastic elements so that the vocal would really be featured. Lyrically, it tells a story — the whole record is about 1974, which is the year my father passed away when I was a kid. It basically documents my father dying and then what came after that with my mother and brother and I, and how we kind of had to start over. It's kind of a concept record, really. There are elements in there where I'm really letting people in, and I think the music was just telling me that that's what needed to happen. I felt like as I was creating the chord progressions and the instrumentations and thinking about how this was going to sound, I felt like it just had to be a really honest record, and was just not going to try to hide behind anything. It will be interesting — I'm excited to put it out there, but it's definitely kind of a new frontier for me."
Kennedy will release "Year Of The Tiger" via Napalm Records in the spring. The 12-song effort was helmed by ALTER BRIDGE's longtime producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette.
"Year Of The Tiger" will feature a guest appearance by drummer Zia Uddin of THE MAYFIELD FOUR, a group Myles descries as his "first real national touring band" back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
ALTER BRIDGE is continuing to tour in support of its fifth album, "The Last Hero", which came out in 2016.
The group is expected to take most of 2018 off from the road while the bandmembers focus on other projects.
Writing for the follow-up to "The Last Hero" will begin next year, with tentative plans to release the effort in 2019.