In lead-up to Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators' Australian and New Zealand shows this January and February, we enlisted the help of our buddy Higgo to have a chat with vocal extraordinaire Myles Kennedy to talk about the latest record Living the Dream, what he's looking forward to about visiting Australia, his dreams of being an architect and more!
Higgo: You’re coming back with Slash in January and February, supported by Devilskin from New Zealand, how many times do you think you’ve been here now?
Myles: Ya know I was trying to figure that out. I was filling out the paperwork about a month ago and that was one of the questions, and I honestly could not answer it, like I know it’s been well over half a dozen times, so I think at this point, I just probably, get a flat there, (laughs) it’s so awesome.
Higgo: Well there’s a spare room at my joint, we can turn one of the other rooms into a studio, it’d be no problem at all.
Myles: I would LOVE that, that’d be good.
Higgo: Now I know when I go to places I’ve been to before, like America, I have favourite things about going there, what is it that you’re looking forward to here, apart from the shows and crowds?
Myles: Well obviously the sunshine doesn’t hurt, I think especially as what we’re in at this time of year, but I think it’s the food down there. I always find good food. I know that doesn’t sound very exciting. And I also think, the overall vibe, the laid-back element is something that is very much needed at this point, (laughs) I’m looking forward to it.
Higgo: From what I’m seeing and reading you’ve been extremely busy. I understand there’s a new Alter Bridge album coming in 2019, you’ve been doing these Slash shows, you’ve been playing shows to support your solo album, Year Of The Tiger, what does downtime look like for you? Is there any?
Myles: No, not really! Like when I think there’s gonna be some downtime, it’s usually filled with something, and that’s ok man, I’m not complaining. I think as long as I’ve still got my love of singing and playing my guitar, it’s really what I wanna do. And if I did have a long extended break, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I’d probably go a little crazy, so keep it coming! It’s all good.
Higgo: Is there anything else you’d like to try your hand at creatively?
Myles: That’s a good question. I’m not smart enough to do it, but I really love architecture, and so I wish that I could, ya know it’d be cool to design a building. If I had that kind of gift, that would be the ultimate thing. Like just think about how cool that would be, you design something and you see people build it, that structure that you concocted in your brain, that seems like the ultimate creation to me. So, who knows, maybe one day I’ll try and learn how to do that, create something.. Maybe a little barn outside my house, (laughs).
Higgo: Well see that’s the thing, you gotta start small, maybe a man cave, move onto a barn, then a house. Next thing you know you’re sitting in an office having a meeting with someone and they say ‘Hang on a minute, didn’t you used to do shows with Slash and play guitar what the hell are you doing in here?’
Myles: Right?! (laughs) ‘Now you’re a world-famous architect’ haha, in my dreams!
Higgo: Speaking of which, listening back to the latest album with Slash, Living The Dream, do you think that was a natural evolution to (the previous album) World On Fire?
Myles: Yeah, ya know I feel like that record.. I keep getting this word that keeps coming back to me, it crystalized. Ya know World On Fire there were a lot of dynamics, and with Living The Dream it’s a very crystalized version of the band. In regards to song length, the tempos are a big one, it’s a straight up rock n roll record, you know I think that it’s very focused.
Higgo: it’s funny that you should mention it being a straight up rock n roll record because that’s what I had in my notes, and I don’t mean it in a disparaging way, it’s just an easy to listen to, groovy, riffy, album without pretence and it’s not trying to be anything it’s not, it’s just a fun rock and roll album.
Myles: Thank you, thank you, I appreciate it hearing that.
Higgo: I also really enjoy the new clip for Mind Your Manners. The way it was shot by the fans, the intro was great people filming themselves heading into the show, the live take, I’ve seen similar things before, but this was a little more raw and fun. Whose idea was that?
Myles: Well we actually have this friend, whose name is Clifton Collins Jnr. He’s actually a really great actor and he’s been a friend for years and so he offered his services to direct it and I’m assuming - I could be wrong - but I think it was kinda his idea, and he just did a fantastic job.
Higgo: Now you’ve had a bit of time with Living The Dream, you’d definitely be aware of fan favourites now you’ve played them a bit live. Do those fan favourites manifest themselves as your favourites when you play them live because you get such a vibe from the crowd, or do you have own favourite children from the album?
Myles: It’s interesting on this record, because it seems like the ones that were my favourites from the very beginning - Lost Inside The Girl and Serves You Right - have worked really inside the live context and the fans have mentioned how much they really love those songs and the reaction to those songs when we play them live is cool to see. Mind Your Manners is another one that’s gone very well live.
That’s one of the really good things you see, as an artist. You’re part of creating something. You really enjoy it and get off on it and seeing the fans getting off on it to the same degree, you know you’re on the same page with is really important.
Higgo: Please tell me you’ve been playing Sugar Cane live, because that’s my favourite on the album. I love the riff how it chugs along, it’s almost a 12 bar, but it’s not, are you playing that one live?
Myles: You know what, we have not yet played that live, but I’m sure we will at some stage, it could make the rounds but I don’t wanna commit to anything.
Higgo: Well yeah you know if I come to see you in Melbourne and you don’t play it after you say you will, well.. you know I’m calling you back and you’re in trouble.
Myles: Okay! Well if that’s the case, then I’m definitely gonna light a fire under em and get em to play it.
Higgo: Now are you aware of just how rabid - and I mean it in a nice way - your fan base is all over the world?
Myles: I’m getting that figured out. It is kinda mind-blowing really. You think you live in your own neck of the woods and you write your little songs and you know it gets out there to a point, but then you start hearing things and seeing things all over the globe. It makes you realise how music works ya know, and it seems to be a universal language. I don’t take it for granted let me tell ya, it’s pretty awesome to see fans getting off on the band. It’s rad.
Higgo: The power of music is just bloody incredible
Myles: It really is. I think it’s something about melody - it’s just very primal. For whatever reason, a melody will touch someone and get into their psyche somehow and even if they don’t speak the language, it’ll resonate and kinda stir something within them. I think because we focus so much on melody - make sure that’s always intact, keep the lyrics meaningful - it seems to react well with people over the years, so it’s humbling. So we’re just gonna keep trying to do more.
Higgo: Well we look forward to seeing Slash and yourself with the Conspirators in January and February with Devilskin, Myles. See you soon.
Myles: Sounds great man, thanks so much for your time.
Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Australian & New Zealand Tour Dates:
Tauranga Friday 25 January - Baypark Arena
Auckland Saturday 26 January - Spark Arena
Sydney Monday 28 January - Qudos Bank Arena
Brisbane Wednesday 30 January - Brisbane Convention Exhibition Centre
Melbourne Friday 1 February - Margaret Court Arena
Perth Sunday 3 February - RAC Arena
Listen to Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators now