MYLES KENNEDY On Juggling Three Successful Projects: 'I Don't Take Any Of This For Granted'

MYLES KENNEDY On Juggling Three Successful Projects: 'I Don't Take Any Of This For Granted'

Vocalist Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE, SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS) recently spoke with the "Nothing Shocking" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below (interview starts at the 15:32 mark). A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his goals as a performer:

Myles: "It's nice to know that people enjoy what you do. I guess the word that comes is grateful — you're grateful that through years of hard work and time put into doing something, that hopefully it's resonating with other humans. The most important thing for me is that it's hopefully making other people happy. I think that when I go out on stage every night, I always think, 'Maybe there's somebody in the audience who's bumming, who's had something bad happen. Maybe this is a means of escape for them. Maybe there's just a need for music to heal that night,' and I'm kind of the conduit for that. I try to look at it as you're serving as a purpose in the world, in your community, whatever, and push the ego side out, because I think there's a tendency to be satiated by positive words of affirmation, and that can go to your head. I feel like that will detract from the whole thing. It's important to do it for the right reasons."

On juggling his schedules with ALTER BRIDGE, THE CONSPIRATORS and his solo career:

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Myles: "Because of the nature of this business, and because I had enough ups and downs early on to where I don't take any of this for granted. Things have been going really well for the last few years, so you're always kind of afraid that it's going to end tomorrow, so you just work as hard as you can while you can. With that said, it's getting to the point where I'm gone so much, and what's most important to me in my life is my marriage. I love my wife, and I love what we've established over the last 15-16 years, so I want to make sure I don't take away from that with the amount that I'm gone. It's really just trying to find that balance. She's incredibly supportive. You couldn't ask for a better partner through this whole experience, especially considering how much I'm on the road, but we'll see how it plays out in the next few years. I will say that there's still that drive, that need to play music, and I think that's a big part of it."

On the importance of finding your voice:

Myles: "I think that when you're trying to find out who you are as an artist, especially as a singer, because it's such an important part of the equation — how you use your voice and the inflections and the timbre of it... My voice is an interesting entity in that it's pretty elastic, to the point where it can almost be a problem if you're trying to establish who you are in the musical landscape. There were periods in my career where I was listening to specific artists a lot, and vocally I would start to kind of mimic that, and I'd catch myself and be, like, 'You've got to pull the reins in here. This isn't what you're trying to do.' What you want to do is find your voice, find out who you are, establish your identity, because that's all you can do to kind of leave something behind. It took me a really long time to get that figured out, and it was just through trial and error, essentially — just experimenting."

On the fact that ALTER BRIDGE, THE CONSPIRATORS and his debut solo album, "Year Of The Tiger", sound different from each other:

Myles: "I think that because I play in bands with guitar players who are very different and my playing style is also very different from theirs, so when I stepped out to do my solo record, I had that to help differentiate the sounds. Also, somebody that I really admired and always respected the way he approached his career — his kind of chameleon approach — was David Bowie. He had this ability to kind of transform himself and be appropriate in whatever style he chose to step into, and that was something that was important to me if I was going to try this — to experiment with my inflections and experiment with the range that I would use in a given project, and kind of have a sonic characteristic so that it was varied enough... but at the same time, retaining the sonic hallmarks of my voice to where it wasn't like, 'Oh, who's that?' I wanted it to be like, 'Well, that's Myles, but he's doing something a little different here.'"

On wanting to avoid repeating himself on "Year Of The Tiger":

Myles: "I knew what I didn't want to do, stylistically, was make another hard rock record, because I already have the luxury of playing in these two bands that have established a legacy and have put out multiple records, so to put out another album that just sounded the same, to me, I wasn't taking advantage of the opportunity of making a solo record in that case. I felt like it would dilute what I'm doing with the other projects. This was a really great opportunity for me to do something different, to challenge myself and make music that hopefully will really just kind of push me."

On not wanting to burn himself out:

Myles: "It's something that I think about frequently. I had no idea how all this was going to work out years ago — the fact that I play in these bands that have a certain following and have a certain trajectory that seems to be going in the desired direction — and touring as much as we do, it has crossed my mind that, 'Am I oversaturating the market,' for lack of a better word, 'and do I pull the reins back in a little bit, just not to overdo it?' I think that's something I'm going to really have to give some thought to in the future... If you're constantly coming back around, it's no longer special."

Kennedy kicked off an 18-date U.S. tour in support of "Year Of The Tiger" — released on March 9 via Napalm Records — on November 13. From there, he will spend much of 2019 touring with THE CONSPIRATORS.

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