ALTER BRIDGE frontman Myles Kennedy has used the coronavirus downtime to complete work the material for his second solo LP. Speaking to Download presenter Kylie Olsson, he said (see video below): "Next solo record is pretty much done, so I'm excited about it. I've been able to get something done during this time, and also hang out with my family, which has been wonderful."
Asked how his new solo album will be different from "Year Of The Tiger", which came out in March 2018, Kennedy said: "Well, it's definitely a little more plugged in, as far as the overall approach. 'Year Of The Tiger' leans heavily on the acoustic side of things, and it definitely has a blues vibe. This continues that in the sense that this is my opportunity to venture more into the more bluesy realm, especially as a guitar player. But, with that said, it's a little louder. [Laughs] It's much more plugged in — it rocks a little harder, and there's gonna be a lot of guitar silliness on it. So I'm excited about that."
According to Myles, he has "pretty much" demoed the entire next solo LP and has "basically started pre-production" on the effort, which will likely arrive in 2021. "I sit here in my little studio and program all the drums, play the bass, lap steel [guitar]… You basically make the record and then you present it to everyone," he explained. "You go, 'Okay, this is kind of what I'm thinking here [points to his head]. Let's make this happen for real.' So I'm supposed to record that here in the next couple of months."
Kennedy plans on using the "same team" that worked on "Year Of The Tiger" on the upcoming album.
"We had so much fun last time," he said. "We were, like, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' So I'm looking forward to getting back in with the gang. 'Year Of The Tiger', even though it's a really dark record from a lyrical standpoint, we had so much fun making it — just hanging out with Elvis [producer Michael Baskette] and Jef [Moll, engineer] and the gang, and then Zia [Uddin, drums] and Tim [Tournier, bass]. Yeah, we're a bunch of idiots, and we have fun."
Myles also talked about the lyrical inspiration for his next solo album and how it will be different from "Year Of The Tiger", a concept record which explored the death of Kennedy's father in 1974, the year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar.
"It had the potential to be another concept record, which I did not wanna do," Myles said of the upcoming release. "Obviously, these are crazy times, so it's virtually impossible not to be informed by that as a writer — it's gonna make its way into the context of the lyrics. So there are elements of looking at what's happening, asking questions — just your way of dealing with it. That's what I love about being a songwriter — it really helps you work through things and deal with things and make sense of things. But there are also songs where I wanted to make sure that it wasn't strictly about that. To me, what that does is that can date something. If the record were to come out in a year's time, and maybe people have moved on past all of this, then it's, like, I don't know how relevant it would be. So you have to careful there and make sure that you don't make it so literal — have a bit of ambiguity to it so that it can touch on different circumstances but still conveying emotion that you're feeling as you're going through it. And that's the big challenge for me."
Myles's tour in support of "Year Of The Tiger" featured music from the album as well as selections from Myles's work with ALTER BRIDGE, THE MAYFIELD FOUR and SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS.