ALTER BRIDGE vocalist Myles Kennedy discussed his debut solo album, "Year Of The Tiger", during a recent interview with Metal Wani. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On his decision to scrap an entire album's worth of material before starting to write "Year Of The Tiger":
Myles: "Obviously, a lot went into the writing the record, and a lot of soul-searching and trying to get to the depths of things that my family experienced early on. The journey to the completion of 'Year Of The Tiger' was very interesting and full of a lot of trial and error. I recorded an entire record that I started in 2009, and once I had the time to finish it because I was so busy touring with ALTER BRIDGE and Slash, I realized that it wasn't the record that I wanted to put out, especially considering all the work that went into it. I had to be honest with myself as a writer and say, 'Hey, you can do better than this. Let's start over.' So I started writing an entirely new body of work. Once I had all the demos recorded — which were very sparse, very simple; I kept it that way intentionally, where it was just acoustic guitar, a resonator and a vocal track — I still felt the songs stood on their own without a lot of bells and whistles. I think I completed 20 songs for this record, so there were quite a few that didn't make the cut for whatever reason. That's always the hard part — deciding which of your babies are going to make the cut."
On whether he was nervous about how fans would receive his solo album:
Myles: "I think there was a part of me where it crossed my mind, but I think I made a pretty conscious decision pretty early on to serve the songs and take the most honest approach. When you're telling a story like this, you've kind of got to lay it out there if you make that decision. One of the things as a songwriter that I've always felt passionate [about], especially as I get older and have been in the game as long as I have, I really feel like the songs that resonate the most with people are ones that tend to be the most honest and have a certain amount of truth. With that said, you can run the risk of really making yourself vulnerable, and you're really laying it all out there for people. It's basically like you write in a diary or your journal, and you put it to music and throw it out to the world. That's something that was in the back of my mind, but I had to set that aside, because at the end of the day, what was most important to me were the songs, and making sure that I documented them appropriately and to be fearless."
On whether he made a conscious effort to approach the songs in a different manner vocally:
Myles: "I think that because of how personal these lyrics were and the story that needed to be told, I felt like I had to paint over a different kind of canvas and a different sonic landscape. That was why musically, stylistically, it was an appropriate record to make — having more acoustic-based [songs], having sparser arrangements — but in doing so, one thing that I've learned is that when you sing a certain way, like the way I sing with ALTER BRIDGE or Slash where I'm using the higher part of my register, that's something that singers have done for 50 years. That's what Robert Plant was doing on those early [LED] ZEPPELIN records to cut through the big riffs, and the bombast of the whole thing. In this case, it felt appropriate to put things in a lower register and letting the song speak in a different way. I think that's something that was very important for this record."
On what to expect from his upcoming solo live performances:
Myles: "At this point, most of it will be myself and some acoustic guitars. I'm excited. It's a little nerve-wracking to stand up on stage all by yourself. That's going to be a new thing for me, but I will have a friend accompany me on a few songs, which will be cool. It's going to be an evolving process, so I'm excited to take it on and see where it takes me."
On ALTER BRIDGE's future plans:
Myles: "Mark [Tremonti] and I just talked. He's very happy that he's completed his [solo] record. I was like, 'You know that wonderful feeling the day after you know everything is done? It's kind of like finishing the biggest term paper you can ever imagine.' He's like, 'That's exactly right.' It was cool to hear that he's in a very good place. We started talking about next year and our plans, and we both agreed we were just going to start writing and start the next ALTER BRIDGE record in 2019."
"Year Of The Tiger" was released on March 9 via Napalm Records. The effort was helmed by ALTER BRIDGE's longtime producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette.