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article imageInterview with Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge: 'Fortress' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 12, 2013 in Entertainment
Myles Kennedy is the lead vocalist, rhythm and lead guitar player of the hard rock group Alter Bridge. The veteran singer-songwriter opened up about the band's fourth studio album "Fortress."
In addition to Kennedy, the band is comprised of Mark Tremonti on lead guitar and backing vocals, Brian Marshall on bass, as well as drummer Scott Phillips.
Their latest CD was released worldwide via Roadrunner Records, with the exception of the United States, where it was self-released on October 8, through EMI. Michael "Elvis" Baskette served as the album's producer for the third consecutive time. Alter Bridge wrote all 12 tracks on the CD. "It was fantastic to work with Elvis again. He is such a huge part of this entire process and we are very grateful to have him because he is one of the best rock producers in the world, in my opinion. After making so many records with him, we have really learned to trust his instincts and that's really the most important thing to have between a band and a producer," he said.
"We really tried to what we always do in making a very solid body of work from an album perspective," Kennedy said. "We don't just look it as an album full of songs that could be on the radio. We want to take the listener on a journey so we try to maintain a certain dynamic with every song."
Kennedy shared that strong riffs and melodies are of utmost importance to Alter Bridge for their approach on the songs that make the album.
On the origin of the album's name, Kennedy noted that "fortress" is a very strong-sounding word. "When you hear the word fortress, it evokes a vast structure and there are so many things that you look around that you think are going to be there forever that are invincible and that can keep you safe, like a fortress will. That can be governments, religions, marriages or relationships. That song is about what happens when those things decay around you and the emotions that are associated with that disillusion," he said.
"Addicted to Pain" is the album's lead-off single and it's video was directed by award-winning director Dan Catullo. "That song came about early in the songwriting process because once we had that, we felt like we had a song that we could have as our promotional song or single. It would let people know that we were putting a full album out, so that allowed us to try different things musically with the other material and really take some chances. Lyrically, the song is about someone who is addicted to drama of a toxic and unhealthy scenario and the frustration involved with watching somebody in that situation," he said.
Regarding the song's music video, he shared, "We have done a lot with Dan over the last six years. He had some great ideas and wanted to keep it really dark with disturbing imagery and not be extremely literal with the lyric, which is certainly what I am all for. I feel like he did a good job in capturing the performance and he gave a really uncomfortable vibe with the pictures and images," he said.
Thus far, the album has garnered rave reviews from music critics and it debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. Rock Charts, as well as No. 6 on the U.K. Album Charts, thus marking their highest-charting album in the U.K. to date. "After all this time to be able to do so well and know that people still care is a really good feeling. You feel relieved that people are still into getting it and you know that your fanbase is there and they have your back. It is great to know that we are relevant to some degree. You don't take that for granted since we know that in this day and age, people's attention spans are pretty short, so the fact that they care for Alter Bridge is a huge inspiration as to why we continue to make music," Kennedy stated.
Out of all of the songs on Fortress, Kennedy is really excited for "Calm The Fire." "We took some chances there and tried a few things that he hadn't done in the past, so when you do that, you do not know how it will be received, but I feel like we landed on our feet with that one. Personally, I am a big Queen and Radiohead fan and the song has a lot of lyrical meaning as well and it is a special moment on the record," he said.
Kennedy acknowledged that "Peace is Broken" is a personal tune and an extremely challenging one to play from a riff standpoint. "A lot of the songs are looking at the world around us and stepping away and writing from a different perspective, but this song is something that I am working on within my own self in trying to stay very focused on the present moment and not regretting yesterday, nor worrying about tomorrow. It is very much about living in the now," he said.
Alter Bridge is in the process of putting their upcoming U.S. tour together. "We are hoping for early next year in 2014, so we are definitely going to play for home crowds soon," he said. "New York is still my favorite city in the world. I love it there. I have a lot of great memories in that city."
He revealed that he is motivated by the drive to make music. "I enjoy touring and playing, but the funnest part is creating. This morning, Slash sent me some new ideas and I couldn't wait to get out of my bed and put my songwriting parts to it. That is what gets me up every morning. I love that," he said.
Kennedy has been praised by Rick DeJesus, the lead singer of the hard rock band Adelitas Way, as one of "the best vocalists out there." "Rick is a good guy and he's actually a great front-man. When we did shows with him, he had a great ability to work the crowd. I hope those guys are doing well," he said.
Throughout his career, Kennedy has collaborated with some acclaimed rock superstars such as Slash and Chris Cornell. "Chris is great and a long time ago in the late 90s, we did a song together. I believe it was 'My Funny Valentine.' It was a lot of fun," he said.
When asked about his dream duet partners in music, he listed Stevie Wonder for a male duet, as well as k.d. Lang for a female choice. "I learned how to sing by listening to Stevie Wonder and I really love k.d. Lang's voice. She has one of the most perfect voices, and the sound of her voice is stunning and I am still a big fan of hers," he said.
Kenny also complimented rock songstress Brandi Carlile and he spoke highly about Florence Welch from Florence And The Machine, the latter of which he praised for their uniqueness.
Alter Bridge recently celebrating another milestone for surpassing one million fans on their Facebook page. "Knowing that people still care is inspiring. When people stop visiting your website or social media pages, it is harder to stay inspired and it is a little lonely. This is awesome," he said.
For Myles Kennedy, success means happiness. "Success is being comfortable in your own skin and with your legacy and what you leave behind," he concluded.
To learn more about Alter Bridge and their new music, visit their official website.
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