Myles Kennedy: The hardest working man in hard rock
Myles Kennedy has toured with Slash and The Conspirators and was nearly Led Zeppelin’s new singer. Now he’s back with his day job, Alter Bridge, who return with their heaviest record to date
Anastasia is a brilliant song. How much of it was Slash’s and how much of it was yours?
Musically, it is his thing. I come in and put the melody and the lyrics to it. That’s generally my role. I remember when he played me that track, I was really excited. I was familiar with the guitar part. It is an incredible piece of music.
Has being with Slash raised the profile of Alter Bridge too?
Because Slash is such a well-known performer all over the world, it definitely helped with the awareness of Alter Bridge. People come up to me and say that they saw me playing with Slash and it turned them on to the other things I do.
Slash fans want to know what is he really, really like?
I’m not just saying it, he’s one of the coolest people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with. He’s a very intelligent, hard-working human being with a very big heart. I consider myself beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him. He’s an exceptional person.
Did playing with him improve your own guitar playing?
When you get to hang around with other players that do something different to what you do, you definitely embrace certain elements of their approach or their philosophy. It all rubs off on you and make you a better player.
Back in 2008 you rehearsed with three members of Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Jason Bonham when it appeared that Robert Plant would not be willing to take part in a reunion tour. A lot of fans are disapointed that Led Zeppelin never reunited after the O2 concert in 2007.
I would have loved to see the Led Zeppelin together and got a ticket for the O2 concert. At the same time, I understand the concept of leaving things the way they were. I totally get that. For me, that band will always be the band as far as rock goes. They wrote the blueprint.
Jimmy Page or Slash – If you had a choice to play lead guitar, who would it be?
That is the most impossible question ever.
Don’t say, they’re like my children, I love them both equally. That’s cheating.
I was going to say that it would be like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy where you have a twin guitar attack.
Are you a guitarist or a singer first and foremost?
I’m a guitarist. The guitar saved me from a life of crime as a teenager. It is still the thing that I love doing just about more than anything. Given the amount of time I have spent playing the guitar as opposed to singing, I would say that I’m definitely a guitar player first. I really enjoy the moments with Alter Bridge where I can step out and play lead and have fun.
Fortress is out now