Wednesday 4th October 2018
Limelight 1, Belfast
Tickets £18+fees on sale Friday @9am – buy yours here
Myles, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist in Alter Bridge released his new record Year of the Tiger in March of this year and is embarking on a world tour.
“I had been working on a record for about seven years,” says the singer/songwriter known worldwide as the voice of Alter Bridge and of Slash’s band, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. “It was actually finished two years ago, but when I listened to it with a fresh perspective, when all was said and done, I thought it wasn’t the right first step to take in this journey—its shelf life had expired.”
So he started over, and found himself “writing like a madman.” More than twenty songs spilled out in a short period of time, and as Kennedy listened to his work, he began to comprehend the direction in which the music was pulling him. “It became incredibly obvious what the source of inspiration needed to be lyrically,” he says. “I realised it was time to jump head-first into something I’ve been putting off for my whole life as a writer.”
What eventually emerged was Year of the Tiger, an album almost entirely focused on the loss of Kennedy’s father when the singer was just four years old. “My family was very involved in the Christian Science church,” he says. “So when he became ill, he chose not to seek medical attention, and passed away a few months later. By all accounts, my father was a good, honest man, but I still struggle with the choices he made which ultimately led to his death.
“I’ve always wanted to make a record where I could have the opportunity to explore and document a different element of my musical DNA,” he says, citing his love for the blues, R&B, and acoustic based music and listing such influences as Mississippi John Hurt, Chris Whitley, K.D Lang, Nick Drake and the acoustic songs on Led Zeppelin 3 and 4. “I was trying to tap into something a little more subtle, as opposed to a big, bombastic, high gain sonic attack.”
The album found its initial direction from the title track, which was an idea from Kennedy’s first pass writing a solo album. “I remember stumbling onto the melody and title of the song years ago. It stuck with me but I couldn’t seem to complete the concept until it dawned on me that 1974 was the Year Of The Tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac.” he says. “Once I realised that was the same year we lost my father, I knew where I needed to take the record lyrically. The song is really the preface for the entire story from my mother’s perspective. It’s a battle cry of resolution, to persevere under the circumstances we were enduring after dad passed away.”
Kennedy pays tribute to his mother throughout the album. The song “Mother” tries to imagine her experience of the tragedy, fighting to keep things together for Kennedy and his brother. “Turning Stones” represents the singer “trying to get in my mom’s head throughout the difficult journey” while “Ghost of Shangri-La” opens with an image taken directly from his family’s lives in the aftermath of his father’s death.
With Year of the Tiger, Myles Kennedy opens himself up in ways that would be painfully, shockingly personal and intimate for anyone, much less for a revered rock and roll frontman. “Songs like ‘Blind Faith’ or ‘Nothing But a Name’ are almost like open letters to my father, expressing an ache that’s never subsided,” he says.
“This record is my attempt to convey things that I’ve needed to express for a long time. What I found hiding in the deep, dark corners of my psyche was difficult to face, but in the end, what came out of the creative process was very cathartic.”
Tickets £18+fees on sale Friday @9m – buy yours here