After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with …
In the two months since Myles Kennedy saw the release of Living The Dream, his third collaborative album with guitar god Slash and The Conspirators, fans and musicians alike have been pretty receptive to its raw rock riffs and voluptuous vocals.
“From the live shows, things seem to be good,” says the vocalist, “[but] if I were to dive into the world of social media and read things that have been written, I’d have no clue!
“Anything I’m involved with, I learned my lesson a long time ago, that if you jump down that rabbit hole you never know what you’re going to find. But I will say this, playing the songs in a live context has been great, it’s such an up-tempo record and that feel lends itself to a live environment nicely.”
So as far as Myles Kennedy can tell, things have been pretty positive for the powerhouse outfit of late, so this is as good a time as any to get Myles Kennedy to reflect on the dichotomy of interpretation of music between songwriter, musician and fan. Living The Dream is an album Kennedy says, might not always mean what you think it does. “That’s the interesting thing about creating a song,” he begins, “You can have something in mind, especially content-wise, a story, but, at least the way I like to do it, you leave it ambiguous enough so it can resonate in people’s lives which I think is important.
I don’t want the listener to say a lyric means nothing to them. You do your best to make sure there’s something profound there for the listener.
[ Myles Kennedy ]
“For example, people assume the song The One You Love Is Gone was written about a girl, but it was actually written about a dog I used to have! They assume! The beauty is people can find in it a meaning for them.”
Kennedy, best known as the frontman for hard rock band Alter Bridge, has spent many years zipping around the world with various bands who perform various styles of music–interpretation of sound can, at times, vary between countries. “That’s what fascinating to me, especially with the language barrier, is how songs resonate. One thing I’ve come to realise after years of doing this is how universal the language of a melody is.
“It’ll resonate on a primal level. Something about the way a melody will interact with a harmony, regardless of what the lyric is, humans will just gravitate towards it. I find that absolutely fascinating.”
Marry melody and harmony to a strong lyric with an audience who speak and understand English, that’s the icing on the cake for Kennedy, it becomes the soul of the song. “An analogy in which I saw win a movie a long time ago, the melody is like when you’re in a room and you see an attractive person, that initial attraction. Then you talk to that person, or get to know them, find out what their soul is, that’s the lyric of the song.”
It’s a wonderfully, poetically profound way of putting it, the lyric being the soul of the song. Of course, Kennedy being the grateful and humble musician that he is finds that being able to draw that from not only himself but other people, is an absolute gift. “There’s a certain amount of gravity to it and something I don’t take lightly,” he says. “People are so passionate about his songs, to the point where they’ll capture the lyrics on their body, and that speaks volumes right there.
“When I know a piece of music and a melody, feels strongly enough to invest time, I work hard at it, and make sure I don’t fill it in. Like I said, it’s the soul of the song, I don’t want the listener to say a lyric means nothing to them. You do your best to make sure there’s something profound there for the listener.”
And speaking of a profound presence for the listener, nothing is quite as profound as the promise of Kennedy’s presence alongside Slash and The Conspirators when they tour Australia in January. “Some of our first experiences as a band were down that way, almost nine years ago,” muses Kennedy, “So in some ways it’s where a lot of this took shape initially.”
Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Australian & New Zealand Tour Dates:
Friday 25 January // Baypark Arena // Tauranga
Saturday 26 January // Spark Arena // Auckland
Monday 28 January // Qudos Bank Arena // Sydney
Wednesday 30 January // Brisbane Convention Exhibition Centre // Brisbane
Friday 1 February // Margaret Court Arena // Melbourne
Sunday 3 February // RAC Arena // Perth