About Myles Kennedy


As a prolific songwriter, powerhouse vocalist, and a skilled guitar player, Myles Kennedy tunes into the rhythm of his surroundings and goes with the flow. Fronting Alter Bridge, his soaring vocals, open-hearted lyrics, and airtight riffs have fueled the group’s global impact as a critically acclaimed, arena-filling force of nature over two decades-plus. On the microphone for Slash and The Conspirators, his towering range and magnetic stage presence has consistently stunned audiences since 2010. Becoming a celebrated collaborator, he’s the rare presence just as comfortable on a track with Disturbed, Halestorm, and Sevendust as he is with Gov’t Mule and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. It’s why he’s generated over 1 billion cumulative streams, earned gold and platinum certifications worldwide, uplifted countless fans, and KERRANG! christened him “one of rock’s finest vocalists. It’s also why he’s carved out his own lane.

With two solo efforts under his belt and sold out headline tours in the rearview, a sense of keenly honed intuition guides his third full-length LP, The Art of Letting Go [Napalm Records].

“I’ve been going through a massive Bruce Lee kick, no pun intended,” he smiles. “His quote, ‘Be water, my friend’, always stuck with me. On a grander scale, it represents the record. It’s an exercise in removing prior restrictions and shattering the parameters I set up for myself as a solo artist. This is a rock record. In the past, I thought rock might be a little too close to the other projects. Instead, I just let go and embraced my essence as a singer, guitar player, and writer. This is who I am. This is my DNA. Instead of being apologetic and shying away from it, I’m letting go and being myself.”

This move is a natural step for Myles…

2021 saw him deliver his acclaimed sophomore opus, The Ides of March. It impressively notched a total of four #1 debuts across three countries, toppling the Billboard US Top Current Hard Music Chart, the UK Official Rock & Metal Chart and Official Independent Album Chart, and Canada’s Hard Music Albums Chart. Beyond generating 10 million-plus streams, it incited unanimous critical applause. RIFF hailed it as “a fantastic and must-listen record, while Classic Rock Magazine awarded it “4.5-out-of-5 stars, going on to attest, “The Ides of March confirms Myles Kennedy as a musical powerhouse. In addition to praise from American Songwriter, Guitar.com, LoudWire, and more, Guitar World spotlighted the title track and lauded how “Kennedy nods to the titans of classic rock, with Led Zep-style acoustic lines, Rolling Stone-esque cleans and an overall composition reminiscent of A Night at the Opera-era Queen.

In 2023, he returned to Studio Barbarosa in Florida to record what would become The Art of Letting Go with longtime producer and creative confidant Michael “Elvis” Baskette. Joined by bandmates Zia Uddin [drums] and Tim Tournier [bass], he approached the sessions with a clear and cohesive intent.

“On previous records, there were more acoustic and roots elements, which required a lot of multi-tracking,” he says. “They were almost impossible to pull off as a three-piece, so we’d dramatically alter the arrangements. This time around, we made a record that could be played as a trio without having to reimagine the arrangements. Elvis and I kept saying, ‘Less is more’. When you’re trying to stay within a certain context, it inspires you to be creative. We also made sure the riffs would stand up. I got to play a lot of guitar!”

At the same time, he nodded to no-nonsense blues rock, channeling favorites such as Cry of Love and more.

“I love how the vocals are bone dry and right in your face,” he goes on. “Instead of ambience, we have my voice right up front, so it sounds like I’m singing to you in your living room.”

Speaking of, he introduces the album with the hypnotic lead single “Say What You Will.” Right out of the gate, the track’s hummable guitar lead snakes around a thick distorted groove. The punchy stomp gives way to a hard-hitting hook as he warns, “You can say what you will to me. Still I dare to be, more than what you are. I will not concede to my destiny.

“Lyrically, it’s a proclamation to cut through the din of criticism,” he reveals. “It dares you to not only ignore, but also be more than what those external or internal voices tell you that you’re going to be.”

Elsewhere, drums crash through a storm of swinging riffage on “Nothing More To Gain” as he locks into a swaggering cadence on the verses. During the bridge, he wonders, “When will you learn?”

“It falls in line with the Art of Letting Go,” he goes on. “As humans, we’re on the quest for the next dopamine rush. No matter how many things you acquire, they will never make you happy. Instead, happiness has been there all along. Its silence within yourself, tranquility, and this intrinsic freedom. ‘Nothing More To Gain’ is about getting out of your own way and living from a conscious perspective. It serves as a constant reminder.”

Then, there’s the driving “Saving Face.” A bluesy six-string lick sets the tone, giving way to a momentous beat. It turns on a dime towards a chantable refrain offset by high register harmonies.

“I don’t think I could’ve written it in my twenties,” he says. “I’ve learned the next generation is always barking at your heels and relevance can be fleeting. You have to ask, ‘Are you going to continue to fight for your place in the world?’ The wisdom you gain after being on the planet for a while is every bit as important as youthful exuberance is.”

Clean guitar echoes over a percussive march on “Miss You When You’re Gone.” As the energy ramps up, he warns, “This is gonna hurt like hell, so save yourself. This is the time, move on, it cannot last.”

“It’s lamenting impermanence and accepting all things must pass,” he continues. “I wanted it to be ambiguous enough to apply to different scenarios. As I get older, living in this unattached state is so important to me. You have to accept the transitory nature of life.”

The finale “How The Story Ends” tempers moody orchestration with one last soul-stirring solo and a cathartic chorus. “The lyric was inspired by this foreign film from 2022 called Speak No Evil,” he reveals. ““One of the things I’d like to change about myself is to stop being so passive in certain situations. I’m learning to be more assertive as life goes on. This movie resonated with me for that reason. It reminded me that sometimes the need to make other people happy can result in dire outcomes for yourself. Ultimately, you need to stand up for what you want or you’ll end up in the quarry.”

By going with the flow, Myles is living up to his potential as loudly as ever.

“When you listen to this, I hope you find an escape, empowerment, healing, or the comfort that we’re all in this together,” he leaves off. “I’ve realized you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone but you. Do the best you can, remember you’ve got a gift, and use it. As time goes on, it becomes more obvious that I want to stay in that mindset, be free, and enjoy every moment.”

Rick Florino, March 2024