By Bethany Marris, Online Music Editor
‘I’m a bit older now, I feel good coming out in myself this time.' Online Music Editor Bethany Marris interviews Miles Kane as he embarks upon his latest UK tour
Chatting with Miles Kane was exactly how you’d imagine chatting with Miles Kane to be. In want of a better phrase, the artist comes across as ‘down to earth’; a creative spirit pursuing a lifelong zeal for music and indie-rock culture. Linguistically unfiltered and free from pretentiousness, in fifteen minutes we squeezed in discussion of everything from Jamie T and Lana Del Rey, to his fashion icons and the exuberance of European crowds.
Kane released his third studio album Coup de Grace on 10 August, five years after his last solo release, Don't Forget Who You Are, was swimming in the charts . Despite a lousy wave of critical reception, Kane affirms that getting back to showcasing his solo material has been an ‘enjoyable and positive experience’, going so far in stating that it’s been his ‘favourite year’ in the industry.
Kane highlights that prior to Coup de Grace, both his last creative endeavour and subsequent performing stint occurred with the 2016 drop of Everything You’ve Come To Expect, from The Last Shadow Puppets: the band he fronts alongside indie-rock BHNOCH Alex Turner. For Kane, the combination of ‘time away’ and becoming acquainted with a new band has brought ‘freshness and excitement to it all’. Miles proceeds to give an honest assessment of the way in which age has allowed his confidence to grow, stating ‘I’m a bit older now, I feel good coming out in myself this time'.
It wouldn’t be too bold to suggest that Coup de Grace is reflective of this elevated mood, with dazzlingly bold artwork in shades of cerise and midnight-blue. Kane wanted this album art to have a ‘late night sort of vibe like the Ryan Gosling film Drive’, expressing his disregard for conventionality as he claims: ‘i’d rather this than a fucking photo of me outside a fucking brick wall.’ Furthermore, Kane laces tracks such as ‘Silverscreen’- a song tackling ‘all that nonsense in hollywood’- and ‘Something To Rely On’ with punky bravado. Meanwhile the record’s snappy opener, ‘Too Little Too Late’, carries echoes of 80’s synth pop under chaotic drums and imposing electric guitar.
That said, we shouldn’t get too lost in the new characteristic energy of many of Miles’ rhythms, as he is keen to highlight the ‘melancholic lyrics’ that contradict them. Perhaps a little wishy-washy in response, Kane claimed to be ‘just writing about feelings that i was feeling at the time…the things you go through in life and stuff’, however, the story behind his writing process got juicer as we discussed recent collaborations with Lana Del Rey and Jamie T.
On his relationship with the London based singer-songwriter, Kane revealed that they’ve ‘known each other for over 10 years’, further explaining that once the sharing of ideas began, ‘we couldn't really stop...we got into an amazing groove and each song became better than the previous’. The collaboration with Lana, however, came about as the pair happened to ‘bump into’ her in Los Angeles; nonchalantly explaining that they 'put her on the chorus' of the first single 'Loaded' as a consequence.
Alongside music, integral to Miles Kane’s brand is his style. As one of GQs ‘50 best dressed men’, Kane makes no secret of the fact that his contemporary musical interests have orchestrated his fashion choices from a young age. ‘When you’re a kid you’re looking at bands, old and new. You wanna grow your hair and you wanna shave your hair’, said Miles, and continued that he primarily draws inspiration from the apparel of icons such as ‘The Beatles, James Brown and Paul Weller’.
As the conversation drew to a close, Miles reflected upon his memorable summer touring new material in Europe. Despite ‘anxiety’ over crowd turn-out at matinee set-times, the artist was proud that he and his band ‘absolutely smashed it’, crediting ‘fair play’ to the audiences for bringing ‘that certain energy’ and ‘all getting lit at three in the afternoon’. Paris and Transmission Festival were cited as particularly ‘rocking’ destinations. Whilst Kane feels that his sound is ‘built for a larger audience’, his overriding agenda isn’t to drastically scale his following. Humbly, Kane expresses excitement for his upcoming, UK academy-size tour, concluding that ultimately, he just loves performing; ‘whether that’s in a pub or an arena, as long as i’m just doing it, that will make me happy’.
You can catch Miles Kane at Bristol's O2 Academy on 3 December.
Featured Image: Coup de Grace/ Virgin EMI Records
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