Interview: Miles Kane
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Having shelved plans with The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane emerged with an affirmative third solo record drenched in melancholic glam-rock.
Perhaps unfairly, Miles has been cordoned into dismissive categories that fail to recognise his individualistic flair or talent. Maybe due to self-proclaimed best friend Alex Turner and the magnanimous rockstar persona portrayed, Miles regularly finds himself doused in questions and topics that limits him to being Turner’s sidekick. However, Miles Kane is on the verge of entering uncharted territory. The flamboyant Liverpudlian is embarking on a new chapter, both musically and personally, that places him at the very centre of the limelight.
His third studio album Coup De Grace has morphed into a personal beacon, illuminating a path forward in which the hedonistic frontman can thrive. Miles seems relaxed and content, his voice rolls out with an instantly recognisable scouse husk: “It just feels good to be back out, doing it and I feel comfortable in myself. I’m really enjoying it,” he says “I love this album and I’m just loving it really.” Miles has an amiable blend of exhilaration and enthusiasm about him, something that is immediately clear in the early exchanges of conversation.
This new shade of glam-rock exuding from Miles has only been accentuated through collaborative writing experiences with Jamie T and American superstar, Lana Del Ray. “Jamie helped me bring the life to it really, we set aside some time to do some writing and when we were sat together and heard ‘Silverscreen’ and ‘Coup de Grace’, he said, you should make your record like this”. Miles goes onto recall the moment he was introduced to poetic songstress Lana Del Ray, “We started writing one afternoon and she came round and wrote different things with us. It was an inspiring time really, we would write a tune a day and make a demo and we just got into the groove of just enjoying writing really.”
Now residing in Los Angeles, Kane enlisted the help of Grammy award-winning producer, John Congleton. By his own admission, Miles had become disinterested in the art of perfecting intricate elements of tracks that had no real prominence in the final product. “We wanted to capture it in a DIY fashion, we used an all analogue studio in L.A. I just put my trust in John. I knew all the songs and everything was kinda written in there, I was mentally ready for it and I basically said, ‘make me sound cool’.” Miles mentally scans the studio as he describes the various elements, offering exciting utterances that arrive in no chronological order, a similar fashion to that of an excited schoolchild reliving amusing moments.
With the record having been released earlier in the summer months, fans and critics alike moved quickly to celebrate the latest release as the most standout effort from Kane’s solo discography. Coupled with various elements of abrasive punk and flirtatious glam, Kane has seemingly managed to incorporate various expressive traits into the latest release. His intrinsic adoration for WWE was celebrated and shared via a brutal music video containing WWE superstar Finn Bálor.
“Well that should be video of the year by the way!” Kane exclaims. “The idea came about as a fight scene similar to a Bond film, I asked if he would be up for it and he agreed. It was an amazing time and for me, it was like a dream come true. I was loving it, to be honest! I was like can we do it again?! Slam me again!.” In one particularly combative, feral fight scene, Bálor executes his signature wrestling move ‘Coup De Grace’. Rather befitting and appropriate that Miles named his defiant and obstinate record after a personal interest.
Having enjoyed a hectic year in regards to music, clothing and personal relationships, Miles embarks on a headline winter tour this year starting with a sold-out performance at the revered Barrowlands in Glasgow. “Kicking it off with a bang, I think that one will be insane. All of them to be fair, I can't really pick out one, to be honest. Every night I leave it on there like it’s my last one. Whether it being London, Newcastle, Coventry, each one, I leave it out there.”
While Jamie T’s and Lana’s influence undoubtedly linger and make prominence in various aspects of Coup De Grace, this is an album that highlights the route that Miles has been searching for a while now. Sprinkled with uncustomary honesty and fragility, Miles Kane has a solo album that can finally carry him into uncharted waters.