Interview: Miles Kane

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Image Credit: Lauren Luxenberg

It’s not often you can say you sat in your flat in the North of England being serenaded down the phone by Miles Kane, but I most certainly am one of the lucky few.

With his new record Change The Show due out late next month, Kane moves away from his staple glam-rock sound to sit back coolly and let jazzy influences wash over him.

In between sneak snippets of renditions of previously unheard cuts, Kane divulged the details of his upcoming release, and how life in London compares to Merseyside and L.A..

The Indiependent: Hey Miles! How’ve you been?

Miles Kane: I’ve been alright, you know? Yeah, it’s been like kind of a nonstop just like little bits and bobs kind of feel like I’ve done everything and nothing you know one of them ones.

The Indiependent: Are you excited for your new album Change The Show to come out?

Miles Kane: Yeah, I’m so excited. You know, it’s like, a long time coming this one for me. We put a lot of effort, a lot of work as you do with every album. I just loved writing the lyrics, I loved getting really deep with this one. And yeah, we’re super proud of it.

The Indiependent: You said it’s been a long time coming. How long have you been working on it?

Miles Kane: I mean, you never really stop writing. Even when I was well in the campaign of the last album, I was writing songs and thinking about what the next move is. It’s been a long time tweaking the songs and getting them how I wanted them.

The Indiependent: Where do you think the album stands in terms of your discography? What makes it stand out?

Miles Kane: I think maybe because I’ve always kind of wanted to make the record like this, you know, you’ve got your mix of the Northern Soul and your rock and roll. In a way, it sounds like a little bit rough around the edges, but still sort of quite big and catchy. It’s kind of like my dream album really, it’s got it all for me. During the process of making, it was a super four months, it’s got all of the personalities of me in it.

The Indiependent: Is there anything you learnt from making your last album Coup De Grace that you’ve applied to this one?

Miles Kane: I mean, it’s a completely different album, to be honest. It’s like I mean, it’s not that different. Is it? And I keep getting told it’s different, maybe it’s, like, less glam rock or something, I guess. Less aggressive. But it’s still like, you know, coming pretty much from the same place.  I mean, my mind space is completely different compared to me from that album, that feels like a lifetime ago.

The Indiependent: My favourite track on the album is ‘Never Get Tired Of Dancing’. Is there one you’re particularly fond of?

Miles Kane: I know I love that tune. It makes you want to have a drink or get ready to go out, doesn’t it? You know, it gives you like, it’s an upbeat one. I love that song. That and ‘Change The Show’ are really kind of there for me, you know, and you know, I never get tired of dancing. 

I wrote that with a guy called Simon Aldrich and we were in the studio for a few days and the day we’d written a couple of songs, and on the second night, we went out and we got obliterated, we came back to mine. And then the next day we were in the studio again and we were like, I’ve got nothing, I’m dry. I don’t even want to be hating life right now, absolutely no ideas. And then we were like, remember last night when we like, moved the table and we closed the curtain, and we’re blasting Motown. To that chorus “close the curtains, move the table, go and tell the whole world they’re unavailable”. That’s like literally what we did. And we just started doing that as a bit of a joke, you know, like, humming along, singing those lyrics. And then it became that song. So, whenever I think of that tune, it just gives me that memory. So straight away, you know, I mean, it’s quite as kind of quite beautiful, really.

The Indiependent: I feel like that’s how some of the best things happen though. Like, you don’t intend to just sit down and write it. It just comes out of an experience.

Miles Kane: Yeah, totally you know, a lot of them, they always are like that. Even the song ‘Change The Show’ was a bit similar. One morning I just came down with a cup of coffee in my dressing gown, and the TV was on, Biden and Trump and it was raining outside. My mate was staying with me, and we were having a bit of a rough one, and everything felt so negative and depressing. And I was just like “Change the show will you, flick the TV over” and it started forming out of frustration. And I was like “We’re too busy in a losing battle, I get by but I always get battered, it’s about time that we make shit matter”, it was sort of like a nursery rhyme or something, do you know what I mean? Really a bit freaky. And my mate came down and was like “what’s that?” and finished it off. We had a little jam of it in the studio and I was like “wow this is a f*cking belter”, and it became ‘Change The Show’. That was one of the last ones written, and I needed a song like that for the album, it became clear that I wanted to call it that.

The Indiependent: Does that happen quite a lot, then that a song will just come to you? Or do you ever have periods where you just sit down and you’re like “right I need to write something now”?

Miles Kane: I mean, both, you know, or periods where you’re like, “I can’t who am I? I can’t write a tune. I don’t know how to write. I pathetic I am” it’s a f*cking roller coaster. It’s a nightmare at times. But then you get those glimmers of hope like we just talked about, and it just washes away all the other stuff, you know?

The Indiependent: Definitely! Your latest release, ‘Nothing’s Ever Gonna Be Enough’ features Corinne Bailey Rae, what’s it like working with her?

Miles Kane: Yeah, she’s an absolute diamond. We go way back, she did like harmonies on my first style and Colour Of The Trap, and we lost contact for a few years. And then you know, one night I’d had a few wines and was in the kitchen thinking I was Judy Garland, and one of her tunes came on and I thought “I haven’t heard that tune in ages”, and it just rekindled our friendship you know, I mean, we started chatting again. We started sending each other demos and ideas and she said she loved ‘Nothing’s Gonna Be Good Enough’, and she said “I can’t stop singing it, the kids are singing it”, and I said that we could turn it into a duet, tweak a few lyrics, and it was kind of already set.  In the verses, it’s in two halves, like you’re having a back and forth with yourself, it makes more sense actually, if it’s with someone else. So that’s what we did. It’s just given the song, this whole new lease of life and become something really special. I think a little duet like that really fits well on this album. It doesn’t feel out of place or weird and it’s just cool as for really in it.

The Indiependent: You have collaborated with some pretty big musicians like Lana Del Rey, Alex Turner, Graham Coxon, how does it feel to also share a room with that person? And just like make music together?

Miles Kane: I mean, it’s just the same as having this conversation now really, it’s just normal. You know, it’s I mean, if you start analysing it, maybe it’s a bit mad or whatever.  You know, no-ones got big egos in anything I’ve experienced. It’s just like writing with Shelly across the road.

The Indiependent: Have you ever been like starstruck then like when you’ve met a famous person for the first time?

Miles Kane: I mean, yeah, I’ve definitely I think when I was like, younger, when I met Liam Gallagher or saw him for real. When we were growing up where we were from we didn’t really leave our little clique, we didn’t talk to anyone else. So even coming to London, I was like, “wow, what the hell is this?”. It was like, going to the f*cking moon! But yeah, definitely when I first met Liam Gallagher I started to sweat a bit.

The Indiependent: Are you down in London at the minute then?

Miles Kane: Yes, I am. I live there now.

The Indiependent: How does that compare to Merseyside and then being in LA as well?

Miles Kane: Yeah, I mean, compared to Merseyside, it’s like two different planets to be honest. I don’t think people are aware that London’s like its own f*cking thing. I’m really comfortable here, I’ve been here for a long time now, it’s so cool.

The Indiependent: Do you think living in certain places influences what you write as well? If you listen to your discography, can you be like, “Oh, I was in LA when I wrote that” or “I was in Merseyside when I wrote that”?

Miles Kane: Yeah, I mean, it depends. If you’re by the beach, doesn’t mean you’re going to write a surf album.  I guess wherever you are, who you are as a person and how you’re feeling that time and your mood. So that’s going to infiltrate the writing – so I think it’s more about being where you’re at in your head and your body, you know, that sort of reflects on your sound, if that makes sense.

The Indiependent: You’re heading out on tour as well next month! Are you excited for that?

Miles Kane: Yes, I am. I wish it was now to be honest, like I’ve been dying to sort of get do. We’ve only gotten a couple of gigs this year. And I’m itching to get into suck into it. And we’ve got an amazing setlist, got an amazing band, and so many great songs to play with now each night you know, it feels very special indeed. And there’s not going to be that weird lull in the gig, the set is so strong now and then it’s going to be a complete show. We’re going to put on a great show for everyone.

The Indiependent: Are there any tracks from the new album that haven’t made the setlist?

Miles Kane: I don’t know how many off the new album we’ll be playing in Jan. It’s hard, we’ve got three albums, we’ll probably play a few puppets tunes, probably do a cover. So you know, we’ll probably switch around each night to be honest to keep it interesting.

The Indiependent: I’m gonna be at the Manchester one, I’ll be waiting for ‘Never Get Tired Of Dancing’.

Miles Kane: I think that’s got your name on it, it’s yours.

The Indiependent: Talking about music scene in general, are there any up and coming artists you’re fond of at the moment?

Miles Kane: I mean, we’ve got Brooke Coombe supporting us on that tour. I look in her eyes and I can see that she’s got it. So she’s great. I’m excited to watch and see where she goes. Maybe we’ll do a duet or somehting, that’ll be quite fun.

https://open.spotify.com/artist/0JXwYf8x27ZfMO2gGuh6HO?si=z8WrK0BeRcC4pur4D8qc5A

The Indiependent: In terms of your other projects as well, are there any plans at the minute for new Jaded Hearts Club or Last Shadow Puppets music?

Miles Kane: No to neither at the moment. Puppet wise we’d love to do a trilogy for sure one day, we’ll just feel when it’s right.

The Indiependent: You’re known for your little Spotify playlist that you do as well. What’s your crispiest tune of 2021?

Miles Kane: F*cking hell, you’ve made me go mute. I don’t know what’s my favourite of this year. Can it be old or new?

The Indiependent: Is there a particular song you’ve played a lot this year? Or is there a new release that’s really grabbed your attention?

Miles Kane: I’ve been loving LL Cool. J ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ – that’s where my head’s at today. And I’ll tell you what I have had on repeat too, it’s ‘Fly As Me’ by Silk Sonic.

The Indiependent: One quick final question – what do you think 2022 is going to look like for Miles Kane?

Miles Kane: Wow. And I have no idea. To be honest. I have no idea, I just hope it’s a good one, a fun one, and a loud as hell one.  I hope the album goes down well, and then it connects with people. And you know that’s what’s gonna make me happy.

Interview conducted by Lana Williams


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