Miles Kane: ‘I Want A Number One Album’

We speak to Miles about going solo, the new record, and his lofty chart ambitions.

Probably known most recently for being the other half of The Last Shadow Puppets alongside ‘best mate’ Alex Turner, Miles Kane is preparing to unleash himself as a solo star in 2011, with a debut album featuring Gruff Rhys, and support slots with Beady Eye. We speak to Miles about going solo, the new record, and his lofty chart ambitions.

Have you always thought you’d make a solo album?
I think so. I’m 24, and I’ve been on a journey, I’ve been through a lot. After touring for two years with the Puppets and the Rascals, deciding that enough was enough with the band, it took me a while to adjust. I’ve always been in a band environment, or when I do the Puppets I’m with my best mate, so there’s always been something there. It took a while to get used to it, that side of things, especially writing. What we said we’d do is, I wouldn’t do a gig or anything until I’d finished the record, wouldn’t do an interview or give anything away, so when I’m ready, I’m ready, and it’s behind me and I can go out. Which is the best way to do it, it just took a while to write some good tunes and get my confidence back up. That’s where Gruff Rhys came in, I did my first sessions with him and he really gave me the confidence again.

Was it exciting to work with someone so influential?
That I looked up to, of course. Super Furries was the first gig I went to. I always knew in my head that I could do it, and once I’d made the record, and got it out there, I’ve been itching to even do press, and play gigs. I’m so up for this, you wouldn’t believe.

Does it help that you have a regular touring band?
Yeah, they’re mates, and it’s a great band. It looks like a band as well, it’s not just me with session musicians. I think even the record I’ve made, it’s not a singer/songwriter, solo artist thing, it’s rock ‘n roll, and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who’s on their own doing that. That’s why I believe in what I do, I’m just doing my own little thing, on a path.

So you’ve got the best of both worlds…
It’s great. Even when we’re working out the set, and going down the track order on the album, I’ve got them involved and I’m always open to ideas.

Is it the same band on the record as live?
No, they’re not on the record, just live. On the record the producer played bass, and we got a drummer in and did it as a three-piece then built it up. On album two I’m sure I’ll do it with the band, so maybe it’ll have a bit more of a live sound, I don’t know.

How did you go about recording the album, it says it was made in both London and San Francisco.
I did a couple of tracks with Gruff over here, but it was mainly recorded with Dan Carey over in Streatham, and then I went over last summer to San Francisco to mix the four singles with this producer called Dan The Automator, and we did a little bit of additional production on the drums, and I think I re-sang a couple. That was just fuckin’ great, like. I went over there on my own and he really looked after me. This whole record, I’ve sort of found myself, coming through it I really feel a different lad to how I did before, maybe because I’m 24, I’m a bit older now, settled in to it, I’ve experienced things. I know the score now.

You’ve just started playing the record live…
I just want to get out there and show the people, and get the people on board, get them havin’ it. These little gigs we’ve been doing have been great, we did Leeds on Friday and London on Saturday. In London we had a stage invasion, so there’s a buzz and the record’s not even out until the first week of May! It’s a slow build, I just can’t wait until people know all the songs, they only really know Inhaler at the moment. I just can’t wait.

What can people expect from your live show, then?
It’s just great. The band is great, the tunes sound massive live, we’ve really got it down to a ‘T’. It couldn’t be better. It’s definitely the best live band out there at the minute, it’s exciting. We’re havin’ it – we have a buzz. If you come to a gig you won’t be disappointed.

Finally, what are your hopes for the record?
I want to break the charts. Because I don’t think there’s enough guitar music out there at the minute, and I believe that what I’ve done, while it’s rock ‘n roll, it’s still catchy, and I could hear it on the radio. I think, with all the bands that are coming out this year, that it could be a year to get guitar music back on Radio 1. It’s just not there any more, and it’s fuckin’ sad.
Just because, the way I think the world’s gone, people go off and they get their songs mixed by a certain mixer to get it on the fuckin’ radio, where my record will sound as good as a pop artist, it’ll sound cooler. It needs to come down to tunes again – if it’s catchy, people relate to that, and that’s what I want.

So your ambition is to reach the Top 10?
Yeah, Top 40 would even be an achievement on a single. I’d love to come closer though, go Top 20, and I want a Number One album. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, I just want to…

Single ‘Come Closer’ is out now.

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