"It's learning to view the world through a prism that ultimately seems a lot healthier..." - Alter Bridge talk new album Walk The Sky
Now 15 years into their career, arena-filling, skyscraper sounding, heartswelling rockers Alter Bridge have built a fine career. But, naturally, as their career continues, they want to push themselves.
With new album Walk The Sky, their sixth, the band have experimented, adding synthesisers and John Carpenter esque electronics to their sound, adding a new element and a new dimension to their hugely successful formula.
The album is out now in hmv stores and we spoke to frontman Myles Kennedy about how they put it all together...
When did you start working on the songs for Walk The Sky?
"I can’t speak for everyone, but I started writing songs for the record in August of 2018. We didn’t start recording until March of this year so that gave Tremonti (Mark Tremonti, guitarist) and me plenty of time to accumulate enough material."
How did you want this album to move on from what you’ve done in the past?
"We wanted to incorporate a few changes texturally like adding some retro synth elements in the mix, a la John Carpenter. We also tried to trim down the arrangements and keep the songs more focused. With that said, we still take a few of the sonic journeys the fans have come to know us for."
You’re back with Michael Baskette again, what does he give you as a producer?
"He has tons of great ideas and we trust his instincts, which is crucial. Elvis is the perfect producer for a rock band like Alter Bridge. He “gets it.” It’s definitely been a great working relationship over the last 12 years and we don’t see any reason to risk that dynamic with someone new."
Did you ever discuss working with someone else? Or can’t you imagine making an Alter Bridge record without him?
"No. He is like our unofficial fifth member in the studio."
Did you want to incorporate any new influences on this album? You’ve talked up a slightly more electronic influence…
"Mark and I both were interested in bringing the late 70’s early 80’s synth vibe in on this one. It’s not on every track, but we pepper it throughout just enough to define what this record is about while retaining the sonic hallmarks of our riff-based guitar approach."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"A few of the songs touch on living life from a mindful standpoint as well as learning to view the world through a prism that ultimately seems a lot healthier."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"For me, personally 'Native Son' took a little while. I wrote the riff and verse, but it took a long time to settle on a chorus before bringing it to the band."
And which came together most quickly?
"'Wouldn’t You Rather' happened quickly once the spark was created. I will say it took some searching and time to discover the initial spark."
When did you decide on Walk The Sky for the album title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We knew after the album was complete that Walk The Sky was appropriate. No other titles were in the running..."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"The plan is to tour for the next year. We will be all over the world promoting the album."
You’ve got six records now, how will you decide what makes your live set?
"It’s getting to be more of a challenge to pick the setlist because of the amount of material we have accumulated. We will keep the tracks that are the fan faves of the set while slowly integrating some of the newer songs to keep things interesting."
When will we see you back in the UK?
"We look forward to returning to the UK on our arena run in December, with our friends in Shinedown and Sevendust as special guests. We can’t wait!"