“It Don’t Get Much More Real Than This!” Miles Kane Interviewed

The songwriter on his fantastic new record...

When Miles Kane invites us to his local London boozer to discuss all things ‘One Man Band’ (his upcoming album), we can’t resist.

Miles is all smiles when he arrives, before ordering a beer and telling us how excited he is to release and tour this record that is so much a part of him. It has also led to him making a journey of a lifetime to meet his idol and has taught him more about the way he deals with “uncomfortable” emotions and times. 

One thing about Miles Kane is that he is not shy. When asked about his fifth studio album, ‘One Man Band’, he replies: “It’s a fantastic record that I love.”  He continues: “I think it shows an honest portrait of where I am in life and I stuck to my guns on [the] sort of songs I wanted and it’s back to that core base of rocking, something that I do, that I love and that’s at the forefront of this. And there’s on hiding behind strings and choirs and stuff like that, it’s very me.”

‘One Man Band’ is a deep dive into what makes Miles Kane, Miles Kane. He would agree that there is an introspective element to this new record. “I always try and be as honest as I can and I think [the album is] super honest about my feelings in life and they’re the kind of songs that I like to write and it don’t get much more real than this.”

Miles is also looking forward to going on tour and playing more live shows, especially after a string of acoustic shows across the UK recently. “They’re going to be mega. I can’t wait. I’m itching to play live. I’ve already done a couple of gigs this year so… This album’s built for that.”

Writing the album is a process that begins at home for Miles, which is fitting, given how personal it is. “It always pretty much starts on my sofa. A lot of it was written up North, because I made the album in Liverpool with my cousin, he produced it. And then the studio. I wrote a couple of songs with Tom [Ogden] from Blossoms, that was in Stockport and with Kieran in Liverpool. A lot of it was up North, really.”

‘Troubled Son’ was the first single to be taken from Kane’s new album and is as confessional as they come. It was also a good way to introduce the themes of the album. “It was hard to pick the one to come back with. I think that’s the most…it’s a really well-written song, for one, it’s got a bit of class. It’s got loads of emotional, real lyrics and it sets up me talking about the album and me saying about where I am in life and what’s next to come on this album. It’s one of those upbeat, anthemic songs. It’s a bit like ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ of mine, an old song, it sits in that bracket so I’m glad that we did that because it was hard to pick which one to go with first.” He laughs as he recalls the process. “We picked the right one”. 

‘The Wonder’ is one of the lead singles from the album and it hits on loneliness, more nostalgia and perhaps even regret. “It’s a song [about] when you feel lonely. One, it’s such a sing-a-long, summer, banging, ultimate me song, you’ve got the guitar riff, it’s upbeat. Sometimes when you feel lonely, on your own and you’re thinking about…whether it be an ex-girlfriend or a friend or you know, those things that have maybe gone before, it’s a song about that. Sometimes, you get the rose tinted glasses on…” Miles talk about the effect of these rose tinted glasses and how they can distort reality to an extent, because fantasies mean you can almost correct the past.

Making the more emotional tracks on ‘One Man Band’ was a way for Miles to confront the way he processes difficult times. “When things are uncomfortable or something bad has happened, it’s like that saying, ‘time is a healer’ and it is. The older you get, it being uncomfortable stuff, I have to solve it there and then and I’m still a bit like that. Say if me and my mates fell out, I want to get it sorted now. I’m not good at letting unresolved things… like, say if you were with someone and you had an argument and they went off, my day would be wrecked, because I can’t… until it’s sorted out. But the older you get, the better I [getting] am at that. There’s something in that thing of we all need time to heal and time is a good healer.” 

You may not assume that stars themselves very often get starstruck, but Miles’ single ‘Baggio’ led to a short documentary following him on a journey to Milan to hopefully meet the footballing icon, Roberto Baggio.The nostalgic single is a look back at his childhood and the feelings he experienced when he first discovered the Italian football team as well as the journey from childhood to adulthood. “It’s about this footballer that when I was a kid, I was obsessed with, and when I was eight years old, I first saw him…He’s like an Italian god and when I first saw the Italian team, I was eight, it was the first time I saw men that looked different and had long hair and I hadn’t really seen men that had looked like that. That were sexy and cool. So it’s a song about that, it’s about this Roberto Baggio.”

When asked about being on stage with Arctic Monkeys, Kane said: “We did ‘505’. We haven’t done that for a long time. And that was a nice feeling. I felt very honoured. I felt the timing was right and people seem to like it and it was a lot of fun.”

‘One Man Band’ is upbeat, fast-paced and feel good so it’s noticeable that there aren’t as many romantic songs on this album, compared to, say, ‘Shavambacu’ on Kane’s previous release ‘Coup de Grace’. “I love ‘Shavambacu’. In Leeds the other day, someone [who] stopped me said that that’s going to be their first wedding dance. I’d forgotten about that tune but I’m going to start playing that again. There’s no love songs like that on this one.” 

Miles has also been playing shows in July with Kasabian (at the Eden Project), Blossoms (in Leeds) and, of course, made quite the appearance at one of Arctic Monkeys’ London stadium shows for a performance of ‘505’. He has since announced a headline UK tour, taking place from January 2024. “[Playing with Blossoms] was really good. Their crowd really welcomed us and we rocked it, to be honest.”

Miles Kane will release new album ‘One Man Band’ on August 4th. Catch him live at the following shows:

25 Leeds O2 Academy
26 Bristol O2 Academy
27 Birmingham O2 Institute
29 Oxford O2 Academy
30 Nottingham Rock City

1 Glasgow SWG3 Galvanizers
2 Newcastle NX
3 Manchester O2 Ritz
5 Cambridge Junction
6 Southampton Engine Rooms
8 Brighton Concorde 2
9 London Electric Ballroom

Words: Narzra Ahmed
Photo Credits: Main Picture – Charlie Salt; Inset Picture – Rosie Skinner

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