You probably know Miles Kane as a member of the Mercury-nominated 'Last Shadow Puppets,' the Indie / Baroque band he formed with Arctic Monkey Alex Turner in 2007. The 25-year-old Scouser returned to the charts last weekend with his eagerly-anticipated solo album 'Colour of the Trap,' after building up a strong fanbase touring all over Europe. He talks to Contact Music about making the album and his thoughts on UK music.
Miles, the album went in Sunday's chart at number 11 - congratulations! How did you feel recording this album as a solo artist compared to your experiences in bands and The Last Shadow Puppets?
Thank-you! I felt a lot stronger making this album, maybe it's a mix of my experiences in the past and my age. I feel like I know more about who I am now, and the ups and downs I've had have made me stronger and a better artist.
How do you feel about charting alongside pop and manufactured music?
I know a lot of people rate all of that stuff, so it's good to be up there alongside it really, even if it's not the music I listen to myself. I've really done this the old-school way and I've not stopped working; doing promo and gigging around Europe, and I think that's still the best way to build a fanbase.
So what do you think your album has brought to the UK chart which may have been lacking before?
I think my album is bringing the rock and roll thing back to UK music. Like Oasis - I mean, I'm not comparing myself to them - but I'm bringing that kind of music back into 2011. It's not an X-Factor type of thing; it's solo and quite ballsy. I suppose it's got swagger, but I don't mean that in an arrogant way. It's good to still be rewarded for making that kind of honest music.
Do you think the album is the kind of thing people would have expected of you?
I think the album may have surprised a few people. After the Puppets I could have taken an acoustic or strings route, but that's not me. The guitar for me has become a big part of my sound and I wanted to bring the guitar to the forefront of the album.
Do you think the success of the Last Shadow Puppets has both helped and hindered your career? Do you feel that now you're solo you have more to prove?
I think I've been through the hindering aspect of the Puppets a couple of years ago. I had to start again with this, and I probably had to work harder than any other new artist. I did have something to prove, as people knew me as 'Alex (Turner's) mate'. But if anyone did have any doubts about me then they could listen to my album and that would prove them wrong.
French actress Clemence Poesy features on the album track 'Happenstance' - how did that come about?
I've always liked songs that have a sexy feel and both a male and female vocal. I love Lee Hazlewood and the songs he did with Nancy Sinatra, and Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot. I wanted something like that on the album. Then someone from my label was at a party in Paris where Clemence was, and they got chatting and he asked her if she'd like to do it as she was a fan of the Puppets. But to be honest, when it got back to me I was like "Why her?!" and I thought that as she's an actress she might not really be a good singer. But she sent a demo over and it was boss, so we recorded together after that. In the second verse she sings the lyric that she wants the keys to my chest - every time we did it, she'd look over to me and smile as she sang it. On the track you can hear her about to laugh, but I wanted to keep it in as I thought it was a beautiful moment!
Your lyrics can be poetical and sometimes ambiguous. Is the inspiration for your lyrics all from experience?
Yeah, experience and little things I hear. Like if we were having a chat I might write down a word or two in my little book, and then I might end up with two pages of lines that I like. Luckily melodies come easy to me, thankfully, so I can then shape that around the words.
You're a big Oasis fan and are friendly with Liam and Noel. What did it mean to you to support Beady Eye on tour?
It meant so much that they asked me. I love Liam, so to be at Beady Eye's first gigs was exciting and one of the best tours I've done. Sometimes on support you feel a bit like there's no point if people didn't come to see you specifically, but with the Beady Eye tour it was perfect. We gained a lot, and people were getting there early just to see us. Travelling with my band is great too as I've known them all for a long time.
Do you think there will be another Last Shadow Puppets album after this?
To be honest, I don't know what I'll do next. I might just get started on a second album straight away. But when the time is right, there will be another album from us, yes!
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