I got a chance to meet up with Miles Kane a few days after the Barfly gig meeting him at the uber-trendy Social Bar just off of Oxford Street. As the first interview of the day I got the chance to get in all the questions that I’m sure he would be asked repeatedly throughout the day, as well as a few rank outsider ones relating to personal likes and dis-likes as well as his overtly twangy bigsby tremolo action. I interview Gruff Rhys last week (Super Furry Animals singer and also now solo star) and apart from saying that you were a "guitar god" and "surf guitar wizard" he thanked you for playing some guitar on his new album. [laughs] Gruff is a legend, I was listening to him on Radio 2, he was being interviewed when I got back to my hotel last night, I just love that track 'Shark Ridden Waters' from the new album, I haven't heard the whole album yet but the track is brilliant. Working with him I learnt so much, I can't really speak highly enough of him. Are you happy with the final finished album now that its all mixed and complete? Yeah its perfect, it's took a while on and off and in fact the first track to record was actually with Gruff (Rhys) and Craig Silver called 'Take The Night From Me' and ' The King Crawler' and they are on the the record. I then tried this other producer and we ended up doing the rest with Dan Carey and we're finished now and its getting mastered tomorrow. In relation to the 'mastering' of the album I've noticed from the first tracks available such as 'Inhaler' and 'Come Closer' that they were mastered quite loud, they really seem to stick their necks out a little bit over the other records in a jukebox or even when I'm DJ'ing them I end up riding the volume fader to stop them blasting over everything else. Was this intentional? That great, the louder the better really, not that I'm a DJ or anything I just play records but I was at this club on New Years Eve and played that new Beady Eye tune 'Bring The Light' it seemed to come in much louder than everything and I think they mastered it with the same guy as I'm using, I'm all for it. How have you found making a "Solo" record over a band recording or in fact a collaborative album such as The Last Shadow Puppets with Alex Turner? At first it was daunting especially when your used to being in an environment with a band or when I do "Puppets" I have a partner to bounce ideas off, the hardest part about a making a record is the writing part before you even go in the studio making sure you had good songs, so that downtime period is tough. We decided that before that I wouldn't do any gigs or anything until this record was done so nobody could hear any recordings or the songs beforehand which is good but at the same time it kills you because you get eager to gig and get out there so it took a while to adjust in that sense but once you started working and you knew that you had a couple of good tunes written it helped build the momentum. When I wrote 'Come Closer' originally that was a 'glam rock' sort of heavy drum based track, it sounded good but not unique enough and it wasn't till we got in the studio with the producer and we were listening to that Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon) album that gave us the idea to keep it dead simple and re-look at the drum beat by keeping it the same the whole way through. Looking back now I suppose from writing it at the start and then recording it I knew that by the time it was finished and I'd done the interview and the photos and that stuff that I would love it and I do. I'm just excited now talking about it. You will be going on Tour with Beady Eye soon what are your thoughts about that? I can't wait, I just hope the fans like our stuff, I think we're a pretty good match so I think it'll be good. I haven't heard the album yet but those 3 songs that are out that I've heard I've really liked. I love that 'Four Letter Word' tune, been playing that a lot. Which bands/artists have you been listening to during the writing and recording of the new album? Obviously I always mention Lennon so he's always there as well as Lee Hazlewood, in fact when I was making this record and even before I really got into him, I'd known the records he made with Nancy Sinatra and they're amazing and then I got into his solo stuff about a year and a half ago especially that track 'Rainbow Woman' and I did a cover of that for the B-side of 'Inhaler' I suppose that was a big influence and probably Motown as well with the drum beats so that it just stays the same and drives the song rather than fast then slow, I like it to just groove along it so if you heard the song half way into it you'd pick up on it straight away. Both with The Last Shadow Puppets and now in your LIVE set you've been partial to a cover version of 5, recently you've added Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's 'Spread Your Love' to your set and before with the "Puppets" you did Leonard Cohen's 'Memories' and a few more. I think its great, yeah we just added 'Spread Your Love' , we did loads in the "Puppets" we did 'Memories', The Beatles 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' , i think its good to always do a cover LIVE especially at this early stage where people don't really know the tunes its good to give them something to get hooked to, we want to try 'Hey Bulldog' (The Beatles) at some point as well, I think that would be a good one. Noel Gallagher sings backing vocals on 'My Fantasy' on the new album. How did they come about? Yeah he did backing vocals, its only a subtle thing, I was mixing the track , the main vocals are just me double tracked and I was going to add backing vocals on the chorus and bridge, and I'd seen him a few weeks before and just texted him seeing what he was up to and said I was mixing and looking to add some harmonies and thought it would be great if he could "add the icing on the cake" and he said that "icing is what i do best" (laughs) and he just come down the next day and did it. I mean the press have made it something more than that but it was just a cool little nod. Great guy. I went into the studio with him after and played some guitar but don't really know what its for, more of a jam really. Are there any new and current band's that you like?<.B> It's a tough one really, Sound of Guns from Liverpool are a good bunch of lads, more rock and heavier than me but great, The Heartbreaks from Manchester are doing some good stuff that I like, I don't really know many others, The Vaccines are really good that song 'Post Break Up Sex' is a good one, think it just charted didn't it? Before stepping forward to become the front man you were primarily known as a guitar player, who would you say are your influences guitar wise? Duane Eddy, Link Wray, I just love that sound, really trebly echo sound, I'm not very technically good but I just find I can get good sounds, I'd be lost without my Bigsby though (Bigsby tremolo unit on the guitar) it manages to stay in tune perfectly as well, the guy that fitted it for me said it was a good one although I use it so much maybe I just know instinctively how much pressure to put on it to stop it going way out, I suppose I just have good wrist action (laughs), my nights in are great (laughs.) Where do you like to hang out when your in London? A) Depends really, I go out with my manager and my mates for dinner here and there, The Groucho club in Soho is really good, I'm not a member but have gone there with people they have snooker tables there so you can have a few games and a drink, wherever really……. I can't believe I said The Groucho (laughs), me and Vic Reeves having a drink [laughs]. Oh look there's Stephen Fry ([aughs]. Will there be any new Last Shadow Puppets material or releases in the future? Definitely yeah, Alex is in LA at the moment doing the new Arctic Monkeys album, you should see where they are staying in LA, proper boss place, I think we'll try and get together and write some new stuff, we're always talking about it, it'd be James Ford producing again he's great, I think we'll try and write towards the end of the year, Alex is amazing lyricist. Lyrically I would say the best out there which is great when we're writing as I'm more melody and he's never stuck for a line or word, just pours out of him where as I'm more "what does that mean?" [laughs].
The debut solo album by Miles Kane is out 25th April