In conversation with Miles Kane, a Journey through Music, Style, and Self-Discovery
Interview by Marie-Pauline
Photography by Yaël Temminck
Miles Peter Kane, born on March 17, 1986, is a renowned English singer and musician, best known for his solo career and co-fronting The Last Shadow Puppets alongside Arctic Monkeys’ frontman, Alex Turner. Miles has had a dynamic musical journey, from being the former frontman of The Rascals to becoming a solo artist, making waves with his debut solo album “Colour of the Trap” in 2011, and most recently, releasing “One Man Band” in 2023.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into Miles Kane’s musical evolution, his deep-rooted passion for music and we talked about his new album.
Hello Miles. Can you present yourself and describe your music style?
I’m a rock and roll singer hailing from the northern regions of England. I have a deep affinity for surf guitar music, as well as a profound love for rock and roll and Motown genres. I believe that my music reflects these influences, as I proudly wear them on my sleeve. On my latest record, I revisited the essence of why I initially picked up the guitar and rediscovered my passion for it. I truly rekindled my love affair with the guitar.
Where does your passion for music come from?
I’ve always been deeply passionate about music. It all traces back to my upbringing in my mum’s nan’s house, where music was a constant presence. The music I adore today is the same music that surrounded me as a child, I never really outgrew it. Sure, I went through different phases when I was younger, but music has always been an integral part of who I am. There will always be music playing in my life. It’s something that’s ingrained in me.
What was the music you were listening when you were a kid?
I grew up on the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bowie, Mark Boland… I love the Four Tops, Diana Ross, all that stuff.
What motivated you to shift from being a member of bands like The Little Flames, The Rascals, and The Last Shadow Puppets to pursuing a solo career in 2011?
I’ve been doing this since I was 17, and now I’m 37, but weirdly, I still sometimes feel like I’m just starting out, it’s quite crazy. I joined the Little Flames as a guitarist, without the confidence to sing. But, as I gained experience in the band, I began to desire the role of the frontman, the center of attention, you know? So, I taught myself how to sing.
And that was the beginning. Afterward, we formed The Rascals, and I also had The Puppets, along with my solo career. But, I must say, I just enjoy the freedom of being a solo artist. I can collaborate with whoever I choose and follow my own path. Being an only child, I suppose being a solo artist has a bit of an ‘only child syndrome’ element to it.
What role does Alex Turner, front man and songwriter of Arctic Monkeys, play in your life and music career? It seems that you have a strong relationship.
We’ve been through a lot together. It’s like, he’s one of those friends, those few best friends you have in life. As you grow older, your circle tends to shrink, but he’s remained one of my closest pals. It’s almost like a bit of yin and yang between us.
Would you ever consider forming or joining another band in the future? Or you are now a ‘One man band’ forever ?
Of course, never say never!
In 2017, you were part of the Beatles tribute band, Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band. How did that experience come about, and what was it like performing Beatles songs alongside other notable musicians?
The cool thing was that I also got involved with a band called the Jaded Hearts Band. We released an album where we covered soul and Motown tunes. It was just a fun project with fellow musicians. There wasn’t any pressure attached to it. I genuinely enjoy playing covers; in fact, I often include one in my live set. I tend to become somewhat obsessed with certain songs, so it’s a nice way to pay tribute to my favorite tunes.
What is your best cover feature?
I’ve done quite a few covers, but right now, I’ll mention one – Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff.’ You know, the one with the lyrics, ‘I’m looking for some hot stuff, baby, tonight.’ I did a version of that, and I think it turned out really well.
Your music and style have evolved (even your haircut) over the past decade. What influenced these changes in your artistic journey?
I think this is me. I consider it my farmer look, you know? But I like changing my style…Sometimes I want to wear suits, and other times, I prefer a more casual style. At the core of my style, it’s always had a bit of a mod influence. But I just love clothes, and I appreciate how they allow me to express myself. Sometimes I might decide to grow my hair out again, and that’s fine too, but I’ve been liking this look for a while now. Clothes have always been important to me, even as a kid. I’m somewhat obsessed and I can really get excited about a particular top, the way a jacket fits, or even by a scarf, you name it. It’s because I find clothing really exhilarating
You made your debut in the fashion industry and you’ve collaborated with fashion brand Fred Perry. What role does fashion play in your personal life and career? Would you consider making a fashion collaboration again in the future?
I’m wearing right now one of my collaborations with them (laughs). I love doing that kind of work. I have designed and created many of my own stage outfits. Even in The Shadow Puppets, when we had those tracksuits, I designed them with a guy named Ray Brown. So, I’ve also done some work with Fred Perry. I’d like to engage in more of that kind of work, to be honest!
Throughout your career, you’ve collaborated with several artists, from Alex Turner to Lana Del Rey. How have these collaborations impacted your creative process? With which artist do you dream of collaborating in the future?
The one I’d like to work with right now is Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Black Keys lately, and that would be my dream collaboration.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with many artists and working with Lana was amazing. I believe the song ‘Dealer’ is something truly special, especially because of her unique voice.
You’ve lived in various places, including London and Los Angeles. How have these different locations influenced your music?
I feel like my house in London is my true home now. It’s located in East London, which still has a bit of an edgy vibe, but I think it suits me. Moving back here, in hindsight, feels like the best decision I’ve made. I feel like I’ve truly discovered who I want to be and I’m comfortable with that.
Your latest solo album, “One Man Band,” was released in 2023. Could you share the inspiration behind it? What themes or experiences shaped its creation?
I went back to Liverpool to make it, you know? My family was involved – my cousin James Scalley from The Coral produced it, another cousin played the drums, and yet another cousin released it. We wanted it to be the ultimate record, full of raw emotions and honesty. I felt like I had something to prove, stepping away from overly complex music. I wanted it to be a pure guitar-driven Miles Kane record, no frills.
It’s my favorite record ever, filled with lyrics that capture my insecurities and fears. I’m comfortable writing and talking about my feelings. Starting with ‘Troubled Son’ and ending with ‘Scared of Love,’ it says it all.
As for what’s next, who knows? I’m still immersed in this album. Part of me thinks about ‘One Man Band Part 2,’ but I’m not ready to move on just yet. It’s all so me, and I’m passionate about it. Let’s see what the future holds!
And what about the tour of the album?
We have some gigs next month, but the main tour is in January, and I’ll be playing in Ultrecht in February! I really enjoy performing my songs. It’s amazing when people are excited about my music. I’m truly grateful for all of this, and it genuinely excites me.