Miles Kane: "I always have a goal to aim for. I think for most people whatever you get out, you always want more, but I’m trying to get to a place now where I’m content with what is around me."
Alice Gee | 04/04/2022
I drop in with Miles Kane to talk musical notes of melancholy, the highs and lows involved with growing up, and the itch he’s yet to fully scratch when it comes to his future endeavours.
Kane is noticeably upbeat, much I’m sure due to his successful and critically praised new album Change the Show. The album, is a tribute to self-reflection, with a fusion of flirty and upbeat sounds, paying homage to Kane’s feelings about coming of age. Having dropped into his pop-up Chicken Shop gig a few weeks before our interview, I was excited to congratulate him on the success of the evening, a night of good music, good food, and good company.
I came to your event at the chicken shop the other week, which was brilliant.
“You know, it was something out the box. It was fun. And it was a success.”
It was, it was different. Because of COVID, I don’t feel I’ve been out very much. So it was nice to get out and about and have some good food and listen to your new music as well. You’ve been on an exciting ride recently releasing the album and you’ve got your coming up. The albums had the most incredible response from listeners and critics. You must be really pleased with how it went down. What was your kind of expectations when you released the album?
“You know, I’m always thinking what’s next. I always set my bar super high. I always have a goal to aim for. I think for most people whatever you get out, you always want more, but I’m trying to get to a place now where I’m content with what is around me at this point. Where I’m currently at in my life is if I can be creative, and still make records and people buy them that’s enough. But of course, I dream big, because I believe so much in my songs and me as a performer. I think I am one of the best out there. I think it’s a unique lane that I stand in. But at the same time, the hype that can come alongside a new album can be intense. Like, for that month it’s kind of like having a massive house party on your own in your head. Which I’ve found difficult to deal with previously. I’ve gotten a lot better at it and it’s something I’m aware of.”
I think it’s really difficult because I’m similar to you. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to my hopes and expectations. My mum has always said to me when is it ever going to be enough?
“That’s exactly it, nothing’s ever going to be good enough, whatever that means, whether it’s in feeling good, work, love life or not achieving what you want, it’s an uphill struggle. But I’ve been trying to not let it take up my whole being, otherwise, it can become a cloud over your head that you have to do your best to sort of fight off.”
100% especially in the industry you’re in, the highs and lows. I think the fact that you’ve kind of find found a bit of insight into that is brilliant.
“I’m still trying you know. I don’t have the answer just yet but I’ve done it enough to sort of go through those things and learn. It’s been interesting to learn the psychology behind the mind, it’s mind-blowing how it’s wired. So it’s just trying to put all the information together. It’s a weird job. You don’t just switch off, it’s all the time, it’s all on you.”
I wouldn’t worry about having the answers because I don’t think that you get the answer or the cure, I think you learn to deal with the symptoms of the problem. What I love is that the album touches upon this sort of stuff, and especially this idea of growing up. I think the album highlights the idea of a rite of passage. Was it something you wanted to explore in the album, the journey you’ve been on in recent years?
“It was exactly that. To be honest, those feelings we just talked about, all became an outlet in the album. For some reason with me, I feel those emotions quite a lot. So to write about them is my natural go-to place. It’s a bit melancholic at times. I think in the songs especially, that conversation we’ve had is what my songs are about. For me, I like to write about those things. Whether that’ll change I don’t know but I’ve always been a bit like that, I don’t want to forget who I am. There’s always a sense of me trying to be more centred, more in control. It’s helped me a lot. I’ve previously not been 100% comfortable talking in-depth about how I feel as I’ve never known how much to let go in a conversation like this but in terms of writing songs with feelings and emotions, I find that that’s kind of my lane and I feel good in that lane.”
I love that it’s unapologetic. I think you found the right balance when it comes to melancholy and the fact that you have such a firm sound behind it, almost Motown, it picks up heavier moments. I think it’s the right sound to balance that.
“That’s my personality you know, I am quite an emotional person and I’m happy to talk about that in the music, both the good and bad things. I’m pretty upbeat and I’ve got a lot of energy. I’m not one to mope around the fire in the valley, so with the sad lyrics, I was trying to be as truthful in the lyrics about my attitude and personality whilst lifting them.”
I think it can be good to get you through tough times. You must be super excited to take it back on the road and have such a full sound to it knowing people are going to be able to dance and let loose.
“I want people to feel those energies and to just let it rip. I haven’t done a gig other than some record store acoustic things. But I haven’t done a gig in a club or venue for a long time.”
I’m not surprised. I’m sure many will be hoping Corinne Bailey Rae will be joining you having released a duet on the new album. To see her on the album was a really nice surprise, you both complimented each other.
“It’s probably something that no one would have ever guessed, which is good. We go way back and have a great connection anyway, which is why it sort of works as well as it does. It worked perfectly for us. I live in London and she lives in Leeds so she’s going there at those gigs which will be special.”
People are going to love that. Now as much as I don’t believe in this whole kind of “what are you hoping to do in 10 years” because who knows what will happen, but in the shorter terms what are your hopes and aims?
“I guess I always have one eye on my next move, but I’m still waiting on these gigs. I love what I do and I think there’s a big itch that hasn’t been scratched, and I don’t know what it is. All I know is I feel that I’ve just got to keep going. And that’s what I’m obsessed with, I want to make another record this year but we’ll see what happens. At the end of the day anything that opens creatively to me whether it’s music, fashion, or food. I’m open to the goal. All I know is I’ve got a fire in my belly that I need and want to follow.”
A poignant note to finish on, almost mystical to what’s to come for Kane. One thing that you can be sure of is that you’re in for a show with Kane’s upcoming Change the Show the UK and European tour. It’s going to be a tour of cutting loose and embracing the moment with Kane giving it everything and more, marking a year of self-reflection and the freedom that comes with leaving the madness behind.
Words: Alice Gee
Photography: Lauren Luxenberg