Miles Kane is in Florence shooting a video for his single Killing Joke. He describes the city as “absolutely beautiful.” What’s he doing there?
There are rumours that Miles is planning a secret gig whilst in Florence, which he confirmed would take place the following night in a “tiny bar in centre of Florence”.
We congratulate the singer-songwriter on his new album, Coup de Grace; the pronounciation of which isn’t easy, especially for someone who is as ‘uncultured’ as I am, but Miles reassuringly sees the funny side and explains that a lot of people have a similar problem, whilst laughing at my misdemeanour.
It’s been five years since Miles Kane has released his last solo album (Don’t Forget Who You Are), choosing instead to work on his The Last Shadow Puppets project with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) in between writing his solo material. For a time, The Last Shadow Puppets took priority but now Miles Kane is back with Coup de Grace; the name of which is actually a nod to the finishing move of Kane’s favourite WWE wrestler.
Coup de Grace itself is a heartfelt outpouring of emotions from the singer-songwriter; covering heartbreak, love, loss and everything in between. Miles Kane isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.
Songs from the ‘Coup de Grace’ album were written in collaboration with South London’s Jamie T. America’s sweetheart Lana Del Rey (“fantastic; fantastic writer and a cool girl”) contributed to the emotionally charged, Loaded, after bumping into Miles at a Jamie T gig.
The songwriting process, with Jamie T, was “very honest..” and began very organically, with the pair having been friends for over a decade. Writing new material “gets [Kane] excited” and he “wanted to start again.” He was “in a different mindset [in terms of] what [he] wanted to write about. That was it really.” “With Jamie T, the whole process was enjoyable, it was quite fast, it was very natural. It was just very honest and real and all all the songs that we did, they just felt really good so we carried on and wrote about 15-20 songs and from that-it basically became the album.”
Also on the topic of songwriting, Kane found the process therapeautic: “It was nice to be with one of your best mates or someone you’re close to and talk about what you want to write about and how you feel at the time. Writing about it is the best way to -whatever feeling it is- even if you just write it down, you know what I mean. You don’t even have to write a song, even if you just write down what you’re thinking on a piece of paper. It sounds so simple, you don’t think it will but if there’s something on your mind and if you take both sides of what you’re thinking about, say the positive and the negative and you write it down, it does make a difference so I guess it was just like that but in music, really”.
“I feel you don’t love me no more.” I question Miles on the achingly raw emotion behind these lyrics from his song, Wrong Side of Life. Was it hard to express? Kane is a man with no secrets, apparently and it is reflected in his lyrics. “For me that’s the best way to do it,” he explaines. “Whether I’m talking to a friend, or a girl I’ve been seeing, I like to be honest and I do wear my heart on my sleeve. When it comes to writing, the older I get..I’m comfortable in who I am. I’m all for letting it out. There’s no hiding. I think it’s the best way to write lyrics, whether it’s sad or whatever. If that’s how you feel then just say it.”
A lovely way to end the album, Shavambacu, is a lovingly written song, which has an interesting story behind it. “Shivambacu was a nickname that my mother used to call me and my grandmother used to call my mum and it was a family name. Then me and my ex-girlfriend, we started using it, it was kind of a nickname and when I was coming to writing this album, me and Tyler were in New York and he said to me, “What is that word you always say?” and I said, “I don’t know really.”” A quick phone call to his mum revealed that it was a reference to the Dean Martin song, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup, which his grandmother was convinced was called ‘Shavambacu’ (due to hearing issues) “..and it just sort of stuck”.
Kane is now part-way through his headline tour and we couldn’t let him play Leicester without asking about a potential collaboration with Kasabian, to which he replied, “Yeah! They’re one of my favourite bands. I would absolutely love that”. Let’s hope we can start some rumours and make it happen!
The Leicester show is not far off now and Kane is as excited as we are, it seems: “I can’t wait. Playing live is my favourite thing. It’s so exciting when we play live. I’ve got a great band and an amazing setlist. It’s just gonna be rocking. It’s going to be special. It’s going to be special. It’s going to be the best tour that we’ve done. I wish it was tomorrow!”
Miles Kane plays 02 Academy Leicester on 4 December.