by Ashley Sterio
Like many people in the early 2000’s, I was a huge fan of wrestling. Specifically, WWE’s ruthless aggression era. I’d tune in to every Smackdown and Raw showing I could, and if I was lucky I’d watch the odd pay per view event. My favourite wrestler was Edge, his entrance theme ‘Metalingus’ never failed to get me excited with its blistering drum rolls, hype-inducing guitar riffs and of course, the unique vocal range. Now, why am I telling you all this? Well, this was my first introduction to the world of Myles Kennedy and his band Alter Bridge.
Fast forward to late 2011 and my love for wrestling had faded. However, a new love had emerged – Guitar Hero. I started from Warriors of Rock, the sixth game which has the best song list; try changing my mind (Rush, Megadeth and Slayer – who could beat that?). It also had the song ‘Ties That Bind’, which is, you guessed it, an Alter Bridge song. After playing this, my musical taste was pining for more hard rock Alter Bridge action, leading me to buy their entire discography on iTunes and I’ve not stopped listening to them since.
Their songs often have a sombre yet hopeful outlook on life; moving forward, mourning the loss of a loved one and becoming a better person. These lyrics are amplified through Myles Kennedy’s angelic voice that can fill you with either joy or tears depending on the song. His lyrics have personally helped me through years of anxiety and depression, and I’m sure they will continue to do so.
My love for the band culminated in seeing them live in 2016. It was an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Musically, it was as if you were listening to a studio recording – every member performed perfectly. I cried throughout most of the show whilst belting out every word through my quivering lips, especially when they performed their song ‘Blackbird’.
‘Blackbird’, in my opinion, is a masterpiece that everyone should listen to. It’s about the loss of a close friend to Kennedy who sold him his first guitar. It’s only fitting that such a hauntingly beautiful track was inspired by the man that created a musician out of Myles Kennedy.
Myles Kennedy isn’t just in Alter Bridge. He also has an acoustic solo album that’s incredibly soothing to the ears. He also frequently collaborates with legendary guitarist Slash and more recently Disturbed for a rendition of ‘The Sound of Silence’ which brings me to tears.
While writing this, I have been listening to Alter Bridge. As ‘Ties that Bind’ started playing, memories of the countless times I’ve played that song on Guitar Hero came rushing back. I may have grown up, but Myles Kennedy will forever remind me of the best parts of my youth. Thank you, Myles Kennedy.