Air Guitar? Myles Kennedy Started Out in a Whole ‘Air’ Band


Myles Kennedy, the singer-songwriter and guitarist who plays in Alter Bridge and with Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, recently shared how he had an “air” band as a kid. That is, a band that played only air guitar and other air instruments — no actual shredding!

Kennedy, who released the album Pawns & Kings with Alter Bridge earlier this fall, looked back on his air band in an interview with Classic Rock. He remembered the first time they played for a group of church congregants in a fellow musician’s basement, much to the attendees’ chagrin.

“My friends and I had formed an ‘air’ band, and we’d told everyone that [we’d] play a gig without any instruments,” Kennedy says.

“We set up in the church pianist’s basement, and our parents thought it [would] be cute,” he continues. “Everyone was like, ‘Let’s go downstairs and watch the kids play!'”

However, ahead of the fateful performance, those gathered didn’t realize the air band’s setlist “featured only full-on metal,” Kennedy explains with a smile. “[Motley Crue’s] ‘Shout at the Devil,’ [Judas Priest’s] ‘Screaming For Vengeance,’ Iron Maiden.”

The singer deadpans, “It took literally two songs to clear the entire room. It was wonderful.”

Funnily enough, the moment more or less shaped the trajectory of Kennedy’s career. Except for the fact that he’d be performing with real instruments as a professional entertainer.

And that basement gig wasn’t the end of the air band. One time at a campout, the young Kennedy busted out his air axe once again. It was then that his father, a Methodist minister, persuaded him to try the real thing.

Kennedy recalls, “I remember he was building a fire, but he stopped, turned around to look at me, and said, ‘Son, why don’t you learn how to play for real?’ From that moment, my life had a purpose. Fast forward almost 40 years [and] here we are.”

Alter Bridge, “This Is War” (Music Video)

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