The Ides of March

The Ides of March

When it came time to title his second solo album, Myles Kennedy looked to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar for inspiration—specifically the part in which the soothsayer warns the Roman ruler of the date of his death. “The line ‘Beware the ides of March’ is a cautionary phrase,” the Alter Bridge and Slash and Conspirators vocalist tells Apple Music. “I started writing most of these songs after the pandemic started, when there was a lot of uncertainty, so it felt appropriate.” Unable to tour during lockdown, Kennedy had no shortage of downtime to work on the album. “For years, I’ve been juggling three projects,” he points out. “I’d write when I could—on the road, in a hotel room, or if I was at home for two weeks before going on tour again. With this record, I could totally hunker down and stay focused, which was really beneficial.” Below, Kennedy discusses each track on The Ides of March. “Get Along” “Oftentimes when you initially sing a melody, a phrase will pop out and you don't know where it comes from. That’s how the line ‘Why can't we all just get along?’ happened. That was written probably in March 2020, before things got pretty tumultuous here in the States. I think a lot of people hear that lyric and think it was written about the protests, but I actually looked back to the ’92 riots in Los Angeles. Those really affected me when I was younger, so I think that was the genesis of the lyric in a way.” “A Thousand Words” “The lyric was inspired by a friend of ours who had recently lost her father. She'd gone to the funeral and someone had snapped a picture of her mother standing over her husband's grave. They'd been married for decades—I want to say 50 years. When I saw the picture, it just pulled on my heartstrings and really spoke a thousand words. It was such a vivid image that manifested life and our impermanence.” “In Stride” “I didn't even know if this was going to make the record, let alone be the first single. I just thought the album needed an uptempo track. When it came time to put the lyric together, everything shut down and everyone was freaking out and stocking up toilet paper, which became the new gold. So this was just stepping back and realizing it might be wise to chill out and gain some perspective. We don’t need that much toilet paper.” “The Ides of March” “This was a hard song to write. I found myself really falling deep into the lyrical narrative, to the point where even my wife was noticing that it was starting to affect me. I was definitely living the record. Musically, I chased this song down for about six months. My favorite line lyrically on the whole record is here, and it’s become my mantra in the times we're living in: ‘Cool heads prevail in times of change.’ It's been very, very important for me.” “Wake Me When It's Over” “This track was written really quickly one night. Like a lot of us during lockdown, we were starting to get a little bored. I found myself watching a lot of Impractical Jokers because it made me happy. I needed that comic relief. I had a guitar in hand, and I’d had a couple of gin and tonics—just trying to self-medicate to avoid going stir-crazy. The song pushes the idea that if everything is going to hell, at least try to have fun. If this is truly an impending apocalypse, I’m just going to party and have a good time.” “Love Rain Down” “This song was actually written in 2009—it’s just been sitting on the back burner. I made a demo of it for a record I never put out, but I’d always really liked the song. I felt like the lyric was fitting for the times we’re living in, because it's a plea born out of longing. A lot of us were longing for answers and unity and solace from what was going on in the current times. It felt appropriate. And musically, it’s real fun. I love playing this one because it was inspired by Big Bill Broonzy.” “Tell It Like It Is” “This was really inspired by the swagger of The Rolling Stones. I wanted the track to have that reckless abandon to it. It’s a pocket that I haven't explored a lot in anything that I've done with other bands. It’s become one of my favorite tracks because it’s different from a lot of the music I've been a part of. There's a certain tongue-in-cheek element to it, and the chorus says it best: ‘Don’t sugarcoat.’ It’s the idea of just speaking your mind and telling it like it is.” “Moonshot” “When it came time to put the lyric together for this, the first thing that came out was ‘I remember when we were suiting up again before the end of time.’ It made me think about standing backstage at my wardrobe case with my bandmates, shooting the shit and getting ready to go onstage—just the idea that I took a lot of that for granted. I didn't know when I was going to be able to do that again. And then the chorus manifests this optimism that things will return to normal—even though it seems like a moonshot, something completely out of reach.” “Wanderlust Begins” “This was written years ago, around the time I wrote ‘Love Rain Down.’ I was going through a major acoustic phase, working on a lot of fingerstyle stuff and a lot of weird alternate tunings. I stumbled onto this tuning that was just completely crazy and started coming up with some chord progressions and melodies. That's how that song was born. And obviously it’s about wanting to get out and go somewhere. I felt like it was very appropriate for how a lot of us were feeling.” “Sifting Through the Fire” “This track is definitely inspired by Southern rock like Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, with the harmonized guitar thing at the beginning. Lyrically, it was inspired by realizing that so many of us—myself included—can fall prey to living in echo chambers. There’s a movie I saw after the song was written which summed up exactly what it’s about. It’s called The Social Dilemma, and it’s great. It really sheds light on how algorithms are basically driving where we’re getting our information from.” “Worried Mind” “This is an important track to me, and a nice way to end the record. I think it can have a dual meaning. Some people will hear it and think it’s about a relationship and the idea that you need to compromise. There’s a line that says, ‘A little give and take could light the way and bring this back to life,’ which could apply to a relationship, but also to society and how people deal with each other in general. I would love it, personally, if people stepped away from their corner and talked to one another and found common ground.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada