Singer Myles Kennedy has been part of Slash’s band for two years – after singing two songs on the top-hatted guitarist’s 2010 self-titled album, he signed on as lead singer for the subsequent tour. But last month, he got exposure to a wider audience when he filled in for Axl Rose at Guns N Roses’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was broadcast on HBO.

That was good timing: this week, Slash released his second album, Apocalyptic Love, billed to “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.”

It was understandable that on his first album, Slash didn’t want a permanent lead singer, given his history of breakups with both Axl Rose and ex-Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland. After recording most of the album with legendary singers including Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop and Lemmy, he called Kennedy towards the end of the sessions, when he was starting to think about touring for the record.

“At that point, I was just starting to put a band together. I wanted to do a tour to support that album. I needed somebody to sing all that material, and I had a gut feeling that Myles could handle it.” It turned out that the guys were both musically and socially compatible. “I really liked him as a person.”

“I knew full well that he was in Alter Bridge,” Slash says, referring to Kennedy’s other group (which features members of Creed), “But I figured I’d ask him to tour anyway. It turned out they were on a break.”

So Kennedy was available to hit the road, and the tour saw him singing songs from Slash’s debut, as well as Guns N Roses and Velvet Revoler material. “At the first gig, Myles got up and sang, and handled it beautifully. It’s sort of a Cinderella type story, the way it all happened.”

Slash is about to leave for a European tour, but he will be back for a string of U.S. dates starting July 12 in Portland, Oregon.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local


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