Myles Kennedy: Religion is the opiate of the masses

A picture of Myles Kennedy
Myles Kennedy (Image credit: Getty)

Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy has described religion as “the opiate of the masses” as he recalls his “pretty hardcore” Christian upbringing.

The singer lost his father when he was just four years old and says he always struggled to understand his dad’s decision to refuse medical treatment on religious grounds.

Kennedy tells Classic Rock: “As a Christian Scientist, my father wouldn’t have surgery. They believe that God’s will, through divine power, will heal everything.

“He held steadfast with his beliefs and wouldn’t see a doctor. He passed away.”

His mother later remarried after she fell in love with a Methodist minister. And with a new denomination of religion forming the background for his life, the Alter Bridge vocalist remained unconvinced.

“They’re both still Methodists,” he says. “But I have issues with religion. My stepfather, he’s awesome. He’s a liberal thinker, but it still doesn’t work for me.

“I’m with Karl Marx. Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

Losing his father so young has haunted Kennedy ever since and he says he has anxiety attacks to this day.

He says: “I don’t have a ton of them, but I do have them occasionally and they suck.

“Sometimes it just happens. But you know what, one thing is that I’m a people pleaser by nature. I want people around me to be happy, and I sometimes probably try a little too hard to make them happy.

“When I sense that they’re not, I get concerned. That’s sometimes difficult.”

The full interview with Myles Kennedy can be read in the current issue of Classic Rock magazine, which is available now in print and via TeamRock+.

Alter Bridge recently announced a North American tour for January and February of next year in support of latest album The Last Hero.

Alter Bridge remaining tour dates 2016

Nov 13: Berlin Columbiahalle, Germany
Nov 14: Vienna Gasometer, Austria
Nov 16: Katowice Spodek, Poland
Nov 20: Oslo Sentrum Scene, Norway
Nov 21: Copenhagen Vega Main Hall, Denmark
Nov 23: Manchester Arena, UK
Nov 24: London O2 Arena, UK
Nov 26: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Nov 27: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Nov 28: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
Dec 01: Glasgow Hydro, UK
Dec 02: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Dec 04: Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle, Germany
Dec 05: Cologne Palladium, Germany
Dec 06: Hamburg Mehri Theater, Germany
Dec 09: Bolognia Unipol Arena, Italy
Dec 10: Munich Zenith, Germany
Dec 11: Basel Jakobshalle, Switzerland

Alter Bridge North American tour 2017

Jan 21: Mobile Saenger Theatre, AL
Jan 22: Atlanta Tabernacle, GA
Jan 24: Royal Oak Music Theatre, MI
Jan 25: Chicago Riviera Theatre, IL
Jan 27: Sioux City Anthem At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, IA
Jan 28: Kansas City Voodoo Lounge At Harrah’s Casino, MO
Jan 31: Niagara Falls Rapids Theatre, NY
Feb 01: Toronto Phoenix Concert Theatre, ON
Feb 03: Montreal Metropols, QC
Feb 04: Philadelphia Electric Factory, PA
Feb 07: Boston House Of Blues, MA
Feb 09: New York Playstation Theater, NY
Feb 10: Silverspring The Fillmore, MD
Feb 12: Raleigh The Ritz, NC
Feb 14: Houston House Of Blues, TX
Feb 16: Las Vegas Brooklyn Bowl, NV
Feb 18: Tempe The Marquee, AZ
Feb 19: Los Angeles Wiltern, CA
Feb 20: San Francisco Regency Ballroom, CA
Feb 22: Seattle Moore Theatre, WA

Myles Kennedy: The 10 albums that shaped my life

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.