Exclusive: Ben Miller Band Interview

Exclusive: Ben Miller Band Interview

Fresh off of their Seattle Show we had the chance to sit down with Ben Miller and Doug Dicharry for anExclusive interview with The Ben Miller Band: Check out their Video “Introducing the Ben Miller Band” below.

SSL: Where and how did the Ben Miller Band come to be?

Doug Dicharry: Ben and I met at his open mic night in Neosho, Missouri and we became good friends and moved in together in a big drafty rundown townhouse. We started doing a bunch of gigs together where he would do his blues show and I would back him up on washboard, then I would run karaoke. He would help get the crowd going or sing a song when there was a lull. At that time, Scott was just doing weekend shows with us, but at some point, we realized we needed his bottom end during the week too and we had enough gigs where he could quit his day job. With all of us free to focus on just the band, everything started snowballing and we got where we were booking week long tours, then two week tours, then we were booking our own national tours. And the snowball has continued to grow.

 

 

SSL: How would you describe your album As Way, Shape and form album to someone who never heard it?

Doug Dicharry: It is eclectic. Several songs are what we call barn burners. 2320 skido, great cool chord progressions. I was like, we have to pull this off live, We have too pull this off. The engineer was like, we are way past that point.

 

SSL: Is there a reason why you guys still use homemade instruments?

Doug Dicharry: I think the sound is just awesome. The first Zydeco band I saw, the band was great. The washboard player comes in and subdivided into 32 and 16 notes. There are so many more notes to dance too.

SSL: How would you define the Ben Miller Band musically?

Ben Miller: We always get asked what kind of music we play and I find it tough to give a straight answer. I don’t see us a being part of a genre of music. We borrow liberally from everything and all three of us have different influences. We started telling people our music is “Ozark Stomp” which is a genre we made up that sounded general enough not to exclude many musical options that we might want to pursue.

SSL: What can we expect from your show, visual and musically?

Ben Miller:We don’t have a ton of showbiz type visual things going on at our concerts, the visual interest is a by-product of us making the music. We have a sound in mind for a song and we try to develop it without being limited by conventional methods. This results in a sort of Rube Goldberg machine effect where we change instruments throughout a song and use every limb available to make the noise we are after. I think the visual aspect then becomes completely connected with what people hear musically. They can see what is making the the sounds they hear.

SSL: You must have a cool story about a day in the life of The Ben Miller Band on the road.. Care to share one?

Doug Dicharry: There is always crazy things happening all around, we are always going to new places and it is really full of experiences. The day that sticks out right now is when we were traveling with ZZ top in Europe and they were scheduled to play Montreaux Jazz Fest in Switzerland. We weren’t scheduled to open for them at that gig because the festival lineup had been set before we even knew we were going. The night before they were to play, Billy Gibbons called me to say “Make sure you guys get enough sleep tonight ’cause I talked to the festival director and you’re gonna open for us tomorrow.” So there we were, a relatively unknown band from Joplin, Missouri, halfway across the world, at a legendary festival and I just got off the phone with THE Billy Gibbons and we are going to be playing a set between George Thorogood and ZZ Top…….it was just too much to take in.

SSL: How does music affect you and the world around you?

Ben Miller: Music is good for a bunch of different things. It can move you, soothe you, lead you to understand things, it can take you places. I see images in my head when I listen to songs. I listen to Visions of Johanna and it says things like “jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule” and I can see it along with the stream of other images that that song has in it. It can have a near hallucinatory effect sometimes.

SSL: Is there anything new in the works with your music?

Ben Miller: everything is always changing, but I don’t really think we change in a self conscious way, like we don’t have meetings and say we are going to move in this direction or that direction. The changes come as a result of needing to deliver a song and trying to find a way of doing that. Right now I am working on a bunch of new songs and trying to figure out what the hell they are about.

SSL: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there:

Doug Dicharry: If you’ve never seen us play, don’t watch any videos, just come out and see what’s happen. If you don’t like it, Ben will buy you a beer and we’ll part ways. If you have seen us, come out again and tell us what you want to hear. We love playing for you and we genuinely want everyone to have a great time.

New Album, Any Way, Shape or Form, Available now.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1keWFnm
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/bm
www.benmillerband.com

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Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.


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