Tuesday, November 30, 2021

DJ Interviews: JC Miller

 Here's my interview with singer JC Miller. Enjoy!

1.  How'd you get started in music?

I grew up in the Bay Area and I got to hang out in a cool music scene and got exposed to lots of different kinds of music from a young age. I played in bands and became a session guitar player and started writing songs from there and became a composer-for-hire. I played keyboards and bass too, but guitar has always been my main focus. I eventually began working in New York and Los Angeles and ended up settling in Southern California.


2.  Who are your inspirations or influences?

The older I get the more I realize I am totally under the spell of Leon Russell and Levon Helm of The Band and Stevie Ray Vaughan­– I feel like I ended up in Southern-style songwriting. I love Little Feat, The Allman Brothers,
Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. Having said that, there’s also a lot of influence by songwriters like Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Petty. As far as soundtracks and guitar playing goes, I love Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Glen Campbell and Daniel Lanois.


3.  What advice would you offer aspiring performers?

Find your authentic voice. And I mean your musical voice, not just your singing voice. Once you do, never give up and always believe in yourself. Music is free to make and like anything, people are competitive and will try to bring you down, but you can’t let other people get to you. Stay true to yourself and don’t listen too much to what other people have to say. Music taste is so personal that you really don’t need to listen to other people as much as you think you would have to. Music is not competitive. Remember that you are only competing with yourself and that popularity doesn’t necessarily coincide with excellence and vice versa.


4.  How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

I always ask myself, “What am I trying to say?”

I try to keep my observations as unique and personal as possible. In other words, what is singular about my slant, my take on things?

With me it’s funny because my rock is too country for the rockers and my country can be too electrified for country music purists. I feel like I’m somewhere in between Americana, Southern Rock and Country Rock. I try to add to the narrative within this musical terrain.

I try to find a place where I can be an indie musician without too much attention to genre.

Since my search is always for authenticity– I sing the way I sing, I play the way I play, and I write the way I write—I can’t alter those too much.

Specific ways I try to set myself apart from other musicians is I make up unusual tunings on the guitar and I try to use only real instruments– I try to use MIDI as infrequently as possible. The secret is really in the combination of the tools.


5.  Any new gigs or albums in the future?

Yes! I am just now finishing recording a 50-song, 5-album odyssey we refer to as the Sunbelt Sessions. This breaks down to the Notebooks from the West Trilogy (which includes Notebooks from the WestBaja Bohemian and Strawberry Canyon) and the journey ends with a two-volume set (which includes Delta Waves and ends with Southern Buckthorn). The agenda was to track my invisible family tree roots through music. I guess in the end it’s a travel log told through guitar, Americana from the end of the road, Route 66.

Special thanks to him for doing this interview & I wish him lots of luck in his music so until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!

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