Rhett Miller is the front man and main songwriter of the hard-charging rock ‘n’ roll quartet the Old 97’s, as well as an accomplished solo artist. In addition to his nine studio albums with the 97’s (most recently The Grand Theatre Volume One and The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 in 2011), he has released four solo albums; 1989’s Mythologies, 2002’s The Instigator, 2006’s The Believer, and 2009’s Rhett Miller. Miller is set to release his first live covers album, The Interpreter Live at Largo, on November 22, 2011 on his own recently established label Maximum Sunshine Records.
In addition to his music being featured in countless films and television shows, Rhett has appeared in an episode of the NBC hit series 30 Rock and the Old 97’s were prominently featured in the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy, The Break Up. Primarily known for his songwriting and awe-inspiring live performances, Rhett is also a critically-acclaimed author whose work has appeared in several books and such well-known periodicals as Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s, and The Atlantic.
He is hard at work on a new solo album currently slated for a 2012 release.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My parents took me to a Kingston Trio gig at a dinner theater in Dallas when I was about 5. I loved their energy, their harmonies and the way they seemed to enjoy their job so thoroughly. I remember wondering if they ever got tired of playing “Blowing In The Wind”. Now, I know that to be a tough question to answer. Probably, they weren’t as excited to play it after all those years, but they probably appreciated the response it earned from the audience.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
They say that in sports, one must have a short memory. I believe that is also true in music. My best gig was on April 20th of this year in Austin, TX. I played one song on a Johnny Cash tribute on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Then, during the encore, I shared the stage with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, among many others. It was a huge honor and a total blast.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Don’t laugh. David Bowie on the Serious Moonlight Tour when I was a kid. Such a big show. He played tons of stuff from his heyday. When he came off stage before the encore, it just so happened to be on my side of the stage and I could see him as he smoked a cigarette and waited for the applause to build. I knew then that this was the job for me.
Gig you would most like to play?
I would have most liked to play Johnny Cash’s 80th birthday gig if he were still alive.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
The aforementioned Cash, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, The Kinks, The Clash, Bowie and Elvis Presley. Why not?
Catch Rhett Miller Monday May 14th at Eddie’s Attic