Mission of Burma is an American post-punk band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1979. The band was formed by Roger Miller (guitar), Clint Conley (bass), Peter Prescott (drums) and Martin Swope (tape manipulator/sound engineer). Miller, Conley and Prescott share singing and songwriting duties. Many bands have cited Burma as an inspiration, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters just to name a few. We caught up with singer/guitarist, Roger Miller, to ask a few questions about their pre-show rituals, funny moments and live performances! Here’s what Roger had to say:
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you? Or at your show?
“Back in 1979 a gent didn’t have money to get into the Thayer St. loft show, so he gave us granola bars instead. The barter system was alive and well in the late punk-era. Recently a [rather drunk] fan offered to give me a bottle of ‘shit smell’, so that I could put the concoction on the chair of someone I didn’t like. The smell would attach itself to their clothes. I declined his offer.”
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist/band so far?
“In France, recently, we were chased by a dwarf in a Santa Claus suit and a 7-foot tall transvestite on stilts.”
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
“We always write out our setlist an hour before we hit the stage. I have been known to drink an IPA before we play…”
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
“Try to give it up as completely as possible. When we really do that, really let go, the audience responds accordingly. The madness slips into a feedback loop. Our last NYC show had that in spades…”
How did you come up with your band name?
“Clint was in New York City and saw the name on a building. Previously he’d toyed with the name The Burma-Tones, but clearly that didn’t have the correct ring to it. Once he saw Mission of Burma, he knew that was it. It took a bit to convince me and Pete. We’re the slow ones in the group.”
What is the best way to write music?
“There is no best way.”