Rhett Miller’s new solo release, The Traveler releases May 12th via ATO Records and features “Most In The Summertime.” Rhett graciously took time to answer questions about The Traveler, and the excitement surrounding the new release.
Rhett Miller will be performing at Hotel Cafe on June 19th in Los Angeles. Tickets/Info HERE
Buy The Traveler HERE. Check out Rhett Miller’s webpage for tour news and updates!
If you could go back to the early stages of recording The Traveler and give yourselves one piece of advice, what would it be?
My friends in Black Prairie and I could not have had more fun making this record. We laughed the whole way through our week recording at Portland’s Jackpot Studios. If anything, I’d remind myself to enjoy every moment of that week because, as with so many beautiful things in life, it goes too fast.
Which of the songs on The Traveler was the hardest to write?
The album closer, ‘Reasons To Live,” came about at a time during which I was doing some work with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that involved recounting my own attempt from when I was 14. Revisiting those memories was tough but it prompted me to evaluate them in the context of my life now. This song is a flower growing out of a crack in a dirty sidewalk.
The Traveler includes collaborations with members of Black Prairie, Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of REM; how would you describe a successful collaboration?
Music could exist in a vacuum, but it’s best when you care about the people with whom you collaborate. In this case, these are some of favorite people in the world. And Peter was one of my biggest influences and earliest musical heroes. It was a blast.”
Are the songs on The Traveler connected in any way?
The songs on The Traveler were all first offered to my bandmates in Old 97’s. Those guys decided they preferred the raunchier tunes that wound up making Most Messed Up. So these prettier, more complex songs became the mountain that Black Prairie and I got to climb.
Who are some bands/musicians/writers that have inspired/influenced your sound?
When asked about the influences that contributed to The Traveler, I immediately think of the people who helped make the record: Murry Hammond, my 97’s bandmate who has been my mentor since the age of 15 and with whom I wrote the song “Jules”; the band Black Prairie, whose sound I so admired that I hired them to help me realize my vision; the Margot And The Nuclear So & So’s frontman Richard Edwards whose songs dazzle me with their beauty, and with whom I wrote the song “Wicked Things”; The great Peter Buck of REM whose music saved my life when I was a kid; and even the author David Mitchell whose gorgeous time-bending outlook on our world inspired so many of the albums themes.”
Where can we find you online?