Question: Some reviewers refer to the Miller Brothers Band as more of a rock band and others as a blues band. Which is it?
Dave responds: “The songs on the Tales From Foundry Town CD were written from the gut and not with a specific style in mind. Once everyone in the band got familiar with the basics of each song, they tried to give the song what they thought it needed. There was never any talk about rock or blues, it was all about what the song required to make it come alive. For example, Mark and Frank decided that Wolf At Your Door needed a cowbell in the intro – now that’s not exactly rock or blues but it provided a unique intro. Unknown to any of us, Bob created the horn parts for Crazy and when we heard them, we all agreed that they added a lot to the song. That’s the cool thing about going into the studio with this group – you never know what will happen!”
Tommy adds: “On some songs we lean more toward rock and at other times, our blues influences may come through stronger…”
Question: Speaking of influences, who are some of your musical influences?
Tommy responds: “When I was getting started I listened to a lot of blues records because that’s the music that Dave was into and he was bringing home a lot of records. At first, I listened to Jerome Arnold. (Paul Butterfield Blues Band) Jerome and Sam Lay laid down such a solid and interesting foundation for the rest of the band. Man…I listened to Duck Dunn, Jack Bruce and later, I studied various jazz bassists including Eugene Wright (Dave Brubeck) and Ray Brown. All of that stuff lends to my playing today.
Dave says: “I loved the harp work of Sonny Boy Williamson and Paul Butterfield and the guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Otis Rush.”
Tommy adds: “A band I was in was booked to open a concert for Paul Butterfield in Michigan and I was so excited that I would have a chance to meet him. At the last minute, we were bumped off the bill by the promoter because of lack of ticket sales. Crushed. I was just crushed. A few years later, he was gone.”
Question: Tell us about Bob Ramsey’s work with Leon Russell.
Tommy comments: “Bob played keyboards in Leon Russell’s touring band for a period of time. They did dates in the U.S. and a tour of Japan. We’re so pleased to have Bob with us. He’s a tremendous keyboard player with amazing musical talent and instincts. His solos consistently blow me away. He also plays a mean calliope… (laughter…)”
Question: Radio play for the band has been good – what’s the latest?
Dave smiles and says: “We were surprised at the positive response to the band’s music especially in other markets. Before we even launched the official radio campaign, the CD was getting airplay in Canada, France, Norway and Denmark. We organized some CD giveaways in specific markets that received a great response.”
Question: Your song, Alabama Key about a car thief has received very good critical reviews. Tell us about the song.
Tommy replies: “In some ways, Alabama Key is a 3 minute movie. Actually, the song would make a good plot for a movie – boy learns how to steal cars from his dad, boy gets rich and lives the good life, boy gets caught – crime doesn’t pay – all of the elements of a good story are in there. And the movie theme song is already set to go. Not sure who the star of the movie would be…
Dave adds: “We’re interested in having our music used in some TV and movie soundtracks. Some of our songs would really lend themselves to various movie soundtracks – like Ghost On A Roll or Wolf At Your Door…It’s something we’re working on…
Question: Your song, Things Will Get Better contains lyrics including “big money owns the capital and tells us what to choose” and provides commentary about school violence. What was the motivation behind this song?
Tommy replies: “We’re eternal optimists. (laughter) The verses of the song touch on different parts of life today where you could say the car is running off the road – violence at school, lobbyists with excessive power – yet the chorus of the song allows for the fact that as bad as things may be, we can still get all four wheels back on the road and move forward…like I said, we’re optimists…”
Question: That line from Wolf At Your Door – “The rich get richer and the poor they just get old.” Tell me where that line stems from.
Dave says: That line kind of says it all, doesn’t it? That’s why we support homeless charities with some of the proceeds from our CD sales. We all should try to give something back if we can…
Question: What are your plans for the next CD?
Dave responds: “We already have about 10 - 15 songs that are under consideration for our next one. We can’t wait to get back in the lab and get to work. We’re looking at getting back into the studio – maybe as soon as fall of this year. We have this one new song called Against The Wall – and we can’t wait to get this one recorded. It is one of my new favorites…”