Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unbroken interview with guitarist: Steven Andrew Miller. March. 2010.



Vista: Please introduce yourself. Who's in the band and who does what? Also, how old are you guys?

Steven: I'm 34, play guitar and sing. Jimmy is also 34 and plays guitar. Turk is 31, I believe and plays bass, and Mark is 33 and plays drums.

Vista: Tell us about your most recent project, Crushed On You. How long have you been together? How did the band come about?

Steven: The band has been around since 2006, as a project started with myself and another person. The sound ideas changed a few times along with members until we reached the sound that we're happy we're happy with now.

Vista: The demo sounds really decent. It's a departure from Unbroken, yet kinda in the style of another former band of yours, Kill Holiday. I see that not only is this demo self-released, but it's also a free download on your Myspace site. Are you, as a band looking at a label to eventually release material of the band?

Steven: I'm not really sure what our plans are. The music business is shot as far as I'm concerned and I just want to have fun. Releasing an album comes with a lot of expectations such as touring which is something I'm really not in a position to do. Though, I'm not saying I wouldn't do either of the right situation presented itself.

Vista: You're a guy that has been around for a lot of years. You've put in a serious amount of time into a hardcore band {Unbroken}, and a post-hardcore band {Kill Holiday} and now with Crushed On You. What is your opinion on the scene now as opposed to years ago? Is it something you still keep up with?

Steven: There's so many "scenes" now it would be hard for me to really describe anything. But personally, I just keep to myself and I don't really have the time anymore to get out to shows unless I'm playing them.

Vista: I was fortunate enough to see Unbroken in 1995 at a VFW Hall in Boonton, N.J...You guys played with Mouthpiece as well. I was wondering...Was this Unbroken's final tour? Also, any memories from that particular tour?

Steven: It was our final tour of the East Coast. We were only out there for one week but I have to say it was a memorable one. The guys in Mouthpiece were awesome as well as seeing our friends out there.

Vista: I've always wondered, how old were you when the album,  "Life. Love. Regret." was recorded?  I mean to say, the music is really as emotional as the lyrics and as well as the vocals. I'm sure you've been asked a million times, but from your perspective, where did all that come from?

Steven: I was 18 years old at the time. And to be so general, it just came from life. That's the best answer I can give that could sum things up.

Vista: Who came up with the album title, "Life. Love. Regret."?

Steven: Eric did.

Vista: You were involved with a band called, Kill Holiday a few years back. How was that, coming out of Unbroken? What was it like? Just the styles alone are such a different approach. Also, Kill Holiday was on Revelation Records at the time, how was that experience?

Steven: Kill Holiday was around briefly at the same time as Unbroken but was a lot more serious. Unbroken was really only a seasonal band {mainly summer and winter breaks} and Kill Holiday was a full-time deal. For me it was a great way to express myself in a singer/songwriter situation. In Unbroken, Eric and I split music writing almost down the middle and lyrically we all contributed. So, Kill Holiday was my first attempt at something that was all me. The Revelation time was a little awkward because I completely changed our musical direction and we didn't really fit the label's format as much. It was awesome to have a record out on Rev because of all the bands we loved but that being said, it killed us because we weren't being pushed into a market that was better suited for us. Playing Brit pop inspired songs but doing interviews for metal magazines just didn't seem to work out too well. Nor did playing night after night with hardcore bands either. Not once did we ever forget where we came from, but it did make things a little more difficult when trying to evolve.

Vista: As a guitar player, who are your influences? How old were you when you first started playing guitar? Do you play any other instruments? Also, what was the first song you ever learned on guitar?

Steven: I have so many different influences when it comes to guitar because I love so many different styles of music. And now that I have to think of some of them, I;m drawing blanks. I've always been a fan of people who had a unique styles about the way they did things. Johnny Marr, Randy Rhodes and even John Reis for starters. But believe me, I could go on and on. I started playing when I was 8 years old and it was really easy for me. I've always had good ears and the ability to figure songs out without any struggle. The first song I figured out may have been "Hell Is For Children" by Pat Benatar. Don't ask me why! I can play drums but not nearly as well as I was once able. I never get to practice.

Vista: O.k., it's Saturday. You don't have work. You don't have band practice. What are you doing?

Steven: Riding my bike for at least 4 hours. Otherwise, resting. My work week is usually really busy, so if I get time to myself, sometimes I'm perfectly content without doing anything.

Vista: I'm gonna ask cause I have wondered for a long time. I've seen the "Life. Love. Regret." album on blue vinyl. Do you know how many were pressed on blue?

Steven: Actually I don't.

Vista: I have to say, you still have amazing hair, but back in the days of Unbroken you have some slick, sick, bad assed hair! What was/is your choice in hair product?

Steven: Hahaha, thanks. Back then I used a mixture of Murrays and Dixie peach. But that stuff was terrible getting it out of your hair. It would take a full week of washing it out just to get a haircut. Not to mention how disgusting it would make your pillows. Now I use a product called Layrite, which is amazing. It's water-based pomade, so it holds in the same was Murrays would and washes out with just water. So much cleaner.

Vista: What was your first exposure to music? First band/singer you were into? Also, what was the first show/concert you ever attended?

Steven: Both of my parents are music lovers, so at an early age I was listening to Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper & Led Zeppelin from my mom and the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Crosby Still & Nash from my dad. The first band that I would call my own would probably have been Def Leppard because of their album "On Through The Night" was the first vinyl I ever bought and I believe I was 6 or 7 when my mom handed me the money to pay the cashier. Coincidentally, they were also my first real "concert" after seeing them in 1987, on the "Hysteria" tour. My first personality defining bands would have been my discovery of The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode & New Order, all within the ages of 10 through 12.

Vista: Every band that you have done, you've had a great guitar sound. What gear do you use currently? Also, what gear did you use while in Unbroken?

Steven: My amp of choice has always been a Marshall JCM 800. I used a 50 watt JCM 800 in Unbroken and Kill Holiday and I use a 100 watt JCM 800 along with a Marshall Plexi in Crushed On You. And always a Les Paul.

Vista: Give us your top 5 bands of all-time...Metal, hardcore, disco, rock, whatever?

Steven: The Smiths.
              Jawbreaker.
              Misfits/Samhain/Danzig {I count that as one}.
              Led Zeppelin.
And last, it comes down to a coin-toss over the Jesus and Mary Chain, Rites of Spring and  Chain of Strength for the fifth spot.

Vista: I have a VHS tape {remember them?} of the Eric Allen benefit/memorial show. Damn, what an amazing show! I always wondered: 1. Where did that show take place, it looks like a huge venue? 2. How many people attended that show? 3. I recall seeing some guy on stage during Unbroken's set almost naked, in bizarre looking underwear, with a huge hairdo...Who was that guy? 4. Is there any chance this will ever be on dvd?

Steven: It was a very emotional show. One that I wasn't sure if I had it in me to do and tried to pull out a few times. I; so glad it happened though. It took place in an arena that I believe held boxing matches and it was in San Bernadino, California. It was so difficult finding a venue that was going to hold between one to two thousand people, and would also let us have 100% control of the money, so we could do a benefit show. I really doubt it will make it to DVD. And the person you speak of is Justin Pearson, of 31G, Struggle, Swing Kids, & Locust fame.

Vista: Thanks for your time Steven. Any final words?

Steven: Thanks for your support.

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