Interview with Matt Miller
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up in a really small town where there wasn’t much to do besides get into trouble. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a musical family. My father and grandfather were touring musicians and music was a part of our daily lives. I started out playing bluegrass but quickly changed styles when I heard metal for the first time. If I wasn’t a musician, I would probably be a mechanic or an engineer. I was always taking things apart and putting them back together when I was a kid.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to spend my time with friends and family when I’m not playing music. I also like to fish and trek about or go on road trips. I think that changing scenery helps keep a new perspective and I find inspiration as the landscape changes. Whether it’s a monolithic mountain, the open expanse of the desert, or the endless ocean. I live in Oregon and there is a lot to offer outside.
How long has your band been around?
I have been active as a solo artist for 2 years. Even though I recorded my first instrumental EP in 2017. I decided to wait 3 years to release it for some reason. I think the Covid lockdowns were a catalyst to start releasing music and I had a lol of songs that were written and there were a lot of demos I had recorded over the years I finally finished.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m from the Oregon Coast and growing up in a small town where all it did was rain had a huge impact on my music. The naturally foreboding environment gave my music a dark sound. I write in minor keys mostly and to me, that is what constant rain and howling wind sound like.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Having a solo project named after an artist is nothing new. However, in hindsight, I wish I would have had a proper name for the project. I didn’t expect the response that my music has gotten. If I could go back and change the name, I would but it has been advantageous on a few occasions.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The last tour I did had a few memorable moments, but this was my favorite one. Taking the advice of the dudes in Voraath I began saying it's "Miller Time" after the intro sample played in the beginning of my set on the C¥BER $HRED TOUR 2022. The last show of the tour was in Austin TX at Come and Take it Live. Right before I played, I noticed everyone standing on the loading ramp on the side of the stage. I didn't know what was going on and why everyone was standing there. When the intro sample ended, and I went to say it's Miller Time on the mic. Everyone came onstage much to my surprise and said it with me. To be honest it got me right in the feels and I was truly humbled and taken aback by how cool it was and how awesome all these people I was lucky enough to tour with are I'm honored to call them friends
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Playing in New York City at La Poisson Rouge downtown Manhattan was awesome. Amplified Live in Dallas TX was great as well. I really want to go to Europe and play over there. I hope to do so soon.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That is a tough question. I could make a new lineup for every day of the week. How about a festival instead? Day 1 would be Necrophagist, Death, Megadeth, Obscura, and First Fragment. Day 2 would be At the Gates, Dying Fetus, Dimmu Borgir, Dismember, and Slayer. Day 3 would be Symphony X, Wintersun, Children of Bodom, and Iron Maiden.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
My advice on joining a band or forming a band would be to find people that you get along with and can grow with musically. Having the same goals also helps. Dedicated people are hard to find so take your time and be selective of who you play with. You don’t need the best musicians in the world but having dedicated people is the most important thing.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The advice I would give my younger self would be to keep releasing music regardless of how other people feel. Don’t hold yourself back because of others. Keep high standards and work to achieve them every day.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think my newest record Monument of Velocity is the best instrumental work I have done. It is not only full of crazy guitar stuff, but the songs are strong. Each song is like a different scene from a movie. It’s tough to pick a favorite but the title track seems to be my favorite right now. Although it changes from time to time.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The Obscurantist seems to be a fan favorite. It’s catchy and heavy. It’s fun to play because there is never a dull moment. From sweep arpeggios to crazy riffs and blast beats it's a nonstop musical assault. Step into the Light is also a fun one. It reminds me of driving a race car or flying a jet.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually write the first riff or idea on guitar and notate it. I then put my guitar down and write without using the guitar to avoid doing the same thing all the time. It has really helped me to keep evolving as a musician and think in different ways or the perspective from other instruments. I did that with every track on Monument of Velocity.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The message is to work hard and make things happen. If you work hard at something you can make it happen. Just keep working on it.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
One of the benefits of being a solo artist is I don’t have to fight with anyone or argue about anything. One of the downsides is that I’m responsible for everything. Usually, in a band, there is one person who does a lot of the business or is the leader, but they have help. In my case, I must do everything by myself and sometimes it works out and sometimes things are a little tougher.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I released 2 new albums this year. An original instrumental LP titled Monument of Velocity and a cover album titled Only What the Light Allows are available on all online platforms for streaming and purchase. I am also releasing a re-recorded version of my 2017 EP MMXVII in October. I have a new power metal project that is putting the finishing touches on an album. I also have a new technical death metal band called Chasm of Discord featuring myself, Lord Marco, and Tony Reviere. Our first single Deny the Light has been released via Blood Blast powered by Nuclear Blast and the album will be released November 2nd.
Music Video - Acheron -
Guitar Playthrough - Coral Sword -
Music Video - The Obscurantist -