This week’s guest is the great Rhett Miller. The Americana legend has been a member of Old 97’s for close to 30 years and, along the way, he’s released seven solo albums. Miller’s eighth album, The Misfit, is set to come out on September 16, just a few days after Old 97’s begin their long-awaited tour (which includes a September 25 show at The Rave!) in support of 2020’s Twelfth. Prior to both of those milestones, the influential and accomplished singer-songwriter spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the new album, getting back on the road, and standout moments from his incomparable career as an artist and performer.
Over the course of the conversation, Miller opened up about his musical upbringing, bonfire shows and nude photo shoots with his teenage bands, being his hometown’s “teen folky” who was tapped to open for touring artists like Rosanne Cash and Chris Isaak, the formation and major label courting of Old 97’s, touring and collaborating with some of music’s biggest names, and some of his favorite experiences that music has brought him. Along the way, Miller and Maas discussed the ups and downs of podcast booking, their shared affinity for the Milwaukee Brewers and disc golfing, and the time Miller was approached to audition for a role in Fight Club that eventually went to Jared Leto.
My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Rhett Miller (“Go Through You”).