Old 97’s fans can rest easy knowing that just because Miller is embarking on a solo tour doesn’t mean that the band has broken up. He just needed some time to explore his own interests.
“Obviously, when a singer/songwriter frontman goes and makes a solo record, there’s the immediate preconception that he’s gone soft, especially if he’s recently moved to L.A. And then there’s also the question of why would he go and make a solo record to begin with,” Miller said in a Rolling Stone interview.
“So what we’re talking about is sort of a two-prong focus where half the songs illustrate why I need to make a solo record with songs I’ve written that wouldn’t work within Old 97’s. And the other half of the songs will be a total balls-out rock ‘n’ roll, just to prove the point that A, rock isn’t dead, boring and stupid and moot and, B, I’m not turning into some cheeseball lounge singer because I split off with my band for a record.”
This isn’t the first time Miller has stepped away from the group. Aside from a previously released solo album, Mythologies (1989), he and Old 97’s bassist Murray Hammond have performed under the name Ranchero Brothers.
The duo initially served as an outlet to road test new Old 97’s material on live audiences – the unsuspecting guinea pigs – without the pressure of meeting Old 97’s standards. However, the Ranchero Brothers soon formed a cult following and began to make plans for an album, which has been recorded but not released.
Miller’s second solo album, on the other hand, has been released. The Instigator hit shelves in late September
Meanwhile, the grandpa band Old 97’s are said to be working on new material.