Two decades since the release of their first album, Ryan Miller of Guster tells us how the band has managed to keep their fans interested, what we can expect off the new album and keeping busy with his "other" music career, scoring films.
What goes into the decision to sign up for another album and tour when you guys have been doing it for so long?
We just wait and make sure we have something to say. We take a hard look and see what songs we want to write and if we can all point our agendas in the same direction. We all have kids and there’s stuff going on at home. It took us a while to figure out what sort of record we wanted to make and make sure that everything on it is good. But this is the seventh album in 20-something years, so it’s kind of on pace for us even if it’s a slower pace compared to a lot of bands.
A lot of new musicians have this feeling that they have to crank out an album every year to keep their fans engaged, but your fans just keep coming back despite these time gaps.
Our timing has never been marketing driven. It’s always driven artistically and when we felt like we had something to say, we would say it. We’d rather make great records that can stand the test of time than a bunch of records that don’t.
What can fans expect from the new album, “Evermotion”?
I’m really, really proud of this record. I think it sounds contemporary and still sounds like our band. … We think people who know us from the olden days are going to be supportive and people who appreciate the fact that we grow and change on every record are going to be rewarded for sticking with us.
When Miller isn’t focusing on Guster, he scores films, most notably “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “In A World…”
How did you get into scoring films?
It just came out of the idea that I wasn’t doing to be on a tour bus nine months a year anymore. I was trying to figure out a way to stay creative and in an industry I thought was exciting.
Do you have to have your hands in multiple creative outlets to feel fulfilled?
Yeah. I recognized that I’m happiest when I’m working creatively. The main difference between scoring films and being in a band is that in the band, I’m the loudest voice in the room and I can steer the ship. On a film, I’m really just a craftman and there to implement the vision of the director or producer.
If you go:
"Evermotion" album release party
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 8 p.m.
Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn
64 N. 9th St.