musician I engineer l mixer l producer
Lecture On Nothing
Release date: March 30,
an artist Eddie Miller has found a niche in the imaginative and
creative works of his collages, based on fragments of previously
released sound. Best know as one of LA's top engineer/mixer/producers,
Miller got his start as the first assistant engineer at Prince's
Paisley Park studios. Soon, he found himself in the hot seat where
he earned engineering and mixing credit on Prince's "Lovesexy"
album, among others. A move to Miami and he contributed as engineer
and mixer on tracks that become #1 hits for H-Town, 2 Live Crew,
Luke, and J.T. Money and Poison Clan. Eddie's diverse work also
appears on albums by Matthew Sweet, Stone Temple Pilots, Creed,
Willie Nelson, Travis Tritt, Letters to Cleo, Sister Hazel, Brooks
and Dunn, and Sugar Ray, to name a few.
Later Miller began producing tracks with William Burroughs,
Perry Farrell, and The Doors for "Stoned Immaculate- The Music
of the Doors". Additionally, he has engineered and mixed with
Greg Kurstin for his debut release on Verve Records in March 2001
with guest artists to include: Flea, and musicians from a number
of bands including Buck Cherry, No Doubt, Garbage, Beck's band,
Incubus and Soul Coughing.
Eddie also worked on the Goldmember
soundtrack and the band Ming Tea- which is Mike Myers (Austin Powers),
Matthew Sweet, and Susanna Hoffs.
On Nothing, his
latest release (March 30, 2007) on the
Recombinations and Illegal
Art labels, showcases Miller's work - no headphones required
in order to hear the potpourri of communication lost in translation
from this master pop sound designer. Expect abundance of clever
samples, sound bites and spoken words in a refreshing breed of world
music that combines jazz, Indian, African, classical and urban beats
sprinkled in a blend of talking heads. The lyrics are funny, controversial,
fun but always musical, even suitable for your next Hollywood party
that says tres
Don't be fooled by Miller, an expert audiophile who's careful not
to cross the overproduction line by maintaining an organic DJ-like
feel. Eddie even touches on the sensitive subject of genocide while
helping us sit back and relax in Couch Potato. We highly
recommend this for your sanity in a world where communication in
a global media becomes Hundreds of Thousands of Facts
on nothing! Eddie offers his brilliant observation on modern society
and questions the official statements offered by today's politicians,
business leaders, religious figures and media merely by repeating
them. Truth can be stranger than fiction. Take this magical mystery
tour with Eddie Miller...You'll leave with a big smile. At one point
he makes the listener groove to the toe tapping
planet is about to be recycled." And his parting words "I
want you to doubt everything I say. Find out for yourselves"
is true to artist's philosophy.
Interview with Eddie Miller on the making of Lecture On Nothing
by studioexpresso's Claris Sayadian-Dodge
Do you have any collaborators on this album?
Scheps co-wrote the first song "Chicken Sludge" with me
in 1998. I went to college with Andrew, so when I got back in touch
with him, I thought it would be fun to try to collaborate on something.
I think he could vouch for the fact that I've been doing this kind
of crazy collage stuff since the early 80's, when we were in school.
friend who collaborated in the new release on "Country But",
and "Fresh Makeup" is Jim Baumann. Jim has been a friend
of mine since we worked together at a big record store in Miami
in the mid 80's. We listened to music all day, everyday. It was
the biggest part of my musical education. Jim was great at making
sure I listened to Dylan and the Byrds, etc., instead of Coltrane
all the time.
SE: You have
a classical background
how does it help or hinder the process
of working on a pop album?
have a music degree, and I'm sure it helped me to conceptualize
in coming up with my own compositional approach.
the inspiration for this (Lecture On Nothing) album?
noticed that what I was doing with the lyrics/words in these pieces
was to work out where I stood on a number of issues I found important,
or at least interesting, or ridiculous. I named this album "September
10" because for one thing, the album was completed in 1999.
9-11-01 forced me to question my mode of thought about the world
that I had pre 9-11. I'll just say that my views are different now-
a lot less emphasis for me now on Noam Chomsky-type thinking. So
like the words on this album, the title for the album has more importance
to me than to anyone else. Sorry!
As for what
inspires the music side of things, I was greatly inspired by Steve
Reich, along with everything else I've ever heard. I like harmony,
which is probably why I like Steve Reich more than the other contemporary
composers. He has a real jazz sensibility about the harmony he uses.
I loved what he did with "Different Trains" in using sampling
vocals, transcribing them, and using them in a musical way. I liked
the idea of doing the same with the vocals, but also using a multitude
of music samples. The idea with Lecture on Nothing is to
make an entirely new piece out of entirely old pieces. It's primitive.
I'm no Steve Reich. But I like it. Somehow, it's what I had to do.
SE: Whats your process of recording or mixing the tracks and
are there any key gears you like?
primarily a drummer, so I will often start with an idea for rhythm.
Then I'll take some music chunks that I find interesting, sample
them, and play them on the keyboard and twist them around in a way
that starts to suggest a new musical idea to me. And one thing starts
to suggest another to me, so I go with it until I think it's done.
More often than not, I'll start with the music, and then I put the
words on top of it. That's where I'll try to find a subject that
interests me, and I'll go on a search for samples of people talking
about that subject, or use words out of context to say what I'm
trying to say. And then I rewrite what all these people say in a
way that works melodically with the music. It's tedious. But it
was the best thing I could come up with in terms of doing my own
thing. I tend to like to see people trying to do something new with
music, rather than to try to re-create what the Beatles did 40 years
ago (which isn't easy. Impossible, really). Having said that, what
I do would more or less fit into the "Revolution #9" style.
Is there anything really new to be done with music? I'm not sure.
I'm not even sure at times if that is even an important cause to
The first album
was done without any computers or sequencers. A casio fz-1 sampler,
cheap (A.R.T.) harmonizer, and a tascam 388 8-track tape machine
were used. I mixed down to an early form of digital 2- track (pre
DAT), which used a box to convert analog to digital (and vice versa),
and a sony beta machine to store the data. I think the one I had
was made by akai. All samples were played by hand, which in some
ways is quicker, and allows for more experimenting with pitch, rhythm,
and harmony. The second album was done much the same way, but I
used a computer (Cubase was the software) for a tape recorder and
mix down machine, and for some drum loop editing. I just remastered
the new album on my current pro tools setup. I was lucky to get
Joe Gastwirt to master my first album.
SE:How is it
distributed? Would it be available on Itunes or myspace?
will be available for downloading on 3-30-07. There is a link at
SE: The album
Any plans for making a video
for which song?
EM:No plans yet. I did a video for the first album which you can
see at http://www.lectureonnothing.com/.
That's already 3 minutes out of your life that you're not gonna
get back if you saw that one.
SE: Who are some of your music heroes and if you had an opportunity
to collaborate with another artist who would it be?
Reich ("Different Trains") and De La Soul ("3 feet
high and Rising") were major influences, and somehow I heard
a lot of similarities in what they were doing musically in the early
90's. John Coltrane has consistently been my favorite musician since
the time I first heard him. But I'm obviously not that kind of musician.
If I do another album, maybe I'll try to collaborate with real musicians.
If I did that, I'd probably call Greg Kurstin first, because he's
the most talented musician I know. It would be a departure though,
because the main idea with lecture on nothing is to create new music
out of recycled old music and sounds.
been recording other artists for so long
.How is it different
when you work on your own material?
learned early on that my job as an engineer was to help other people
realize their unique ideas. If wanted to put my ideas out there,
I'd have to take up the role of the artist. I set a low priority
on being successful as an artist so that I wouldn't have the excuse
that I had to cater to anyone. And what do you know? I haven't been
successful as an artist! But I'm glad I've taken the time to do
my own thing.
next? Musically speaking, what makes Eddie happy or the creative
don't know what's next- I've never been one to make a 5 year plan
or anything like that. It works for me! I recently got married.
For the longest time, I never thought I would. That has made me
happier than anything else I've ever done!