The Jaik Miller Band is from Brooklyn, New York. The Band is quite unique and has jammed out with many famous musicians, including members of Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors and Tim Reynolds to just name a few. I was able to catch up with Jaik Miller during his busy schedule and ask a few questions.
The members of the Jaik miller band include JP Bowersock on guitar (also producer of eponymous debut CD), Garth MacAleavey on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Jaik Miller on guitar, vocals, and some glockenspiel, Brian Murphey on the bass, Christopher Markwood Miller on the drums and Max Tucker on drums, percussion, and vocals.
I asked Jaik a popular listener question, when and how the band was formed. Jaik replied, “TRUStY was put together in the spring of 2005 to showcase some of my tunes at NOLA jazz fest. We were essentially a guitar/bass duo with me singing and Michael Ferrero (brother of o.g. bassist Marco) on video projections. We got some awesome gigs and did a sweet recording with Matt Stein. Met max at our first LES show at sidewalk…. Upon scoring a cameo on USA’s “Monk” we met Max’s school chum Garth, moved him to NYC from LA, made the record with JP and *poof*… JMBizzle was born!! Took two seconds.”
I asked Jaik, “Why did you decide on the Jaik Miller band as the Band’s name? Have you changed the band’s name in the past?” Jaik responded, “Har! Jaik Miller Band was the last thing I wanted to call this or any other band I have ever been a part of. The band was originally called ‘TRUSTY’; despite its case sensitive nature the intellectual property ownership was challenged by another (tho defunct) “trusty”, a 1990’s pop punk band from Tennessee, I believe….we then changed our name to “Yama Bandit” but nobody understood what we were saying (mama bendit? Jorma pendant? Shwarma Conduit?) and upon the suggestion of our original bass player’s girlfriend’s buddy who she ran into at the Fillmore, I reluctantly acquiesced to the will of the band and JMB (the name) was born (again).”
I asked Jaik, “What genre of music do you consider your work to be?” He replied, ” I have always been a genre-buster; one of those real pains in the butt in the eyes of the marketing department. The JMB thing is fairly easy to pigeon hole…it’s classic rock. Garth and JP totally jam. It’s like having Slash and Jerry in the same band. Totally fkn rawk! Which is funny to me because I am so punk rock in my heart and SOUL in my loins.”
I asked, “Who are some of your major influences?” Jaik says, “As a songwriter I owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many 20th century tunesmiths… I particularly admire the work of Chris Whitley, Bob Marley, Patti Smith, Suzanne Vega, Husker Du, Garcia/Hunter and John Lennon. My favorite singers include Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, Marley again (his phrasing…damn!) and i guess Nina Simone. My all time favorite guitar hero is mister Warren Haynes!”
Jaik says the main themes or topics for most of the Bands songs are “Um, lots of songs about angels and aliens. Oh, and girls. and dogs, of course!”
I asked “What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Has the band been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?” Jaik says, ” Hmmm… Okay the obvious thing would probably be doing our best to survive in these trying economic times. But then again; we are living the dream. So there you go!”
I asked Jaik what are the most notable venues he has played in and he relied, “I have performed in many big rooms such as Roseland in NYC and outdoor venues like SPAC and Merriweather Post Pavillion. As JMB I guess the coolest gig we have done thus far was an Obama rally last fall with Crosby/Nash and Bruce Hornsby.”
The songs the band performs most are 4447, California, Another Good Look, Faceless, Social Disease, Lil seed Boogie as well as some covers too!
I asked “How have listeners responded to your debut album?” Jaik says, “So far so awesome. JP absolutely killed it on the production end, bringing that trashy Bowersock to these otherwise pristine tracks. The songs don’t suck and we executed them pretty well. I figure that’s how we keep getting on all those “top albums of the year” lists.”
I asked, “Is anything new in the works for the JMB?” Jaik replied, “We just recorded a new version of The Who’s “join together” for a new company called Planet Muzic which is hellbent on changing the recorded music biz once and for all…and for the better. We starting to work on our next album while planning a major release of our debut for autumn. Personally I am working with a young woman who is one of the sickest talents on the face of this earth. I’m learning new stuff every day.”
Finally I asked Jaik, “Is their anything you would like your fans/ future fans to know?” He said, “When you sing, you remember how to fly. Oh yeah, and this… sparrows eat chicken.”