Exclusive Interview: Drummer Louis Miller joins Consider the Source
Simply put, Consider the Source is the best ascendant instrumental trio in the jam scene. They have been traveling nearly non-stop the past few years, coast to coast and country to country, bringing their wholly unique brand of Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Funk Fusion to the masses. With roots in improvisational jazz and prog rock, the band’s live set is a jaw-dropping blend of metal and funk tinged with the spiritual presence of otherworldly Middle Eastern riffs.
The band is about to embark on a lengthy Southeast tour and they will do so without their longtime drummer Justin Ahiyon. Luckily, the equally talented Louis Miller will be taking over the rhythmic reigns and should blend right in with double-neck fretless guitar virtuoso Gabriel Marin and the Claypool-esque low end of bassist John Ferrara. You’d be wise to join the legions of faithful Sourcerors and check out the live psychedelic experience of Consider the Source when they roll through your area.
How did you first get into drumming and how have you developed since then?
I didn’t begin playing the drums until I was 12, but I’d grown up with rhythm all around me. My father is a musician and composer, and the music in my childhood home ranged from Little Richard to The Meters (Kings of New Orleans Jazz Funk) to Grupo Folklorico (Masters of Traditional Afro-Cuban Dance Music) to Traditional Tribal Drumming of The Babenzele Pygmies.
I started playing the drums in the Junior High School band and knew instantly that I had found something special. Within a year I began playing the drumset, while at the same time I was discovering the classic rock portion of my parent’s record collection. I responded instantly to the high-energy, super-creative playing of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Mitch Mitchells, and I especially loved the deep and heavy power-groove of Zeppelin’s John Bonham.
I played in rock bands bands throughout High School, including “The New Mexikans/Earth Stood Still” with Gabriel from CTS, but in College my playing changed drastically when I took an Afro Cuban percussion class with Carlos Gomez at Queens College. It was then that I was first exposed to Bata, the sacred drums of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. I was instantly attracted when learned that these drums speak an ancient rhythmic language and are used in ceremony to induce a state of trance. For the next three years I was lucky enough to become immersed in a guru-disciple-like relationship with Mr. Gomez, and my drumming has never been the same. Bata are traditionally played by three drummers interlacing their respective rhythmic layers to create amazingly complex, multi-tiered patterns, and playing Bata trained my hands and ears to create high-intensity, deeply interactive music with Consider the Source
What unique skills will you bring to the CtS soundscape?
I feel that the ability to listen is what sets great drummers apart. Its one thing to play a groove and rip a few fills, but a whole other thing to fit your groove into the space where it belongs while also interacting with your respective musicians in real-time. I’m bringing my innate sense of deep-pocket groove to CTS, which I hope will allow the music to breathe, groove, and rock and hard as humanly possible.
In your downtime, what do you do, musically or otherwise?
I’m an avid practitioner of the Bikram Yoga series of Hatha Yoga. When I’m home in NYC I practice 5-6 times a week, and I try to make it out to a yoga studio as often as possible when out on the road with CTS. I’ve been a practitioner for almost two years now and I can confirm for those of you who may doubt it: this yoga is magically powerful.
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming tour?
Before leaving for this tour it had been years since I’d left New York City for more than a few days, so I’m loving the fact that I’m getting to see parts of the country that I’ve never seen before. Asheville N.C. was particularly, breathtakingly beautiful. We typically crash with friends while on tour, so I’ve also had a great time getting to know all all sorts of new people out here on the road.
What music is inspiring you nowadays?
I tend to respond whenever music sounds to me like it comes from a place of sincerity and passion. Last year my brother and best friend Joseph Miller turned me on to Gotye, and I was hooked on his record “Making Mirrors” for a while in early 2011. Its no shock to me that that record has blown up; his sound is fresh, his voice is pure, and his tunes are catchy as all hell.
I love Meshuggah for the more aggressive side of music. The rocker in me says “if you’re gonna play loud and heavy, you better make it dangerously heavy.” Meshuggah delivers crushing riffs, head-twisting polymetric grooves, and time-warping guitar solos within within brilliant compositions. Their new record “Koloss” is surely worth picking up, but make sure that your necks are in good enough shape to support the headbanging that will inevitably take place.
Also, if you’re looking for the soundtrack to pleasant dreams, check out Grouper. Her music is positively somnambulicious.
SOUTHEAST TOUR DATES
April 10, 2012 Greensboro, NC @ The Blind Tiger
April 11, 2012 Charlotte, NC @ The Double Door
April 12, 2012 Savannah , GA @ The Wormhole
April 13, 2012 Athens, GA @ New Earth Music Hall
April 14, 2012 Atlanta, GA @ The 5 Spot
April 15, 2012 Columbia, SC @ 5 Points Pub
April 17, 2012 Boca Raton, FL @ Boca Muse
April 20, 2012 Miami, FL @ Bardot
April 21, 2012 Boca Raton, FL @ The Funky Buddha
April 22, 2012 Delray Beach, FL Hurricane Bar and Lounge
April 24, 2012 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
April 25, 2012 Jacksonville, FL @ 1904
April 26, 2012 Destin, FL @ The Funky Blues Shack
April 27, 2012 New 0rleans, LA @ Howlin’ Wolf Den
April 28, 2012 Lake Charles, LA @ Luna Bar and Grille
April 29, 2012 Denton, Texas @ Haileys
And Some Northeast Love
May 3, 2012 Philadelphia, PA @ The Blockley
May 4, 2012 Albany, NY @ Valentine’s
May 9, 2012 Burlington, VT @ Nectar’s
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