Volume 92, Issue 95

Friday, March 26, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Mason braves the Wave

Hermits thrush themselves into spotlight

Stain sets their own limits

Barfoot steps into others' lives

Spinning their own melodic web

The Ashgrove find diversified direction

An inviting and intimate evening

Film showcase a benefit

Blackmoon rises after eclipse

Iglesias legacy lives on

Celebrity sightings


Stain sets their own limits

Photo by Lorne Bridgman
HE REALLY SHOULDN'T TRY TO TAKE HIS PRESS SHOTS HIMSELF. The Miller Stain Limit gets up close and personal Saturday night at the Wave, opening for Wide Mouth Mason.

By Aaron Wherry

Gazette Staff

Like any lonely, sexually deprived adolescent boy will tell you, if you want to get it done, you'll have to do it yourself. Apparently for J. Miller of the Miller Stain Limit, the same theory applies to managing a band.

"When I was in an indie band, I used to write the songs, book the gigs, take the money at the door, settle up with the bar owner and I'm still really pro-active with everything," Miller explains. "I wrote the last two videos and co-directed both. I personally still talk to the clubs and the record company, so I haven't lost that sensibility."

This first person initiative also translates to Miller's dealing with the masses. The enigmatic lead singer/songwriter is a self-proclaimed man for all people.

"At the end of gigs we don't sit backstage and pretend the veggie table is a big deal," Miller says. "We go out in the audience, have a drink with them and shoot the shit."

Increasing fame, brought on by the band's first major hit "Cellophane," doesn't appear to have jaded this personable performer. Even in the face of an upcoming commitment to open for Canadian stars Alanis Morrisette and the Crash Test Dummies, this rocker has kept his cool.

"We're really pumped about it. It's huge exposure for us and it's a huge opportunity. But there is the element that this is just another show," Miller states. "Being the opening band in a bar, you're crammed into a totally confined place. So a little elbow room will be nice. Well, a lot of elbow room for that matter. Every show is important whether it's in front of six people or 6000."

This weekend, MSL will warm up the crowd for Wide Mouth Mason at the Wave. The radio friendly "Cellophane" has proved to be a big help for this relatively new band, but it's not what the MSL had planned or expected. As much as it has increased their exposure, its longevity has only hampered the release of more singles from their album Radiate.

"We told our label that we wanted the album promoted across four or five singles because we really think this is a full length album," Miller explains. "What happened with 'Cellophane' was, it started doing well on radio so people kept spinning it. We actually didn't want it to go as long as it did, we wanted to go on to another single. 'Cellophane' just grew another set of legs and just kept going."

It seems pushing onward is a way of life for Miller. More specifically, for Miller, life is a vehicle for constantly creating and writing new material.

"You're just this beacon. You walk around with it throughout life and everyone has their own frequency or signal," Miller reflects, attempting to explain his theory on life's purpose.

Yes, Miller truly is a man who has found his place in this world. No longer a dazed and confused wanderer, Miller has found his home at the heart of rock music. This frontman finds his muse in simplicity – be it in the company of others or in his solitude.

"All I want to do is create music. My two favourite things are when you come out of a convenience store and you got your pop and your walkman and you get an idea. And you pull out your little microcassette recorder and you're humming and filling in the lyrics. Then you get home and you write it all down in a book and go crazy. That and playing live, having fun out there and sharing the vibe."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999