November 07 2016

Justin Miller Is a Deus

New York-Le Bain
Back in NY and on a mission, LA's Justin Miller is set to play Le Bain with Wolfram on Friday, November 25th.
LE BAIN: You’ve been in LA for a while and seem to enjoy it, but here you are, back in New York! Last year, LA was meant to be the new Brooklyn. Are we done with that?
JUSTIN MILLER: People like to say Los Angeles is having a renaissance of sorts right now. There's been a significant migration from east to west within the arts, music, and fashion worlds. For me, it simply came down to boycotting New York winters, because we all know how brutal those can be. Being native to California, my recent visit resonated on many levels. From the architecture and landscape to the produce and restaurants, everything felt fresh as well as familiar. Ultimately, it was the people and friendships that surprised me the most. In a place with so many weirdos seeking the unattainable, I fell in with the best stock of humans imaginable. You can bet I'll be heading back this December. 
Justin Miller (photo by Adam Hoff)

Justin Miller (photo by Adam Hoff)

"How about 'scary as f*ck'?"
You came back with a new mission: Deus Records, the music division of the Australian, motorcycle-inspired brand Deus Ex Machina. How do you translate the Deus spirit in music?
The holy union that is Deus Records came about because of the personal connection people have with music and how it expresses another facet of their life and style. I enjoy surfing, motorcycles, and stylish apparel, so why not include my greatest love, music, in the mix. All this coupled with the fact that Deus' founder, Dare Jennings, ran a pretty incredible record label (Phantom Records) in the early '80s made it an ideal choice. Once we began the discussion, it seemed like a record label would be a logical addition to the Deus Ex Machina story. 

I love Australian stories, because they always remind of good times. Do you have one connected to Deus?
I think it's best to leave the Australian stories to real Aussies so they can be told as only Aussies can tell them. I will say I have many close Aussie friends, which I attribute to growing up on the beaches of Southern California. When I first visited Sydney, specifically Bondi, I thought, "Oh yeah, I know what this is about." It was both familiar and a bit frightening in a way. I mean as a young man I left the beach for many reasons. Now the older I get, the more I understand and appreciate beach life, and it's been pulling me back in. I've had plenty of solid times with the Deus family both at home and abroad. Whether it be Australia, Indonesia, Germany, or the UK, the good times will keep rolling. 
"Questioning the meaning of existence while getting in bar fights along the way."
Tell us about the first release by TV Baby. How did the project come together?
Being based in New York, I found it necessary to work with a NY-centric artist(s). Matt and Brain of TV Baby have always been on the periphery of my NY experience, and I even caught them on tour in Los Angeles in the early '00s when they were ARE Weapons. I was front and center at that concert at a time when living in NY was a daydream. Upon speaking with them, hearing the music, seeing them live, and then learning they were working with Gabrial Andruzzi of The Rapture, it seemed like the perfect pairing. Now with singles, remixes by Secret Circuit, Thomas Bullock, Trus'me, and Ivan Smagghe, and a full-length album out in December, we are starting to get things cooking. 

Dark. Analog. Edgy. Sexy. What would you add to complete the description of TV Baby's video for "Klerin Priest"? Is it the atmosphere we can expect in the next releases?
How about "scary as f*ck"? The video does conjure up some dark forces and sits perfectly with the track. All of us put our trust in directors Timothy Saccenti and Zachary Krevitt, and they knocked it out of the park. The final product went way above our expectations, and in my mind raised it to a level of high art. It's a compelling video and track, but it's not wholly representative of the TV Baby sound. Although the album is rooted in electronic sounds, the band tends to meld the most accessible aspects of post-punk, new wave, and rock 'n' roll into something of their own. I like to say TV Baby knows no genre. All will be revealed upon the release of the album. 
TV Baby (Deus Records)

TV Baby (Deus Records)

Who would be your ideal bike partner for an easy ride through the American Southwest? 
Off the top of my head, Marlon Brando would be an ideal partner for the road. I can see us reading poetry and questioning the meaning of existence while getting in bar fights along the way. A mix of both light and dark to keep things interesting.

And your perfect bike for the trip?
I'm still a novice when it comes to motorcycles, but I'd say a '78 Bonneville Triumph would be stable and handsome enough to make the journey in style. 

On Friday, November 25th, Le Bain presents Justin Miller and Wolfram
The Standard, High Line | 10pm