Los Angeles has a secret weapon, and he’s one of hell of a guitarist! One of the music industry’s most prolific performers, Deron Miller, also known as front man and founder of CKY, has unveiled yet another masterpiece Synergy Restored from the infamous rock band, 96 Bitter Beings. Miller is no stranger to the music industry. He is presently in 6 other bands, and he explores multiple genres, no one trick pony here. His signature sound, technique, vibe, the whole nine cannot be replicated. The entire album has evoked the sound and with no apologies his desires go to other realms of music rarely witnessed.
Miller has toured with the biggest in the industry such as Clutch, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Hoobastank, and more. Miller’s prior success with CKY catapulted him into the fast lane of the music in the rock scene. After a short break he formed 96 Bitter Beings which summons the nostalgia and signature sound created by Miller. Quite frankly it’s one of my favorites, always on rotation. The entire album flows so smooth but with heavy riffs that are sexy as hell. ”Wish Me Dead” and “Fire Skyline” come out crushing. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve listened to “Bloodrock Mania”. The music leaves you wanting more. The heavy vocals and the guitar are smoother than ever, its metal but its also its own genre.
I was thrilled to get a chat in with lead vocalist and music phenom Deron Miller, also the lead in multiple bands and the world famous CKY. I enjoy the music, but more importantly its great to see the inspiration behind the music, their story.
Thank you for joining me today! You guys have been together for over 5 years right?
- Deron: We’ve been together for 6 YEARS. I wanted to do a 20th anniversary album of another band I started in high school which is the band Foreign Objects. We did an EP in 1995. The album Galactic Prey was completed in 2015. After that line up I decided to start work on the style of music I’m most known for. We are from Los Angeles, but we rehearsed a lot in San Pedro and recorded in Anaheim.
After the success of CKY what brought you back, was it a long road to get a whole new band ?
- It was obvious to me; I mean what else do I want to do? I did a ghastly ungodly fast death metal record with the band World Under Blood that was released in 2011. Then I did an acoustic album in 2012. I love all kinds of music. I had to relax for awhile and then I went right back into it. Its who I am, I didn’t plan it.
How did COVID impact your music?
- Finished a US tour in 2020 that was so much fun, and had a European one booked at the beginning of March and then that was it. The end. Done. Everything shut down. The world’s batteries died. We had 2 albums, and both were complete by 2019. Both albums are masterpieces. It was just waiting and waiting and waiting… On and on and on. It wasn’t an easy time for anyone, except probably for whoever caused COVID… and the wealthy people that could afford to move around a lot more. It was such a crock. An overblown waste of everyone’s time. There were exceptions, like there always are, but they don’t define the rule. I had COVID 3 times. Each time was awful, but all 3 of those times I was not as sick as I have been other times in my life. Now everyone knows what it really was. For a lot of us it was a scam. That is not to disrespect people that were seriously affected by it. It’s just that too much of the earth’s population are not exceptions. We can’t get that waste of time back. Hopefully some people felt like they got a break. A chance to breathe. I don’t mean literally.
How did you come up with the band name?
- 96 bb is that song. It’s the song. A no brainer really. My grandmother turned 96 at the same time we needed a name. Ding ding ding. It was a quick slap to the face. Oooooooh… oh yea, ok, 96 Bitter Beings.
96 Bitter Beings was formed in 2016 by yourself and you had CKY. You are a very busy man I know you also have another metal project, how do you juggle ?
- When I get bored, I think too much. That causes serious problems, so I must stay busy. This End Up, Foreign Objects, Oil, CKY, World Under Blood, 96 Bitter Beings, Malevolent Creation, …I’m still in all of those bands. I have never quit a band in my life. Musically, I wear a lot of hats. I can’t put it into words how important it all is to me. There isn’t any alternative. There is no plan b. I’m even doing movie scores now too. You have to go all in. We all get one short shot at this. Make use of it.
What drives you? Tell us about the last album to the most recent album, the progression.
- Anxiety pushes both ways. For me it drives and shuts me down. Inspiration, motivation… encouragement I get from fans, family and friends. It’s a gift that was given to me. It’s a double-edged sword and when the edge is pointed away from me, I’m quick to swing it. The first album camp pain was done DIY. It was a huge success. It became somewhat of a cottage industry. When it comes to this style, the CKY/96bb rock style…I know exactly what I’m doing. No one else knows how to do it. That’s also a double-edged sword because no one has ever been able to label it. When it comes to this business I’ve always felt like the nerd in the back of the classroom that no one talks to or likes. Yet I’m the only one getting all A’s. It’s not normal, but it’s an incredible place to be. The new album, Synergy Restored, is without a doubt the best album I have ever done so far.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years ?
- Finishing up the 5th record hopefully. In 1 year, I’d like to be done with the 3rd. We’ll always be pushing this. Even if some band members that are a part of that “we”…. Change.
You are the mastermind behind the music & lyrics, What inspires you musically?
- I love language and words. I’m not into poetry but I like clever word play. I like to come up with stories. I get inspiration from how ridiculous and outrageous all of this is. Everything around us. When motivation hits I get to work. I really believe that it isn’t up to me. It’s an urge. And then, the beats, the notes, melody, rhythms, vocal patterns…putting it all together. It’s the best feeling to create something that impresses yourself. Its indescribable.
What’s been your most inspiring experience so far touring and playing shows?
- Reconnecting with the audience. In the entertainment business, opportunities are wasted on the young. I was in a position that hardly anyone ever gets a shot at, but I was just a kid. It’s the same old story all bands must tell. At this point in my career it’s all about reclaiming what I had and appreciating it this time; but it’s at a time when it’s so much harder to succeed at this. It’s a challenge. Being in a band is absolutely nowhere near what it was like in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’m thankful I caught the tail end of it.
Scariest experience on tour? Or any ghost stories?
- The best ghost story was when our bass player disappeared in Boise, Idaho. Just vanished. We did a soundcheck, and then he spontaneously combusted. I haven’t heard from him since. Then his brother, our drummer, also disintegrated. It was and still is a total mystery. It’s a new wonder of the world. We were like brothers for 5 years. I knew at the very beginning when we started this band that if I hired brothers as band members, losing one most likely would mean losing both. That’s exactly what happened. They both have yet to provide an explanation, but at the same time…. with all of the evidence I have in texts, emails, phone calls, messages and posts…I have concluded that they both had baby mamas who ordered each of them to come home and give up…to give up their goals. To give up their dreams. They complied. They’re betas. I’m not wired that way so I have no idea how something that tragic would work out. I don’t know what kind of deal is made when someone is able to take over your life. What’s your piece of that pie? It’s absolutely 110% foreign to me. We lost half the lineup and replaced it with a much better one. I love those Luera brothers, but man did they fuck everyone over hard. I don’t know how they could sleep or even live with themselves. Maybe there was some kind of universal force that summoned them away… Demanding that they get out because their replacements are a godsend. We have Matty J. back with us who was in CKY for many years, and a very talented and business driven drummer…Thomas, who is from Finland. It all fell into place. 96 Bitter Beings replenished itself without having to put in much effort. It was meant to be. The members of the band are more locked into place. It’s a huge relief.
Favorite bands you’ve toured or played with ?
- Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses. Sometimes you tour with bands that are good guys but you don’t like their music and vice versa. Believe it or not, I really got along with the guys in Hoobastank. We took them on their first tour. They were up for anything. We were very young, pushing every envelope. Even though we had different finish lines in mind, we were all the same age with similarly wired minds. The average person has no clue the things that go on when a band tours. They have no idea. Record companies and managers in my experience never even really had any idea. It’s a madhouse. There’s been a lot of fun tours with good guys in good or bad bands. It didn’t matter. However, touring with boring people in bands is very difficult. It’s funny that I have toured with bands that were introduced into the mainstream… And then marketed as being wild, out of control, lawless animals and they were anything but. Marketing back then was such a bizarre concept sometimes. Now it doesn’t even exist anymore for rock or metal music, but they still know how to make beliebers and swiftys and robots such as Lizzo appear relevant. The public is more subservient than it has ever been in human history. Music is g, pg ….or at the most pg-13 these days. Celebrities have never been more dull and tired. The Kardashians for example….I swear….they must have been created by Disney. They don’t even seem human.
What about bands you would love to tour with?
- The question is, what bands wouldn’t I want to tour with. At this point, I’d love to go out with anyone that isn’t an asshole. I love to tour with bands that have members with personalities. The Native Howl is a band we went out with in 2020. They really stand out. I’d open for Madonna. I really don’t care at all.
What is your perspective of the music life and industry as a whole?
- This question can’t be answered with a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a monologue, a speech. I could write a book on this topic. It is not normal in any way. Because of the way it was, is, and has become hard to fit into society. Normalcy is very uncomfortable.
Anything you’d like to leave fans with?
- Thank you so much. Spread the word, we are on our way! Synergy Restored is out and its worth finding out whether you like it not.
Deron quit cKy years ago. Let’s not get carried away here.
Chad and Jess hi-jacked the band. Let’s not get carried away here.