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Jeremy David Miller says it has taken him thirty years to write his first record, Lepus.
Thirty years of learning wordplay, thirty years of melding melodies, thirty years of observing. Now as Miller steps up to the mic he is ready to pronounce, “I am here and this is what I’m saying.”
Miller's childhood was spent tucked in middle America in the kind of town where everyone worked as a farmer. He grew up traveling with his mother and father, a coveted music duo in their region. While most children were marking the milestones of their life by learning to tie shoes and ride bikes, Miller can never forget the first blues riff his father taught him at age ten, or the first chord chart his mother gave to him. When he was asked to join a band at age of thirteen, his father didn't hesitate to take him to the local pawnshop and buy him his first bass and amp. In high school, Miller began writing songs and went on to study engineering at The Conservatory for Recording Arts and Sciences in Phoenix, Arizona.
After graduating, he returned to the Midwest, landing in Chicago to launch his music career. There, he spent his days painting houses and his nights performing music anywhere and everywhere. It was at this time that Miller stumbled upon then unknown songwriter Joe Pug at an open mic. Stunned by Pug's lyrics and delivery, he approached him after the show and the two became fast friends. Together, they explored Chicago's music scene, from open mics to hootenannies, befriending musicians, writing songs and feeding off each other's musical talents for inspiration.
While Miller was finishing off an internship at Raxx Tracks Recording Studio, he invited Pug to sneak into the studio a couple of nights a week to record a special set of songs the songwriter had been working on. The sessions would eventually become Pug's debut EP Nation of Heat, which was released in 2008. The EP gathered a cult following in Chicago and eventually caused Pug to breakthrough to international critical acclaim, placing Miller on the map as an engineer.
Around the same time, Miller was working on his own set of songs, those that would make up Lepus. (Lepus is Latin for "hare" and a constellation located just below Orion). The nine songs were recorded humbly during the summer of 2011, mostly in living rooms with a guitar and mic. Miller didn't need much more. The album is well-crafted and catchy, playfully raunchy and raw. Notably, Miller's careful obsession with words are what really mark the album apart from most artists.
Although he may have taken his time (thirty years worth) to present his songs to the world, on March 13 2012, Lepus will be released. Miller urges you to pay attention. "Songs are the most important, most useful, most dangerous way of getting your point across. These that I've collected for Lepus are of my utmost, they are saying something and it's up to everyone listening to figure out what it is."