Ahead of his national tour supporting his upcoming EP Closer to Home back in 2016, we caught up with the incredibly talented Robbie Miller to discuss the release and how he fits his love of music into a very busy life.
Your EP Close to Home is out on the 28th of October. Tell me a little bit about what went into it? Well, I guess a hard work went into it. It’s quite funny, a lot of the ideas and songs from this EP were actually created before the first EP, so I guess it’s been a whole process as I’ve been writing it for about a year now.
You’ve mentioned that the EP is dawning on a new era for you. How different is this release to your past work? I guess it’s less folk orientated than the first EP. Originally, what I was doing was along the lines of traditional folk. This time, I’ve added some ambient electronic components to what I’ve already been doing in the past.
Have you been listening to any particular music to effect this change? Or did it just happen organically? It’s something that I’ve had my eyes on for a while now. I do listen to a broad range of music from RnB and hip hop to the likes of Bon Iver, so it’s quite varied. With the first EP, I thought it was the right time to put out a folk EP because it was what I was writing and playing for so many years before. With this release, I wanted to keep the basis of the songs the same but see where I could end up by sonically changing it.
You were at BIGSOUND this year. What was that week like for you? Crazy. Everybody says that BIGSOUND is one big crazy week but it’s true. I didn’t get a lot of sleep. It’s just one of those mental weeks where you get to see great music and play music and meet great artists. It only happens one week a year so I guess you can put up with the tiredness. It’s not much of a big deal, there’re 51 other weeks in the year to relax.
How was your performance? I played at Heya Bar, I’d never been there before so it was cool to play there. I think it went well. It’s always hard to tell at BIGSOUND because you have 15-minute changeovers. You get on, play your stuff and get off essentially. It’s a bit of a blur, but it was still really good.
Loved your Like A Version that you did earlier in the year. What inspired you to choose Odezea? I love that song and I love listening to it. First I wanted to cover a song that I liked and made me feel good, so I could share that. And also, the way that I view Like A Version is that you take a song and shed new light on it. I thought with the way that song is originally and the way I play, I would be able to take it in a new direction.
What is it like doing a Like A Version? It’s a bit scary. There are so many cameras so there’s an added pressure that you don’t usually get being an artist. I just crossed my fingers and hoped it would turn out, because if it didn’t it would haunt me on Youtube for the rest of my life.
You mentioned before that you tutor at high schools, what kind of work does that involve? I work full time for an organisation called AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) which helps a lot of indigenous kids across Brisbane. It’s an aspirations program so I just try to be fun and inspire kids to finish high school and chase their dreams.
That’s very inspiring. How do you keep up with your music career? It is hard sometimes. It’s exhausting but music and my work are both so rewarding. There are ups and downs and it can get a bit tough sometimes but I think it’s worth it. I want to try to work full time for as long as I can because at the moment I’m loving it.
What’s on your radar for the rest of the year? After the tour, I guess I’ll get back into writing and whatever comes next. I really just want to keep writing and keep experimenting, that’s all I can really hope for.