Time flies in the journalism business. When Brian Miller reached out to me to listen to the first CD from his new band, Cat Call Killers, I realized that I’ve known this guy for almost 20 years, but never, really, as a musician.
When I first met him in 2002, he was in the process of opening the old Monkey Bar in Walker’s Point. Over the years, he connected me to the Violent Femmes for stories, with whom he toured and ran the sound board. Miller is also the sound guy for the Miller Oasis at Summerfest, and has been for 22 years, and is always a go-to interview for me at the start of the Big Gig.
Now, his Femmes days are behind him, having taken the sound position at the Pabst Theater. And this Friday, The Cat Call Killers are throwing a CD release party at Club Garibaldi in Bay View.
Doors open at 8 p.m., and his band (Miller on bass, Ross Stove on guitar and vox, Mona Stove on vocals and Lynn Winter on drums) is playing alongside Crimes Against Nature and Fuzzee. Miller says for a $7 cover charge, you’re guaranteed to hear some fun rock music.
In advance of the show, I caught up with Miller to get the back story on his new band.
OnMilwaukee: I’m not an expert in this genre, but Cat Call Killers sounds like a ‘70s rock band that I might’ve heard on the “Dazed & Confused” soundtrack. How do you explain the sound to people who’ve never heard it?
Brian Miller: We definitely lean toward ‘70s and ‘80s rock. Sort of The Runaways meets the Foo Fighters with a punk rock overtone. The band name was just something that came about from a band meeting. Definitely it comes from a feminist point of view – as half of our band our women.
Tell me the origin story of the group. Was it really a drunkenly conceived idea?
The band was formed over a few beers in a backyard party. Our guitar player, Ross, was complaining about no one wanting to record his songs. I immediately booked a weekend at my friend’s studio and told him to give me his best four songs.
We rehearsed twice and hit the studio. To my surprise it was a good product with good friends. We decided to record six more songs and release a CD.
We finally received the physical CDs on Memorial Day weekend. The band and our engineer went out to celebrate by having Mexican food and margaritas. We carried on to two other bars.
At the end of the night Ross was getting into a Lyft when he got hit by a car. He broke his leg in two places, as well as fracturing a vertebra. This obviously postponed our scheduled CD release show in July.
How do you know Ross, Mona and Lynn?
Our drummer Lynn had been in many local bands and at one time was one of many roommates in Riverwest. I’ve known Ross and Mona for many years, as well. Ross was also a roommate at my house.
How is Ross doing after that car accident?
Ross is currently going through physical therapy and is almost fully recovered. He will be standing for this rock show!
What can people expect from the CD release party at Garibaldi?
Expect a bunch of old people bringing the rock and enjoying themselves. The world needs live music more than ever and we’re happy to provide it! So finally the day has come.
Do you plan on recording more stuff or playing more gigs?
We will continue to record and play gigs. We already have started the writing process for the next album! I’m certainly having fun writing and playing original music.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.