When Ryan Miller, frontman to the Somerville-born band Guster, moved to Vermont from NYC four years ago, he promptly freaked out. “It was hard to find the weirdos,” says Miller. “And as I’ve gotten older I appreciate becoming an appreciator and connector with these weirdos that are hanging everywhere. I appreciate eccentricity.”
That curiosity about interesting characters he meets in the Green Mountain State was the inspiration for the quirky Vermont PBS original program “Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller”, in which he is filmed making friends. “Not that many people live in Vermont, but there’s a lot of weirdos out there [so we] focus on singular characters.
With nine episodes for the upcoming third season in the can, he embraces breaking the “traditional” rules of episodic docu-series, a journey away from creative limitations he’s experienced in other artistic endeavors (he’s been scoring films on the side). Overall though, “Makin’ Friends” has a gleeful affinity for the obscure and bizarre, as does Miller. In Vermont, or anywhere.
“I caught a performance by J. Tillman (aka Father Jones Misty) from Fleetfoxes on Letterman,” he says. “It’s so odd! He plays piano and turns around and the piano is playing itself. There’s a laugh track he uses. So fucked up and cool. I just want to get weirder.”
Be sure to check out the series, and for old and new Guster fans alike, check out the bands brand-new video below.
Guster “Long Night” from Nettwerk Music Group on Vimeo.
MAKIN’ FRIENDS WITH RYAN MILLER | AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING AT VERMONTPBS.ORG/MAKINFRIENDS
Dan is a freelance journalist and has written for publications including Vice, Esquire, the Daily Beast, Fast Company, Pacific Standard, MEL, Leafly, Thrillist, and DigBoston.