Greg first met Richard Fortus through a mutual friend who played the saxaphone. The three of them, plus Steve Hanock, formed the earliest lineup of the Eyes. They played fusion-like music in Rich's basement until they finally realized that they needed to pursue a different direction musically and that they probably needed a singer if they wanted to break into the club circuit. Soon the saxaphone was gone and Michael Schaerer was brought in to sing. Greg briefly left the band to pursue a more paying gig in a cover band called Rhonnie and the Boys. He was temporarily replaced by Barry Kinder who eventually left also. Barry went on to play in the Stranded Lads and Greg returned to the Eyes. All of this occured even before Steve Hanock left the band and was replaced by Dan Angenend.
Near the end of Pale Divine, when Rich was busy working with Richard Butler and planning for the second PD album was beginning to stall, Greg Miller and Dan Angenend played briefly in a project called Whatever with Mark Cook (Corporate Humour) and Mike Metroulas (Nerve). It was more of a group of friends playing for fun than a serious endeavor generally jamming in Mike's basement. They only played one gig at Cicero's and most memories of Whatever were probably buried years ago.
While nearly everyone in the St. Louis music scene knew Pale Divine was breaking up, Greg knew that he wanted to continue playing. Fortunately, another St.Louis favorite found themselves wanting a "harder hitting" drummer and was paying attention to the situation. Suave Octopus approached Greg shortly before Pale Divine called it quits and he began rehearsing with them. Former drummer Mark Hrabovsky was quickly fired and Greg played out with Suave Octopus in Kansas City the very next night after the final Pale Divine show at Mississippi Nights in 1994.
Suave Octopus (1994) Matt Westphale, Greg Miller, Rich Ellington, Dave Kalz
Perhaps he should have waited to let the dust settle after all the frustrations that the last year had brought. He had devoted nearly a decade to The Eyes/Pale Divine only to watch it slowly falling apart. But with the opportunity in front of him, he choose to continue. With Greg behind the kit, Suave Octopus went on to release their sophomore cd and continued to gain strong regional support. For some time it appeared they might be the next band to break out of St.Louis with a major label deal.
OCTOPUS: KILL MY DREAM
home, so little you know, kill my dream, shadow of your heart, so high, whereever you go, victoria, ride, please don't go to london, dreams, highwire days, lies, charlene, she likes girls, virgin girl, i hope god smiles when he sees me, crucify
Obviously Suave Octopus never managed to land a record deal. But Greg was approached by the guys in Great Big Everything and again was forced to make a decision. This time he took his time and listened to their demos, thinking it through. Ultimately he really liked their music and choose to play with them. Great Big Everything also featured Max Daves (vocals), Chris Conner (guitar), Dan Young (guitar) and Patrick Skinner (bass). GBE only lasted about a year or so, but they did release one cd and received regular rotation on St.Louis alternative radio station 105.7 The Point.
FROM ALL POINTS
fade my cloudy days, wants, can't concentrate, fly away, walls within, letting it go, the vine, hopes & dreams, shrouded, someone who cares, where i wish, do you believe, everything, oceans of thought
After Great Big Everything, Greg was finally able to pause for a moment without the pressures of a gigging band and chasing major label success. After a two year break he auditioned for Radio Iodine on Radioactive Records. Greg joined just three gigs before Radio Iodine entered the studio and they quickly released an ep followed by their full length debut. Radio Iodine garnered praise in the industry for their aggressive rock tinged with electronic beats and Ellen's powerful voice. Though they were often compared to the band Garbage or as Annie Lennox meets NIN, Radio Iodine delivered an edgy sound of their own and stood out among their peers.
things i do, better off, human nature, sleep
IODINE: TINY WARNINGS
go ahead, manic girl, for you, things i do, never meant to, understand, human nature, let down, all in my head, better off, tearing me down
But as with many bands, tensions between key members slowly started to tear Radio Iodine apart. They managed to record demos for their second full length record but would ultimately impload before these tracks saw major label release. They played one final show at Mississippi Nights on December 12, 1998 and gave the fans one last gift. They released the demos on cd to a grateful and unsuspecting crowd of fans.
Radio Iodine (1996) Anna Berry, Tom Bramer, Greg Miller, Tony Persyn, Ellen Persyn
After Radio Iodine broke up, Greg rather innocuously announced that he was retiring. Many felt that while he was walking around stage, teasing the crowd with his drumsticks after the last show that he was going to disappear. But Greg never meant to walk away from music. He was just tired of chasing the dream of a record deal. He had played in several talented bands and been signed to two different major labels. With titles like "Straight To Goodbye," "Kill My Dream," and "Tiny Warnings" it seems almost prophetic that each would fail at some point and, unfortunately, each acheived a limited amount of success and then fell apart.
Greg eventually resurfaced playing in several cover bands over the years. First came Hannibal, then Supercharger with Mike Baker (Bike), formerly of the Stranded Lads. "We were this rhythm section from hell," says Greg. He also went on to play Cuncockshun, but eventually each demanded too much time and energy as Greg was focused on his career and family. He also spent some time in the studio with Pat Oldani and his band Starnineteen.
In 2003, Greg starting playing again with Michael Schaerer. Steven Hunt (New World Spirits) had been playing drums with the Michael Schaerer Group for a couple of years and Greg began filling in for Steve on some nights. It was great to see Greg playing with Michael again and offering his vocals to some classic covers.
Greg with MSG in 2003.
When the 2008 and 2009 reunion shows surfaced for Pale Divine, Greg was ready. He came out and banged out every song perfectly, even if hidden in the smoke.
Greg performing with Pale Divine at the Pageant, STL. (2008)