The Mighty Tor – Miller Breaks Out with “Carter and Cash”

Now, I walked this line right next to you
With every step, the closer that we’ll get
Caught, in a fever that’s so pure and true
We’ll paint the town, until it all burns down

– Tor Miller, “Carter & Cash”

The love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter is something for the ages – so much so one can imagine the pair making music in the heavens for a crowd of David Bowie and all the legends who walked this earth. They’re likely kissing a lot, too. Too cheesy? Probably, but I’m sticking with it. Anyway, rising singer/songwriter Tor Miller captures their kind of undying love in his recently-released single “Carter & Cash” (see the official video above). Expect the song to propel him toward household-name land. The Brooklyn artist’s rise has been fast and sort of inevitable. He cut his teeth playing piano bars, and hone his skills at the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at New York University. Two years ago, he was signed to Glassnote Records, left school, dropped an EP, spent last summer touring with fellow wunderkinds James Bay and George Ezra, and here we are. The 22 year old, who has been on the road for quite awhile (and will continue to be), will release his debut album later this year. Buzz follows this guy everywhere, and rightfully so. We pinned him down for a quick interview earlier this month, and next month, he’ll grace us with an A-Sides performance. Read on, and keep an eye out for Miller.

“Carter & Cash” is brilliant on so many levels. How’d it come to you, and how have you found the response thus far?
Thank you! I was in a serious relationship, or I guess as serious as they come at 19, right before I signed my record deal. As the momentum in my career picked up, I started traveling more frequently. During my trips I kept a journal, which my girlfriend and I would pass back and forth, whenever we reunited. Our passages would end with the tag ‘like Carter and Cash’ or some variation of that. I was in LA, thinking of how I missed her and decided to write “Carter & Cash.”

That’s quite lovely. You’ve been writing songs and honing your skills well before you dropped this Headlights EP. Talk to me about your evolution from there to here.
Well, I have met many writers and got great insight into other people’s process’. I have also accumulated much more life experience in the interim as well. So, I find there is more variety in subject matter with my most recent batch of songs.

Buzz can be a funny thing – propelling an artist’s career or overhyping them into oblivion. You’re heading toward the former. How have you stayed grounded as your star begins to rise?
I don’t really pay attention to much of that, and I still feel relatively unknown so grounding is not much of an issue. [Laughs[

What did you learn from touring with equally-buzzed artists like James Bay and George Ezra, who really took flight last year?
Playing with James and George was a wonderful experience and I thank them for having me on board. What I learned, most of all, was that it’s imperative to take care of yourself, when you can, on the road. James was very disciplined about warming up and having a pre-show ritual. It was cool to see behind the scenes of a substantial tour. I’ve only toured for three-and-a-half weeks at most, so I learned a lot.

Can we expect any Cash covers from you down the road? I apologize for that question by the way. I’m sure you get that a lot.
I would love to cover a Johnny Cash tune! I used to do a lot of his songs when I was in a band in high school. Not sure which song I’d attack just yet, but I’ll pick the perfect one.

Fresh. How would you describe the Brooklyn music scene right now. It seems to have shifted from indie rock to indie pop.
I don’t feel so infused in whatever the Brooklyn music scene may be right now. And to be honest I never really was apart of it, which I’m fine with. I think across the board you see people moving away from the DIIV-esque vibe band model and gravitating over to programmed beat, minimalist, synth pop. I sit on the outside looking in, so who am I to comment?

You’re Tor! What’s your favorite snack to eat while writing songs?

Can you impart some words of wisdom to my one-year-old son?
Pursue your passions and never settle for less than what you aspire to be.

Miller’s Upcoming Tour Dates:
Wednesday, February 10: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Friday, February 12: Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
Saturday, February 13: Kansas City, MO @ Tank Room
Sunday, February 14: St. Louis, MO @ Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
Monday, February 15: Nashville, TN @ The Basement

For more tour dates, click here.

A-Sides’ “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.