Thaw the Souls
"...Don\'t want no Jesus fish swimming 'round the back of dirty bumpers" (M.J.F.) Mike J. Miller, singer/songwriter behind brainchild and ever expanding Republic of Peach, began his "official" search for the perfect creative medium on July 8 1998. At first, performance comedy with musical elements amused Miller for the pure rush and constant inspiration it gave him. Winner of the "Montreal odd man out" title in early 2000, it was clear alternative comedy and Montreal's two mainstream Comedy clubs did not marry well. His mistress, acting, was exciting and offered many passionate nights. However, despite performing in sold out and critically acclaimed Fringe shows in Montreal and New York City, the burden of a scripted future did not sit well with Miller. Poetry and live performing where both planets his "Enterprise" had visited, but the Republic of Peach would be his final destination. First, however, came a yearlong journey with a psycho bearded, red headed rhythm guitarist, that consumed more Pepsi and pot then any psycho red head, bearded rhythm guitarist should. With a nightmarish twelve months in hand, and a new road map to his future, Miller continued to write songs compulsively within the depths of his oceans darkness, all the while playing with a half dozen Montreal upstarts. A couple beautiful acoustic guitars and countless singing "research trips" (notably B. Lewis) later, Miller met a gang of French musicians (notably David Nathan) who immigrated to Montreal in search of the new "Montreal music scene". As singer of the newly formed Eeve Was Framed, the trio embarked on a yearlong journey of writing and rehearsing songs for what would be the first and only show at a sold out Petit Café Campus in Montreal. By coincidence or stroke of luck, Miller and Albe (guitarist/producer) opened the show with a few alt-country influenced original songs. Soon after, Miller joined Albe at his Cliktrak studio with over 200 dry tear soaked demos in hand to begin pre-production of what would be... Thaw the souls, a journey into the Republic of Peach, a folk-umentury, slated to play at Montreal's International Fringe Festival for a six night stint at the well known Cabaret on Montreal's "Main". With the experience of the shows in his back pocket and the careful selection of 4 more tracks, recording of the Republic of Peach's first album began in the late summer of 2008 and ended in September of the same year. With strong feedback and praise from the Myspace community, and an already growing fan base, Miller set an official "unauthorized" album launch date (September 29th 2008) at La Sala Rossa in Montreal's artistically renowned hipster drenched Mile-end. The room, graced by the aura of many outstanding performances, it's beautiful chandeliers and it's warm sultry feel was chosen for what would be known as the official "unauthorized" debut journey into the Republic of Peach. Influenced mostly, by the difficult task to connect and the primal need to thaw his soul, along with years of life and love lived, Miller started "spitting out songs like he was spitting out blood" (M.J.F.). Some, it is said, have heard a tinge of Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, The Tragically Hip, Neil Young and Johnny Cash in his sound and lyrics. Though his musical palette includes artists such as Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, and Canada\'s very own "unsung hero", Joel "the prince" Plaskett to name but a few, he hopes all of his influences can filter through his core and transcend into his voice, hence, finding a place in your hearts. Miller's sole purpose in life has become to find a home, a mate, a record label, and share his music for the rest of his sun rising and sun setting days. Tagged as "born for the stage", with a seemingly never ending fountain of inspiration, Miller believes the sincerity and nakedness of his lyrics, along with the roots they hold in his heart, will find earth and warmth in the hearts and souls of all who listen. And so, to all, the only wish Miller has is that as many people as possible, take a journey into his Republic of Peach. No passports required, this Republic is as true in real life as it is on paper. To quote the Canadian legend Gord Downie: to all "music lovers", R.O.P heartily welcomes you. "circa love"