Godhead is back with new grooves
By Naughty Mickie

The metal melange Godhead offers up a little bit of the unexpected on their new effort, "At the Edge of the World" (Driven Music Group), which perhaps shouldn't be so surprising, as they've had a steady foothold in the scene for years. In 2001, the band signed with Marilyn Manson's Posthuman Records label and released "2000 Years of Human Error." The album garnered them a spot on the second stage at Ozzfest that year and since they have toured with Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Rammstein, Mudvayne, Orgy, Static-X, Ra, Ill Nino, The Dreaming, Soil, American Head Charge and more, as well as plenty of headlining on their own. Godhead's song, "Penetrate," was featured in the film soundtrack of "Queen of the Damned" and they have a smattering of tracks in other places.

Godhead's current lineup includes vocalist and guitarist Jason C. Miller, guitarist Mike Miller, bassist and programmer Ulrich "Method" Hepperlin and drummer Ty Smith. Miller, who has a schedule busier than mine, found some time early one morning to talk with me over the telephone.

"It was a continuation of a band that I already had that I formed in '92 when I was in college (Blind). The incarnation that it is now, which is me and Mike and Uli, we've been working together since '96. When Blind started when I was college, then we started regional touring, then we started international touring and we signed our first deal with a German record label. There was already a band called Blind in Europe so we had to change our name. Godhead was the original name I wanted to call the band. It was like I never stopped, I just kept going," Miller laughs.

He began performing at age five.

"When I was really, really young I started singing along to stuff and everyone seemed to remark that I could carry a tune so my talent was encouraged upon." Miller explains, "I just started singing in front of people and then in front of crowds since I was five. I started doing community theater, so I acted as a kid as well. I've been entertaining people my whole life."

He had classical vocal training as a teen and I remark that I also sang opera and fronted a hard rock/heavy metal band.

"The skills that you learn in classical singing can definitely apply to rock singing. It certainly helped me keep my voice when I'm on the road, so that's a plus, knowing techniques to keep your voice healthy," notes Miller.

"I went to George Mason University in Virginia. I started out majoring in music and then I thought to myself, 'Well, do I want get into green music and end up being a bitter music teacher?' I think there were a lot of them around at the time, there was something that inspired me not to want to be a bitter music teacher," chuckles Miller. "Instead I switched my major to history and continued on that way and the band."

"So have you used your history education?" I ask.

"Not in any sort of professional field, no," Miller admits.

"I bet you're really good at 'Jeopardy'," I quip.

"Yeah, I'm pretty good at 'Jeopardy.'" replies Miller with a laugh.

I ask him about "day jobs" and what he does for fun.

"I worked at a moving company and so did Uli at one point, so did Mike at one point. That was really, umm, crappy," Miller shares. "I train in Kung Fu, Hun Gar Kung Fu. I did some when I was a kid, I did Tai Quan Do, but for the last four years I got back into it."

Returning back to Godhead, I prod Miller to tell me about their creative process.

"We come to each other with stuff that we've started to work on and then we'll put it together in the end," says Miller. "As a team, we'll arrange the whole thing. But we don't really have one set formula, which I think makes things interesting and keeps things fresh. Sometimes I'll write the entire skeleton of a song and present it to the band, sometimes Mike or Uli will have part of a song or all of the song to present to each other so in that sense we keep things fresh by not approaching a song the same way each time.

"I do write all the lyrics. I feel like if you're going to be singing them you should know what they're about and they should be coming from the heart." Miller continues, "I'm inspired by a lot of different things I see in life. What I tend to do is take real negative points in my life, write about them and then it exorcises the demons in me and brings out negativity in the songs and that way I channel that energy."

I really like "At the Edge of the World" and ask him how it compares to the rest of Godhead's catalog.

"We went back to our roots a little bit with adding some more industrial sounds and sticking to some of the things that have inspired us to make music," Miller tells me. "We have elements of rock, we have elements of industrial, we have elements of goth, we have elements of electronic. We have so many different elements of our music involved that sometimes people can't really pigeonhole us. We're not goth enough for the goth fans or we're not industrial enough for the industrial fans I guess, but elements of all of those styles of music are within our music."

Here, I confess that nothing about Godhead has come across my desk in years.

"We've had the disadvantage of being on a new record label each album and that can really hurt because you can't keep the same publicist, you can't keep the same relationships and that's certainly hurt us, but you can do anything else but continue to move on and continue to make music," Miller responds.

Miller has appeared in several television shows and movies, including Lewis Black's "Root of All Evil" on Comedy Central.

On Nov. 2, he will be on the Sci Fi Channel in the original movie, "Battle Planet," which includes four Godhead songs in its soundtrack and on Feb. 8, 2009, the Wonder Woman animated movie will be released on DVD, which includes Miller voices several of the character. He has also done voices for Nickelodeon's "Avitar" and has recorded voices for more than 25 anime shows, as well as contributed voices for the new expansion of World of Warcraft video game, which comes out Nov. 13. Miller is the guildmaster of Godhead Legion in the World of Warcraft and often plays against his fans ( http://godhead.mmoguildsites.net ).

If that's not enough, Miller owns Central Command Studios ( www.centralcommandstudios.com ), a recording studio in Hollywood. Godhead records there and Miller uses the space to do English voiceovers for his Japanese animae projects.

Godhead is hoping to put out a full-length acoustic album next year.

"We put out an acoustic CD that we sold for a short time when we were on tour with Jonathan Davis on his Unplugged tour, but we recorded some more songs off of the new album actually and we plan to combine all of those to make one big CD," Miller said.

They also plan on touring early next year, but SoCal fans can catch Godhead 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at Whisky-a-Go-Go, 8901 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (310) 652-4202 or visit www.whiskyagogo.com .

Keep up with Godhead at www.godhead.com  and www.myspace.com/godhead

Also visit my blogs at http://mickieszoo.blogspot.com and www.insidesocal.com/doodah

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