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‘Collaborative effort’: Guster’s Ryan Miller says ‘sharing ideas’ is key to band’s creativity

Guster is touring in support of its eighth album, “Look Alive.”
(Courtesy of Alysse Gafkjen)

Ryan Miller is basking in summer warmth.

He’s sitting in his hammock about to go swimming at his Vermont home.

He’s taking advantage of the great weather and the lull before heading out on tour.

“We have winter like seven months out of the year,” he quips. “I’m going to enjoy every moment.”

Miller is a member of the alternative rock band Guster. The band formed in 1991 and has remained active in the music industry with tours and releasing albums.

Miller is joined by Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel and Luke Reynolds in the band.

Guster also released its eighth studio album, “Look Alive,” in January. The band will perform a show at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe on Tuesday, July 9.

Miller says the album took a while to get done because the four members don’t live in the same state.

“We started writing two years after our last album (in 2015),” he says. “The actual process of recording when we got together went quickly. That’s where we refined everything that we recorded.”

After the recording process, nine songs made the cut. “Look Alive” was produced by Leo Abrahams and John Congleton.

“We had more than double that,” he says of the songs. “It’s a pretty dynamic process, and things come together in the studio too. We like to leave some stuff in the studio to discover. It’s the eighth time we’ve done this, and every record has been different. We’ve never made a record the same way twice.”

Guster’s writing process hasn’t changed much over the years.

“It’s about sharing ideas and being in a free zone,” he says. “We just wrote last week. We shacked up in our buddy’s studio in New York City. We played with some new melodies and chord progressions. It has always been and remains an extremely collaborative effort.”

Earlier this year, Miller had a “big” moment in realizing the reach of the band.

Guster did a sold-out, two-night stand at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

“We didn’t repeat a song,” he says. “We’re at that point in our career that we don’t have to repeat songs. It was 50 songs in two nights. People are still showing up, and the fans that grew up with us are introducing their children to our band. It’s been an eye-opening experience.”

Miller is looking forward to returning to Santa Fe for the show at Meow Wolf. It will be his first time performing in the venue.

“I have actually taken my kids to Meow Wolf,” he says. “We planned a vacation in New Mexico and Arizona, with a trip to Meow Wolf being one of the destinations. It’s an amazing place, and I can’t wait to perform in it.”

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