DERON MILLER (96 BITTER BEINGS): “It Was Important For Me To Find The Right Guys And Blow Away Everything I’ve Done In The Past”

96 Bitter Beings

Alternative Metal band 96 Bitter Beings are set to release their second album entitled Synergry Restored on November 4th via Nuclear Blast. The band’s vocalist/guitarist Deron Miller (formerly CKY) took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about the band’s upcoming album, plans after the album release, his favorite albums that he has put out throughout his career, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: The band’s second album Synergy Restored is set to be released on November 4th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming album?

Miller: It is quite a piece of work. To me it is the best thing I’ve ever done. We were recording it at the same time as our first album Camp Pain. We were putting finishing touches on it a few days before we handed it in to the label. It’s a masterpiece to me. I was so obssessed in having it be as good as it could be because in many ways it’s a comeback of sorts. The last few albums I had done were self released and it was impossible to get them out there internationally. It had been a long time since I had a record company assisting me with getting back out there. I started the band soon after I noticed that CKY fans were really dissapointed with what they were doing without me. They were out there touring and playing my songs, and most of those fans didn’t know I wasn’t going to be there and that it was nowhere near the real band. What really surprised me was when someone told me that my photo was on a couple of the posters being used to promote the tour. So I wanted to get that sound back out there, and I worked so hard for years honing my own style and it cannot be done without me. No one has the same kind of diverse influences that I grew up with. It was important for me to find the right guys and blow away everything I’ve done in the past.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being the band’s second album?

Miller: Well like I said Camp Pain and Synergy Restored were recorded at the same time, starting in 2016. We had to piece together both albums based off of what made sense. I wanted our first record to have songs that were going to represent what can be expected from the band. I wanted the older fans to have flashbacks of what made the band so good and let them know I was coming back as well as grabbing new listeners as well. I wanted to touch on all the styles and vibes that made CKY so great. There’s a heavy stomping opening track, a cover, an instrumental, a ballad, a reimagining of a song that appeared on a different project, and a shoegazer type track that we did a video for. What was fresh for me is a song called “Whipping Hands” which was a track that I had no hand in writing the music at all. It excited me because it made me realize that Ken understood the formula and the sound I’m known for. That song is the first time that has ever happened to me. That was the most exciting part for me. Synergy Restored in many ways is our first album, because it’s much more loose. I love both albums the same for different reasons, but with Synergy Restored I wanted to put it out there and be prouder than I’ve ever been. Judging from the response to the first two singles, I think we nailed it.

MER: What have you noticed in regards to growth and changes within the band since the band’s first album?

Miller: You can certainly tell it’s the same band, but after Camp Pain came out, we never stopped working on Synergy. We worked on it for 6 years. We must have recorded 50 songs in that time period. We recorded a bunch of songs for a lot of the fans that supported us in financing these two albums.

MER: The band has released two singles from the album, what kind of feedback have you been able to receive?

Miller: It’s all been positive. I have gotten a lot of messages from new fans that were completely unaware of who we were or where I came from, and that’s when you know you’re doing something right. I don’t read any forums at all or look for opinions. I stopped doing that years ago because I realized it’s not going to have any affect on what we do anyway.

MER: Do you feel like those two songs give fans an idea on what to expect from the full album?

Miller: Definitely. Everybody had different ideas on which songs should be singles. There is no throw away or filler at all. You aways try to avoid filler, but in the past there have been times where in the back of my mind I was thinking “Maybe this shouldn’t be on the album”. Today those songs are either forgotten or treasured as obscure classics. There is one song we finished for Synergy that is called “Why Am I”, but I didn’t think it had the power that the other songs have. That’s another first for me… Completely finishing a song and recording it up until the end and not using it. Usually I scrap ideas way before they reach that point.

MER: What do you see as plans for the band after the album release?

Miller: Touring of course. Talking to as many people as possible. Doing whatever we can to get the music to the ears. That seems to be the hardest part these days because there is so much competition. I really want us to be an opening band. We’ve already done two headline tours and I would love to go out and be the opening act. I haven’t been an opening act since Guns N’ Roses in 2003. You can put on an amazing show and leave an impression when you only have 30 minutes to do it.

MER: Is there anyone that you hope to tour with that you haven’t yet and why?

Miller: I love touring with bands that we can get along with. I remember Clutch was fun to tour with. Usually all the workhorse bands have settled into a work ethic and they have enough experience to try and get along. We’ve always had problems with opening bands that already think they’re Rock stars. I just tell our agent when we’re looking for openers that it can be anyone as long as they’re not assholes. As far as being an opening act, I can’t think of anyone we wouldn’t want to go with. Opening for Guns N’ Roses is probably as uncomfortable as it can get for a relatively unknown band. We faced that fear and now there is no fear.

MER: Do you feel fans of your previous projects will also enjoy your work with 96 Bitter Beings?

Miller: Absolutely 100%… And probably they’ll enjoy it even more. All the obstacles that I felt got in the way of the music’s potential in the past are gone.

MER: What have been some of your favorite releases of 2022 so far?

Miller: I haven’t bought or listened to any new music. I hear a lot of it at home because of my kids…But 99% of the time I don’t hear what makes it so popular. Today’s music is more mainstream than ever. The lyrics are ridiculous. Rock and Metal are missing from the mainstream right now and there has never been more Rock and Metal bands than there are now. I’m constantly being referred to new bands that people will think I like, but nothing has sunk in. I really liked the bands that opened for us like Native Howl and Howling Giant. But I am begging and praying to find something new this year. I think my favorite album of 2022 will probably be the soundtrack to Halloween Ends. It may end up being a shitty movie but John Carpenter is one of my biggest influences and he is extremely consistent.

MER: What have been some of your favorite records that you have put out throughout your career in music?

Miller: I can’t pick a favorite because each one reminds me of where I was in my life at the time of recording them. But if I had to, I would pick Carver City and Galactic Prey… Both of which seriously need to be remixed.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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