Jared Miller of Worst Kept Secret
Sometimes as a rock and metal fan you are looking for a band that is just a little heavier, something that has just a little more punk and a band that just plain works harder than most other bands. Sometimes that band is a particular area’s best kept secret. In this case, they are Morgantown, West Virginia’s Worst Kept Secret! A band born of rock, punk and metal, they are quickly exploding onto the metal scene. Comprised of Shawn Fisher on vocals, guitarists Jared Miller and Ben Geelhaar, bassist, Pat Cole and drummer Ryan Schauman, these guys mean business are ready to show it to anyone at anytime. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with guitarist Jared Miller to discuss all things Worst Kept Secret.
You’re new to Amplified Edge readers. How would you describe Worst Kept Secret? Could you give a brief history of the band?
We are hardworking, in-your-face,heavy rock n roll band with a splash of metal and a shot of punk. The band started in 2014 in Morgantown, WV. All of the members grew up together in Elkins, WV and decided to start WKS after being bored with the landscape of the music scene at the time. In our first year we released an EP to favorable reviews, played 3 sold-out shows, filmed a music video, played over 50 shows, did a mini-tour and opened for national acts Drowning Pool, L.A. Guns, Otherwise, He is Legend, Sworn Enemy, Guns Out at Sundown, Bobaflex, 21st Century Goliath, Black Cat Attack, Adrenaline Mob and Bubba Sparxxx. We are currently working on our debut full length album The Fine White Line Between Confidence & Arrogance due out in Mid 2016.
The 2015 EP, Nuff Said was well received by fans. How’s the new album coming along?
The new album is coming along great. We are just trying to really take our time with it. With Nuff Said we did the whole thing in 2 days just because we wanted something out there. This new album is a whole different beast. We are a completely different band. Our sound has evolved so much. While the album still has some poppy elements to it, it is much more driving and has a southern feel to it. I like to say it’s like comparing Pantera‘s Cowboys from Hell to Vulgar Display of Power: while they are both great records, you can tell (and they have acknowledged) that they didn’t know what they were going for on CFH. Same with us and Nuff Said. We know what we want now.
What has it been like working in the studio? Any stories to tell?
The Studio has been great. We have split the album between two studios (Ton-ic in Pittsburgh, PA and The Ginger Lair in Bridgeport, WV). The studio makes you a better band. You really get to strip down all the songs and make them way better than you thought they would be. Directly beside the studio in Pittsburgh is a strip club. Ben is somewhat of a strip club expert. He wasn’t at the studio more than 10 minutes before he wandered next door and pounded a few Jack and cokes with Topless Tammy.
How does the songwriting process work within the band?
The songwriting process is usually I write the riff/chord progression and then me and Ryan make everything flow and create the rhythms. Pat will lay down the bass line and then tweak it to make it pop. Ben adds a solo or lead and then last is lyrics. After lyrics and playing around with the song we go back and add harmonies, guitar leads, pinch harmonics (we do a lot of them) and drum fills.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Musical: Matt Freeman, Jason Newsted Non Musical: Daniel Tosh
You guys have announced several sponsorships recently, will we be seeing new merch soon?
For sure, we are in the works of creating a seasonal beer with Big Timber Brewing. Coldcock Whiskey just recently broke into WV so we are really trying to be the torch bearer for them here. As far as our merch, we are always trying to get more merch and new stuff. Just keep an eye out; there will be something coming soon!
How important do you believe social media is in helping to promote the band?
Social Media is a blessing and curse. You need it, you absolutely need it. We have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it..we got it. But Social media is also not enough. You gotta get out there and promote your shows, interact with people. We have seen bands have 5,000k likes on Facebook and don’t have 50 people at a show. Social media is a must, but it’s not enough.
If you could do one gig with any band past or present what band would you choose?
2 Shows, Avenged Sevenfold (Waking the Fallen) and Atreyu (The Curse). If we could have been 25 in 2004 haha. A Day to Remember with Every Time I Die. Runner up: Blink 182 with Rise Against.
You are currently gearing up for a tour with Guns Out At Sundown. Tell us about how that came together and what we can expect.
We did a mini-run with those guys last year and had a blast. It came about from just playing shows together. We have a lot of fun and are good friends with those guys. Our styles compliment each other, and if you’re gonna go on the road, you might as well do it with your friends. We don’t know where all the tour is going, but you can expect some of the best shows you’ve ever seen. We all push each other to the next level. It’s gonna be a tour to remember.
Any shows that stand out as the most memorable?
Playing with Drowning Pool at the Altar Bar was one that stands out. It was our first out of state show and we were so nervous. But that show took us to a different level. Our CD release show was another. Playing a sold out show in our hometown was amazing and the people were going absolutely insane.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given? What advice would you give to fellow bands?
The best advice we have ever been given is “Sometimes you’re gonna have to eat shit and like the taste of it” and “Just keep working hard. If you’re good, people will take notice, just don’t stop working” Our advice…Keep your egos in check, not everything is gonna go your way. Just gig, go out and play anywhere you can and learn from it. We have the “5 or 500” motto. We perform the same either way.
The band is currently working to finish their first full length album and are scheduled to hit the road with Oakland, Maryland’s metalcore masters Guns Out at Sundown for a set of dates in May/June. The tour will take the band through Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and several other states as they take their aggressive no holds barred shows on the road like never before. When they hit a town near you, get out and catch these guys, you won’t have to look further.