CKY’s Deron Miller Talks ‘Hellions on Parade,’ Band Troubles, and New Album
With ‘Hellions on Parade,’ Pennsylvania rockers CKY return with a hard-hitting single that continues a storyline set forth in their 1999 debut. “This is the third song in the Hellview trilogy, which is a story about a town that doesn’t take kindly to outsiders,” singer-guitarist Deron Miller tells Noisecreep, referring the band’s ’96 Quite Bitter Beings’ and ‘Escape from Hellview.’ “This one is about Hellview destroying its rival city and people are already calling it the best of the trilogy. We did really cool keyboard lines on it and it turned out really heavy.”
Listen to ‘Hellions on Parade’
What’s special about ‘Hellions’ and all of the band’s fourth album, ‘Carver City,’ is that it almost didn’t happen. “The band hadn’t talked in a year,” Miller says. “We had problems with alcohol and shit talking and being on a tour with people who didn’t know how to run one.” The initial recording of the album was done before the band made up, with songs being emailed back and forth between members. “I recorded the vocals for ‘Hellions’ alone in Santa Monica,” Miller says. “It was really bizarre, but now things couldn’t be better.”
Before the band could bury the hatchet, Miller needed to quit abusing drugs and alcohol, a combination the led him to famously walk off stage during a 2006 concert. “I was out of control, throwing up 20 times a day,” he says. “Mentally and physically, it was a nightmare but I haven’t touched anything in two years. Now I have a family and my strength and musical ambitions back.” The reconciliation happened last June when the band’s label, Roadrunner, stepped in and told them to get moving on the album, or else. “That lit a fire under me and I just wrote the best material I’ve ever done,” Miller says.
The album’s overall storyline is about a fictional seaside resort town named after a fisherman who killed his crew. “Years later, they return and curse the city,” Miller says. “Everyone who lives there has problems and hard times, and they’re trapped. It’s pretty symbolic of where we are today with the economy.” One track, ‘The Boardwalk Body,’ is based on a somewhat traumatic experience from Miller’s childhood. “When I was 11 or 12, we went to Wildwood, New Jersey for a vacation and the day we got there, a body was found under the boardwalk a quarter of a block from our hotel,” he says. “Being a fan of horror movies, it was like the best two weeks of my life thinking there was a killer on the loose. No one knew exactly what happened but to me, it was like ‘wow, here’s a place that’s supposed to be all about fun and sunshine and amusements but it didn’t turn out that well for somebody.’ It was a really bizarre period of learning for me.”
As for the band’s future plans, a filmmaker has approached them about making a Hellview movie and ‘Carver City’ will be released May 19. “Just check it out and f*ck blast it,” Miller says. “And don’t listen to anyone who says you shouldn’t listen to stuff like that.”