Exception To The Rule

Guster To Perform Saturday At Reg Lenna

Longevity is the goal for any band.

Many bands make it to perform with only a handful of original members, if that. There’s a band out of Boston, Mass. that is the exception to the rule. After 27 years, Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, and Brian Rosenworcel are still together, with a fourth, Luke Reynolds, to keep the Guster sound alive.

So, how does a band survive, even with the same members at its core for 27 years? It really is about the music and the people, according to one member.

“I think the main thing that keeps us going at this point is that people keep showing up and there’s a lot of energy around the band that’s very positive,” Miller said. “We get to go to a place like Jamestown and there’s hundreds of people singing along and it’s awesome. It’s a privilege to make music.”

After nearly three decades of music-making, the process seems to be one that would get stale. Sounds have a habit of changing and directions want to change with what’s popular on the radio for most artists. That’s not how Guster works. The more things change the more they seem to stay the same for Guster.

“I guess the whole rule for me and all the stuff I do, and certainly with the band, is that we have to stay true to us,” Miller said. “We don’t try and make music from outside of the band or try to figure out what people want us to say or do. We’re just trying to figure out what makes us happy and gets us off and try not condescend to the audience at any point or to our fans. It’s just being on that journey, where you put your head down, do your work, do your best, and constantly refine, and keep churning it out and so far, 8 albums in, it feels like those records mostly hold up in a lot of ways, especially the songs if not the recordings.”

Miller said he draws from the things around him for inspiration. He said being a creative is something that has kept his drive for more at a high level for a long time.

“I guess I’m constantly, at this point in my mid-40s, looking for inspiration everywhere,” he said. “It’s in the books I’m reading or contemplative moments sitting by a lake like today, hanging out with my family, hearing a really great French disco song or old Brazilian song, or meeting people. I draw from everything but ultimately I think a lot of it is other music I’m listening to and I’m still very inspired by music and listen to it at all waking hours.”

Recently, those other artists that have been on the playlist for Miller include a lot of international acts.

“Let me just see what I was listening to recently.” he said. “A lot of Brazilian stuff right now, the new Bedouin record is really good, we just listened to the ‘Funky Kingston’ by Toots, Neils Frahm, Haxan Cloak, a new Joe Russo record, this Ethiopiques record, I really like, ‘Music for Saxophone & Bass Guitar’ by Sam Wilkes which is really good too. I can keep going but you probably get the thing.”

Guster, with Mikaela Davis, will play the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at reglenna.com.