Rhett Miller is known mostly for singing, playing songwriting — as the front man for the Old 97’s, as well as for his solo work.
But his new gig is about talking. Well, talking about music. And creativity. Or the creative life.
“Wheels Off — A Show About the Messy Reality Behind the Creative Life,” debuted Thursday with three episodes, available via askmen.com or on YouTube. The currently available episodes feature Rosanne Cash, Fred Armisen and Rob Thomas (the Matchbox 20 one, not the “Veronica Mars” one). According to a release we received, an episode featuring actor/comedian Will Forte was scheduled for next week, but it’s also online now.
The podcast’s title comes from a 2014 Old 97’s song.
There are echoes of such shows as “WTF with Marc Maron,” Elvis Costello’s “Spectacle” and William Shatner’s “Raw Nerve” (the latter two no longer airing new episodes): Celebrities talking to celebrities might seem a little self-absorbed, but in all instances, the hosts tend to ask questions that traditional talk-show hosts or many journalists, wouldn’t ask, because they relate more directly to their guests.
It won’t be limited to music (or comedians who play music, such as Armisen): Upcoming episodes will feature graphic designer Aaron Draplin and Brian Anderson, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers and more. Also upcoming: Portugal, the Man guitarist Eric Howk; Cake front man John McCrea; comedian Kyle Kinane; musician Lydia Loveless; and musician Trapper Schoepp. For new episodes, follow the AskMen page on YouTube.
Each episode is roughly 30 minutes long. In the first episode, Miller and Cash talk about, the rules of songwriting (and writing a musical), the need to prove yourself (especially when your father is Johnny Cash), the origin of the term “cover song,” overcoming procrastination, memoir writing, changes and challenges in the music business, and their children.