For Dominic Miller, life is more than just music...March 22, 2011
For Miller, life is more than just music...
Being the entertainment reporter at KTW has its perks - and one of them is interviewing some truly cool performers.
But, none has been as fascinating as Dominic Miller.
This is a man who has spent his adult life performing with so many household names - not the least of which is his main guy, Sting - and, yet, the conversation is almost entirely about education.
This is a man who believes in education, to the point he's already here in Kamloops for his Thursday, March 24, show at Sagebrush Theatre, just so he can learn more about the city and the work done by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
It's thanks to an email from the CMHA that Miller is kicking off his own band's world tour here in the River City for its only Canadian stop before heading off for shows in Mexico, throughout the U.S. and into South America.
And, it's thanks to the dedication of the CMHA staff that there is an event at which Miller and his band - Mike Lindup on keyboards, Rhani Krija on percussion and Guy Pratt on bass - can perform.
Miller said he was intrigued at the offer to perform at an event that has as its main focus education and awareness.
It's why he called his manager and asked him to do what he could to make it work.
"I've always had a connection with education," Miller said, "so I'm really, really excited to be able to do this.
"The music is secondary."
Miller said performers often aren't interested in the why of an event but he's not one of them.
"I do what to hear about it all. I want to learn about it."
He attributes much of that keen interest he has to one of his sons, who chose a profession as far from music as possible - he teaches autistic children.
"I'm so pleased he's gone into that world of education," Miller said, "and I've watched him. He has such patience. God knows where he got that from."
Doug Sage, executive director of the Kamloops CMHA branch, said he'll be showing the band around the city, introducing the performers to CMHA clients and sharing stories about the work the agency does.
But, in the end, even if the music is secondary for Miller during his visit to Kamloops, it will be front-and-centre when the band takes the stage for the 7:30 p.m. "friend-raising" show.
The agency calls it that because of the goal not to raise money but to increase awareness and, perhaps, lessen the stigma mental illnesses still carry.
Most of Miller's musical career has been with Sting, a 21-year relationship "that's lasted longer than my first marriage," the guitarist said.
There's a simple reason why the pair have made it this far.
"I get the joke," Miller said. "I understand what he's trying to do.
"It's like a brother dynamic. He's like my older brother and I'm the surrogate younger brother.
"We share things. I don't know what it is, but I found a home."
One of the strongest aspects of their relationship, Miller said, is that "we have an obligation to do work on our own.
"Unlike a marriage, you do have to play away and make connections with others. It gives you new stories to bring to the table."
The Kamfest audience can expect a fun musical journey, Miller said, with no jamming, but a trip through musical genres.
"The audience connection is really important for me," Miller said, "and it's my job to be sure this show is entertaining.
"And it will be."
There are still tickets available for the show. Tickets are $40 and are available at the Kamloops Live Box Office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.com.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m.
During the show, the annual Kamfest awards will be presented for public education and excellence and the Greg Jones Memorial Award for Art.