On the heels of the Old 97s 2005 release, Alive & Wired, frontman Rhett Miller is slated to release his second solo LP, The Believer, on Feb. 18. Miller tells Billboard.com that the new album will be a departure from the 97s’ alt-country feel. “With this record, originally I thought I was gonna make Ziggy Stardust, this punk-rock version of the British music that I love so much from the late ’70s,” Miller explained. “But it evolved as I hired different people, and got bigger in scope.” Collaborators on The Believer include singer-songwriter Rachel Yamagata and former Black Crowes producer George Drakoulias. There is even a song, the title track, inspired by the apparent suicide of Elliott Smith, whom Miller knew and identified with, as Miller attempted suicide at age 14.
Miller will tour in early 2006, but look out for him and the rest of the Old 97s in the new Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn comedy, The Breakup — the band has a prominent cameo.
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