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Too Far to Care

The Old 97's revisit a Texas classic on 15th anniversary tour.

That was probably the most fun, because once you get in a bus, everything's fancier and easier, but there's something about it not being easy. There's something about it being us against the world, and riding around like a little army trying to conquer each town you roll into.

HP: Did y'all burn yourselves out at all?

RM: Oh yeah. Sure we did. But I was 26, and even though the candle is burning at both ends, it's a lot stronger and longer, and we could go and go and go and go. We had a lot of fun.

The Old 97's in 1997, their "first step on a long road," says singer Rhett Miller (right).
Gold Mountain Entertainment
The Old 97's in 1997, their "first step on a long road," says singer Rhett Miller (right).

I would say it's amazing we survived, but I think we've always been pretty smart in regards to knowing our limits and not getting into anything too self-destructive. But we had a shitload of fun.

HP: Not terribly long after Too Far came out, the bottom kind of dropped out of the music business.

RM: That was really a few records later. That wasn't until '02, about ten years ago, that I really started realizing that this industry I had devoted my adult life to was collapsing. "Aw shit, I should have gone into hedge funds."

HP: How would you rate Too Far within the 97's catalog?

RM: I guess because it's the record that most people heard first, and because it's the record where we really got to make a real record — we spent I think four days making Hitchhike to Rhome, ten days making Wreck Your Life and then we got to make a real record.

Really, it's our first real record to me. And just where we were, at the zenith of our youthful excitement and creativity, there hadn't been any sort of jadedness or cynicism creep into our outlook or our art. So I would put Too Far to Care at the top of the heap.

See more with Miller on our Rocks Off music blog at blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks.

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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