Old 97's Talk Their Creative Rebirth with 'Most Messed Up'

Old 97's Talk Their Creative Rebirth with 'Most Messed Up'
With the newly released Most Messed Up, Old 97's have returned with a monster. Certainly their best work in 15 years, the album marks a welcome creative rebirth for a band that had too often sounded like they were growing complacent.

"I was a little worried about that too," frontman Rhett Miller admits to Exclaim! "I don't know if it's inevitable, or if it's just about the cycle of a band or an artist or a songwriter. It's like a sine wave. You get intense, then you get complacent. But, at a certain point I found the intensity again."

One of the most exciting bands in the 1990s alt-country heyday, Old 97's had seemed to run out of steam by the early 2000s. After a string of borderline unimpeachable records, they released several arguably mediocre albums in a row, seeming to have lost the wit, the fire, the energy that drove their first decade in the business.

"You know, it was a weird time. It was a weird time in life," Miller says. "We were having kids, we were making a point to be home more than we had in the past, and by definition we were on the road less, working less. It was all right, but I'm glad we survived that phase. I think everybody had to go through it. But, now we get to go out and do our jobs again. It feels really fucking good that we didn't get fired in the interim."

Most Messed Up is out now courtesy of ATO/MapleMusic.

Read our full interview with Miller here.