Q&A: Sleigh Bells Guitarist and LSU Fan Derek Miller Sees Value in a Good, Bitter Rivalry
I noticed that Derek Miller, the guitarist for noise-pop duo (and iPhone ad soundtrackers) Sleigh Bells, is wearing an LSU jersey in the video for “Bitter Rivals“, the first single off the band’s upcoming third album of the same name. Since an LSU jersey is Sports, I asked Miller about it.
SI: You’re from Jupiter, Florida, but you’re wearing an LSU jersey in the video, and I’ve seen you in a Mets jacket in publicity photos. What’s your sports deal?
DM: My parents are both from New Orleans, and my dad, sister and brother-in-law are LSU alums, so I grew up in a Saints/Tigers house. They became my teams—though because of childhood proximity I’m a minor Dolphins fan and a big Heat fan. Had I been serious about college I would have applied to LSU, but I was playing in a touring hardcore band, so that’s where my time went. I wore the #7 Tigers jersey in our video for Tyrann Mathieu, who I’m a big fan of, though Patrick Peterson wore the same number and was another favorite of mine. I’m glad Mathieu is shining in AZ. I never stopped rooting for him, and knew he was a redemption story waiting to happen.
The Mets jacket was a gift from my friend Maya.
Your single is named “Bitter Rivals.” As a fan, which rivalries get you most fired up?
LSU/Bama is pretty insane. We had a college show the night LSU played Bama last season, on November 3rd, so our tour manager had a laptop set up in the dressing room to stream the game. When the set ended I literally ran off stage and was able to catch the last quarter. Pretty heartbreaking, cause we almost had them. We won’t talk about the BCS championship game they recently played against each other. Just an epic meltdown; a terrible night. The Saints-Dirty Birds rivalry is another great one. We just won our season opener against Atlanta with a last minute goal line stand. I was ecstatic. New Orleans might actually have a defense this year thanks to Rob Ryan.
The chorus of “Bitter Rivals” includes the line “You are my bitter rival / But I need you for survival”. To what extent do you need Alabama and the Falcons for your survival?
The concept of a bitter rival is extremely important—having something significant to fight keeps you sharp and forces you to step your game up. That’s what this record is about. Maybe.