Three years ago, Derek E. Miller was a struggling waiter in New York City. Now he's working with some of the biggest names in popular music and lending his music to national TV campaigns. In part, he attributes this success to his origins on the South Florida hardcore scene. "Hardcore was right there," says Miller, a native of West Palm Beach. "It was a good outlet for all that useless, 14- to 15-year-old angst that isn't directed at anything." But while boredom and seething disgruntlement may have initially attracted Miller to hardcore, he became a fixture of the local scene thanks to a six-year stint playing guitar in the band Poison the Well, a perennial fave among punk fans in Palm Beach and Broward counties. "I just wanted to do something different," Miller shrugs. "There's not a whole lot else going on in West Palm." During this period, Poison the Well recorded its highest-charting album to date, 2003's You Come Before You. Yet within a few years, Miller was packing his bags and heading for New York, already eyeing more ambitious undertakings. And this Saturday, he revisits his old stomping grounds for a show at Miami's Grand Central, alongside the singing half, Alexis Krauss, of his NYC-bred noise-pop project Sleigh Bells.
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