Comets On Fire was formed in Santa Cruz by Ethan Miller, Ben Flashman, Noel Von Harmonson, and Chris Gonzales in 1999. They self-released their debut LP (later reissued by Alternative Tentacles), which was recorded on a Tascam 4 track. All covers were silkscreened and spray painted by the band. Rumor has it when Ben Chasny first heard this LP he muttered, “what a racket.”
Ethan Miller writing music for Comets late 90s. Photo by Raeni Miller.
Chasny’s high school friend Utrillo Kushner joined on drums in 2002 to record Field Recordings From The Sun, which had Ben guest on lead guitar on a few tracks and co-write a song on acoustic guitar. Six Organs and Comets toured the USA to support the record with Ben becoming a full time member of Comets and the members of Comets joining Six Organs as the backing band. This became the blueprint for the Six Organs record, Ascent. Two records were recorded with Tim Green at his Louder Studios in SF for the Sub Pop record label, Blue Cathedral in 2004 and Avatar in 2006.
After a hiatus of about six years, Comets is now slowly writing material for a new record, with shows on the horizon. Ethan Miller currently leads Howlin Rain and plays in Feral Ohms while Utrillo fronts the piano driven Colossal Yes.
Tony Rettman interview with Ethan for Blastitude
Ethan’s list of great records for Dusted