b. Collinsville, Illinois, USA. Although considered part of the early twenty-first century alt country/roots rock movement, singer-songwriter Mills was initially interested in a polar opposite style of music. Originally hailing from Collinsville, Mills and his family moved often (throughout the USA and Germany), as his father was an Army man. As a teenager, it was the rapid-fire sounds of thrash metal that inspired Mills to pick up the guitar, but eventually, he switched allegiances after discovering the influential yet under appreciated alt country outfit, Uncle Tupelo. Settling down in Chicago, Mills graduated from film school, but continued to write original songs and played acoustic sets at local rock clubs. It was not long before Mills’ talents were recognized, as he signed a recording contract with the Chicago indie label Sugar Free. Mills’ first release for the label was a seven-track EP, 1996’s Nobody’s Favorite, that was followed a year later by, Every Night Fight For Your Life, an album that featured appearances by several local musicians, and was co-produced by Mills and ex-Red Red Meat drummer Brian Deck. Mills teamed up with Deck once again on 2000’s Kiss It Goodbye and 2002’s The Silver Line. The latter featured a fuller sound than previous recordings owing to the input of a number of Chicago-based musicians, loosely named the City That Works. The album was released on Mills’ Powerless Pop Recorders label.