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UNC student takes air guitar talent, alter ego abroad

senior drew Miller spends his free time working on moves to entertain hundreds at air guitar competitions in venues from Gerrard hall to washington, d.C., to london. “it’s definitely an addiction in that i keep doing it,” he said. “My friends haven’t staged an intervention yet.”
senior drew Miller spends his free time working on moves to entertain hundreds at air guitar competitions in venues from Gerrard hall to washington, d.C., to london. “it’s definitely an addiction in that i keep doing it,” he said. “My friends haven’t staged an intervention yet.”

Senior Drew Millard has a hard time describing himself.

“My life is kind of like that movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper,’ except not at all,” Millard said. “More like ‘Sex and the City 2’ combined with ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ combined with ‘Step Up 2: The Streets.’”

International air guitarist, bubble tea master, amateur music reviewer — the communications major from Polk County, N.C. has his share of quirky habits.

But it’s his fierce devotion to air guitar that has sent him from the floor of Gerrard Hall to the stages of Washington, D.C. and London.

Millard’s first attempt at air guitar glory was on UNC’s campus, in the Feb. 2009 Air Guitar Championship sponsored by the Carolina Union Activities Board.

It was there that Oscar de la Satan, Millard’s air guitar alter ego, was born.

“The name came to me in a dream, actually,” Millard said. “The name Barack Obama was already taken.”

For Millard, Oscar de la Satan is easy to describe.

“He’s the dog that you keep in your backyard that sleeps a lot but then bites people,” he said.

Kane Price, a senior communication studies major and close friend, said Oscar de la Satan is definitely an escape for Millard.

“It’s an interesting change, because Drew sometimes has a reputation for being the mom of the group,” Price said. “Oscar, on the other hand, can’t be used in the same sentence as the word ‘mom,’ unless it is about how he slept with a married one the previous night.”

Manners aren’t the only things that tend to disappear when Millard transforms.

“Oscar de la Satan only takes his clothes off as a last resort,” Millard said. “Unfortunately, he pretty much always needs a few pity points from the judges.”

After competing in — and losing — the last two air guitar championships at UNC, Oscar de la Satan decided he wanted to take his game to a new level.

He wrote aggressive e-mails from Oscar to the selection board of the 2010 Regional Air Guitar Championships in Washington, who approved his requests to compete.

When the Washington, D.C., competition still didn’t satisfy Millard, he decided to take his air guitar international.

“I decided I would expatriate myself in order to compete in London to have my revenge against the intellectual bourgeois elite that serves as the governing body of U.S. Air Guitar,” Millard said.

He competed in and eventually lost one of London’s competitions, bested by a guitarist named Juan Nightstand.

Though his air guitar ventures didn’t end in victory, Millard says he plans to continue.

“It’s definitely an addiction in that I keep doing it,” Millard said. “My friends haven’t staged an intervention yet.”

Intervention or not, Millard’s friends still try to keep him grounded in reality.

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“Drew in five words?” said Millard’s roommate Nolan Allan.

“Chronically forgetful tanned hipster doofus.”

Contact the Arts Editor at

artsdesk@unc.edu.