Russell Lissack

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Russell Lissack
Lissack performing in 2007
Background information
Birth name Russell Dean Lissack
Born (1981-03-11) 11 March 1981 (age 34)
Chingford, London, England
Occupation(s) Musician
Years active 2002–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster

Russell Dean Lissack[1] (born 11 March 1981), an English musician, is the lead guitarist of London-based indie rock band Bloc Party. Lissack is also in the electronica band Pin Me Down; a duo of himself and Milena Mepris. He joined Northern Irish rock band Ash as a touring guitarist during 2010.

Early life and beginnings[edit]

Lissack grew up in Chingford, east London and went to Bancroft's School in Woodford Green. He then studied Sociology at London South Bank University, dropping out weeks before graduation so he could tour with Bloc Party.[citation needed]

Lissack cites some of his major influences as Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Blur, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, New Order, The Smiths, Prince, Weezer, the anime series Escaflowne and late 1990 trance music.[2]

Music career[edit]

Bloc Party (2003–present)[edit]

Lissack formed Bloc Party in 2003, throughout his time in Bloc Party he discovered the Heavy Rock band Loom from Leamington Spa who had a major influence on his song writing.

Pin Me Down (2007–2010)[edit]

Lissack also played with Milena Mepris in Pin Me Down who released a single, "Cryptic" through French label Kitsune in 2008. Pin Me Down released their debut self-titled album on 19 April 2010. Pin Me Down's album was produced by Alex Elena who used to be in Pin Me Down's manager Robt Ptaks band The Bastard Kings of Rock. Mepris was also in Ptak's band Artificial Joy.

Ash (2010–present)[edit]

During the first Bloc Party hiatus in 2010, Lissack was asked to join Northern Irish rock band Ash as a touring guitarist and keyboard player. Since joining, Lissack has been an on-off member, depending on his availability. A fan of the band, Lissack's first performance as a musician was in an Ash covers band during his teenage years, which was the first time Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke saw him play guitar. In an interview with Okereke discussing the Bloc Party track "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)" he notes that there's a guitar piece which references "Lose Control" from Ash's record 1977.[3] Lissack would then go on to meet the band when both Bloc Party and Ash performed at SXSW in 2005.[4][5]

On 30 September 2010, Lissack was bitten by a lion cub as he visited a sanctuary in South Africa on Ash's tour with the Parlotones and was taken to hospital for treatment.[6]

Talking to Spinner, Ash drummer Rick McMurray said that if Bloc Party weren't to reform then he'd want Lissack to join the band as an official member "If Bloc Party don't get back together, then yes, why not?". Ash bassist Mark Hamilton joked that during rehearsals Lissack ended up having to teach his new bandmates how to play some of their own songs.[7] Lissack played a number of tours & other dates with the band before Bloc Party reforming in 2011, since then Lissack has made a number of appearances. It is currently unknown with Bloc Party again going on hiatus and Ash starting work on new material whether Lissack will feature.[8]

Other projects[edit]

Lissack remixed Kate Nash's single, "Pumpkin Soup". Lissack has also remixed the song 'Bring 'Em Down' by Lostprophets for their 2012 studio album 'Weapons' deluxe edition, where it is featured as Track 15.

Lissack played guitar on the track "My Complications" from Mew's 2015 album + -. [9]


  1. ^ ACE Title Search. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved on 2011-12-30.
  2. ^ Russell Lissack.
  3. ^ "Bloc Party – The Making of Song For Clay (Disappear Here)". Youtube. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "ASH to be joined by Russell Lissack (Bloc Party/Pin Me Down) for UK Tour". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Michaels, Sean (17 March 2010). "Bloc Party's Russell Lissack to play back-up for Ash". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Ash And Bloc Party's Russell Lissack Bitten By Lion. Gigwise (30 September 2010). Retrieved on 2011-12-30.
  7. ^ "Bloc Party Guitarist Russell Lissack Welcome to Be New Ash Member". Spinner (website). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  8. ^ REILLY, DAN. "Bloc Party Going on Indefinite Hiatus". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Henry, Dusty (20 April 2015). "Stream: Mew’s first new album in five years, + –". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 28 September 2015.