In 1985, he co-founded Boston's Fort Apache Studios with Paul Q. Kolderie, Jim Fitting, and Joe Harvard. Previously, Slade, Kolderie, and Fitting were in a band called Sex Execs. The studio originated in Roxbury, but later relocated to Cambridge. "We were all a part of that DIY kind of culture," said Slade. "The whole idea of getting someone in to design [the studio] wasn’t part of the plan. The plan was, 'Get a control room, get a playing room, get the wiring right, get a console, and then just start recording'.”
Slade and Kolderie co-produced Radiohead's debut album, Pablo Honey, which was released 1993. They were pivotal in convincing EMI Records to release "Creep" as the band's debut single prior to the album's release. The song initially failed to achieve commercial success, but after the album release in early 1993, "Creep" was re-released and became a worldwide smash.
Slade has produced and/or mixed recordings by such artists as Hole, Warren Zevon, Pixies, The Lemonheads, Juliana Hatfield, Morphine, Big Dipper, Dinosaur Jr., Uncle Tupelo, Tracy Bonham, Spacehog, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Suddenly, Tammy!, Lou Reed, The Boo Radleys, New Collisions, Sebadoh, Lush, the Go-Go's, The Dictators, Beth Sorrentino, Weezer, Kim Boekbinder, The Dresden Dolls, Echobelly, Buffalo Tom, and Papas Fritas.
Slade was born in Lansing, Michigan. He graduated from Yale University in 1978, and later relocated to Boston. He played rhythm guitar and occasionally sang and wrote songs for the Boston indie band Men & Volts. He is currently a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music,
- "A Pop Diary" (Podcast, December 1, 2009): Sean Slade, producer and engineer discusses how records are made
- Sean Slade Discography at Discogs.com
- Sean Slade lecture to the student chapter of the Audio Engineering Society of Emerson College, April 23, 2010 (attendee rough transcript)
- Sean Slade biography at AllMusic Guide
- Bray, Ryan, "How Boston’s Fort Apache Studios Captured the Sound of an Era," Consequence of Sound, July 11, 2016
- Bray, ibid.
- Sean Slade faculty biography, Berklee College of Music.