|Genres||Grunge, Alternative rock|
|Labels||Sub Pop, K Records|
Steve Fisk is a Washington-based audio engineer, record producer and musician. Few figures exerted greater influence over the contemporary Pacific Northwest music scene than Steve Fisk. A veteran of bands including Pell Mell and Pigeonhed, Fisk has earned his greatest renown as a producer.
Fisk made his solo debut in 1980 with contributions to the compilations Let Them Eat Jellybeans!, Sub Pop 5 and Life Elsewhere. In 1982 Fisk joined the instrumental outfit, Portland based Pell Mell, which issued critically acclaimed records on SST. After a move to San Francisco the group disbanded in 1985 and a few odd turns landed him in Ellensburg, WA where he produced the Screaming Trees' Other Worlds, followed in 1986 by the group's Clairvoyance; soon his credit appeared regularly on releases from the Sub Pop and K labels including key early releases from the likes of Beat Happening and Soundgarden. In 1990 Fisk, now in Seattle, produced Nirvana's Blew sessions, followed by work with Some Velvet Sidewalk, Treepeople, The Reverend Horton Heat, Love Battery, Girl Trouble, Mary Lou Lord, The Afghan Whigs, Unwound, Seaweed, Steven "Jesse" Bernstein, Beat Happening, The Screaming Trees and remixes for Soundgarden. In 1993 he teamed with vocalist Shawn Smith in the ambient soul duo Pigeonhed, issuing a self-titled LP on Sub Pop. He made the leap to major label production in 1994, helming projects for Imij (Liberty), The Wedding Present (Island), Schtum (SonyUK) and The 360's (RCA); a year later a reunited Pell Mell issued Interstate on DGC, and for the same label Fisk produced The Posies, Three Mile Pilot and Boss Hog.
The same year saw Pigeonhed recording its 2nd Subpop LP The Full Sentence, yielding the oft licensed Battle Flag remix by the Lo Fidelity Allstars which can be heard in ER, Smallville, Dawson's Creek, Queer as Folk, Forces of Nature, Dancing at The Blue Iguana, Coyote Ugly, The Mod Squad as well as many Hollywood trailers. The original Pigeonhed version is featured in The Sopranos, Very Bad Things and The Horse Whisperer.
In 1996 Pell Mell were dropped. "Nothing Lies Still Long" was used in weekly episodes of Six Feet Under. Other tracks from their last album Starcity were featured in Sex and the City. Other 90's work include sessions with Mudhoney, Geraldine Fibbers, Low, Soul Coughing, Damien Jurado, Lois, Agents of Good Roots, Maktub, Joan Osborne, The Halo Benders, and Heather Duby. His third solo album, 999 Levels of Undo, arrived in early 2001 on Sub Pop.
The new millennium briefly: More records for Heather Duby and Maktub as well as solo work with Reggie Watts. Reunion records for The Wedding Present and Harvey Danger. Major label records for Midnight Movies and James Jackson Toth. Indy records with Minus the Bear, Past Lives, Shoplifting, Mark Pickerel, Carrie Akre, Alicia Dara, Paul Manusos and Al Larsen.
In 2010 Fisk began work with KK and his Weathered Underground, mixing their Introducing cd, as well as solo records for members Kyle O'Quin and Thomas Hunter. Other mix work included Quasi, Bitch and The Telephantasm remix for Soundgarden.
Between 2009 and 2011 Fisk composed two 16 channel ambient audio installations for the Experience Music Project's "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses" and "Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror" exhibits.
In 2015 he received the Stranger Genius award in music.
Bands produced or engineered
- The Posies
- Steven Jesse Bernstein
- Soul Coughing
- Special Explosion
- Screaming Trees
- The Halo Benders
- The 360's
- Calvin Johnson
- The Wedding Present
- Some Velvet Sidewalk
- Moral Crux
- Heather Duby
- Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground
- Damien Jurado
- Beat Happening
- The Geraldine Fibbers
- Boss Hog
- Blaze Brigade
- 3 mile pilot
- Harvey Danger
- Thomas Hunter & White China Gold
- Paul Manousos
- The Unibroz
- Spittin Images
- Future Fridays
- The Sexy Accident
- Beautiful Lies
- The Ghost Ease
- Car Seat Headrest
- Kiss This Day Goodbye, K Records/A.R.P.H., (1983), cassette
- 'Til the Night Closes in, K Records/A.R.P.H., (1985), cassette
- 448 Deathless Days, SST Records, (1987)
- 1 More Valley, K Records, (1989), cassette
- Over and Thru the Night, K Records, (1993), compilation
- 999 Levels of Undo, Sub Pop, (2001)
- The Rough Guide to Rock, 3rd Edition. London: Rough Guides, 2003. 615.
- Woodlief, Mark. "Steve Fisk" CMJ New Music Monthly 92 (Apr 2001): 71.
- True, Everett. Nirvana: The Biography. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2007. 144.
- Housman, Danny. "Pigeonhed" CMJ New Music Monthly 43 (Mar 1997): 40.
- Ashare, Matt. "Heather Duby" CMJ New Music Monthly 75 (Nov 1999): 46.
- All Music Guide to Rock, 3rd Edition. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat, 2002. 77.
- Official website
- Radio Feature The Some Assembly Required Interview with Steve Fisk.
- Shawn Smith's Official Website – includes COMPREHENSIVE Pigeonhed discography
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