After living in the Bay Area since 1991, I moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2012. I am now almost exclusively working out of a fantastic new studio in Prospect Heights called Figure 8 Recording, founded by Shahzad Ismaily, Philip Weinrobe and myself. I am still an owner at New, Improved Recording, a studio that John Finkbeiner and I opened in Oakland, CA in 2003. It is now also co-owned by Jay and Ian Pellicci, who have helped elevate it to an even more exciting place to make a record. Luckily, I get to return there to work on albums now and then.
I have been recording since the early ’90s. I started off making weirdo collage songs on 4-track machines, hugely inspired by the early albums of The Residents, Devo and Sun Ra. At the time I was also an active musician, playing guitar and bass in a number of San Francisco bands, the most important (to me) being Optimist International and the Roofies. Over the course of making a few albums at Bay Area studios with Myles Boisen (of the Splatter Trio) and Kyle Statham (of Fuck), I became inspired to pursue recording.
In the late ’90s I went to Mills College for Electronic Music and Recording Media, and got to study with Maggie Payne, Chris Brown, John Bischoff, Leslie Stuck, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Glenn Spearman, and Fred Frith. I met and collaborated with a lot of amazing musicians there, like Greg Saunier and John Dieterich from Deerhoof, Ches Smith, Aaron Novik, John Ingle, Stuart Bogie and Colin Stetson. While at Mills, I was transitioning into doing more recording and less composing and playing, although I remained active with the bands Shinola and Spezza Rotto.
In 2002 I became the bass player for the band Beulah, which was part of the Elephant 6 collective. I got to tour the U.S. and Europe for the first time, and even got to play on Conan O’Brien’s old show. Extensive touring opened my eyes to the international community of people making amazing records, and expanded the types of music I was interested in being a part of.
These days, as an engineer and producer, I work within a wide variety of musical styles. Artists I have had the fortune to work with, either in the studio or onstage, include tUnE-yArDs, Questlove, Kathleen Hanna/The Julie Ruin, Yoko Ono, Lorde, Cibo Matto, Sean Ono Lennon/The GOASTT, Yo La Tengo, Laurie Anderson, Marc Ribot, Deerhoof, WHY?, Son Lux, Beulah/Miles Kurosky, Colin Stetson, Mirah, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Mike Watt, Erase Errata, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Fred Frith, Ben Goldberg, Nels Cline (Wilco), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantômas), Greg Cohen (Masada/Tom Waits), Jerome Harris, Kenny Wolleson, Andrew Borger (Norah Jones/Tom Waits), and Maria Muldaur. As an assistant, I’ve worked beside awe-inspiring engineers such as Roger Moutenout, Oz Fritz, and Ron St. Germain. Please click on the Discography link above for a list of the released music that I’ve had a hand in.
I also compose music for film and podcasts, write articles for Tape Op magazine, and have a lovely wife named Beth Lisick and a son named Gus.