Born in Portland, Oregon, Scott Fisher’s upbringing included bilingual studies and classical piano training. While majoring in Philosophy and Political Science at Boston University, Fisher toured with jam/jazz fusion acts Liquid Sunrise and Soular.
Upon returning to Portland, Fisher founded his own project and released his first EP in 2002. He has since released three self-produced albums, performed session work with songwriter/producer Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow, BMI Songwriter of the Year) and toured as a sideman for Reyli, a platinum-selling Mexican pop artist.
Fisher is also producing the debut album by LA multi-instrumentalist AnalogBlue and the next solo release from Justin Hopkins. A gifted singer, talented pianist, exceptional songwriter and astute producer, Fisher’s influences include Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan and Paul McCartney.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up
and how many still factor into your music today? "Well, I started out taking classical piano from the age of 6 to about 16. Classical was a great foundation for me in terms of fingering and technique. I got way into jazz in my late teens which led to a bit a a dorky music snob
phase for me. That ended pretty quickly when I got to Boston for college and realized how many amazing players there were out there and how much work I had to put in to be competent."
"I've always loved good songs and song-writing. It took me a second to reconcile the fact that the majority of great technical players can't write songs and so many mediocre technical players are great songwriters. I think that it's very simple ultimately and that great songs and universal hooks come from the heart not technique. The better the song the closer you get to some type of divine inspiration. I love all kinds of music. Middle school was all about hip hop for me oddly enough...Eric B and Rakim, cool moe D Big Daddy Kane."
"The first rock band I loved was Zeppelin. Early in High School I got into the Dead and Jerry Garcia, which opened a lot of doors for me to discover jazz and funk etc.... 70's Herbie Hancock was really influential on me and remains a big influence to this day. The Police, Marley, Ben Folds, Steely Dan were all staples for me that I continue to revisit all the time."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of
buying your sophomore CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Well..the sound is subtly funky with lots of syncopation and white boy
reggae back beat to it. We cover a pretty wide range of styles on the new
record but it can all fit within the context of groove oriented piano/pop."
Your album title 'Step Into The Future' is an interesting choice, but
perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a
theme to it, perhaps? "There's definitely a theme to the record. In my own humble little way I'm just trying to add a spark and help create a dialogue for change. Songs like "Step," "see the day," "state of mind,"
"3,000 years" "no remedy," and "chains of time" all have the same
underlying idea about trying to break away from these mythical ideologies
such as organized religion, nationalism, militarism etc..."
"We continually allow these dead ideas of the past to define our relationship with the moment and the future. The overall theme of the record it to try to inspire a critical mass of individuals to free ourselves from the chains of the past. I'd like to believe that we can create a 21st century consciousness that is separate from our more machiavellian 20th century consciousness."
"Oh yeah...plus there are a couple of love songs on the record ..."
And, for fun, if you could do just that and step into the future, which
location would you point your time machine, which year would it be, and what would you be in hope of discovering?! "I guess I would go a 100 years into the future to see if we are able to attain some level of higher consciousness. plus I would love to see the technology and what all the new music would sound like."
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant,
wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical
wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "If you put in in this context I think I would retire tomorrow. Ultimately I think you have to write form the heart and create music that moves you first and foremost. If you write for the public and the industry I think you'll fail more often than not."
"You're correct though in the sense that you do want to create new and
vibrant music that builds upon and surpasses what you've done previously. At this point I feel like I have a lot of music inside me and many themes I'd like to write about. The musical evolution tends to happen naturally if you are curious and continually seek out new music and experiences."
Please tell us more (in a quick fashion!) about what was going on in your life when these songs were being written and recorded:
'Atmosphere' - "The lyrics stem from a feeling of desire. Wanting what you can't have. The song was originally an instrumental electronica piece I had for a side project that I arranged for the band."
'3,000 Years' - "I read somewhere that we've had 3,000 wars and major conflicts over the last 5,000 years. I thought it was a powerful ida for a song. I've since learned that it's 15,000 wars and major conflicts in that time period. Too late now to change the lyric, oh well...!"
'Ces Jours La' - "This is a simple song about nostalgia. I like the form of it because it is a bit linear with it's evolution to the end build up. I arranged most of the song in the studio. My mom said she would disown me if I didn't put a song with some french lyrics on the record. I'm half french and u gotta listen to your mom...!"
'Android Song' - "This is one of those simple songs that I wrote basically in one sitting. It's a couple years old and is about going through the motions in a relationship even though you know there is no substance there. Probably the saddest song on the record. And it's in G. The saddest of all keys...or is that D?!"
Has work begun yet on a follow-up album to 'Step Into The Future,' and if so, any thoughts on what we can expect? "Yeah, I have several songs in the works. I think I'll take a little more of an adventurous approach musically in terms of sound and structure. Thematically I think I'll focus more on the love in the world as opposed to a commentary on our self-deception, destruction and indifference as a society....who knows."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover
today if asked ... and why?! "'Billy Jean' by MJ...because it's funky and a great song! Hmmm that's a good idea!"
Lastly, and throwing in a comedic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love
Penguins ... do you?! "Can't get enough of 'em!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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