FISHKILL is a three-piece band that plays hard rock with an alternative style, featuring energetic songs that are fun to listen to and may make you think if you listen carefully. It's heavy guitar-based rock, although it has been classified as punk and 80's new wave rock. Singer/Songwriter Chris Nelson's vocal style has been compared to Joey Ramone (The Ramones), Mike Love (The Beach Boys), and Ray Davies (The Kinks). Bassist Jack Hawk and Drummer Mike Williams each add to the unique blend of styles, turning it into music that's built to last. The dynamic force they create while playng carries the audience into the excitement of the performance.
In actuality Fishkill strives to define its own category within the musical framework of rock. The basic goal is to give the listener a good time, like a band playing at this great party or concert you were at that you'll never forget. It's all about fun, pure and simple and everything else is window dressing.
Fishkill is a featured artist on WSVN's Hall Of Fame Volume 9, A WSVN Radio Christmas CD, and is now available on the Rhapsody/Real Jukebox and BuyMusic.com online digital music services.
Fishkill - a brief FISHstory
How it all began...
I've been writing and playing music for almost twenty years. I've been in and out of groups during the whole time. I've found its quite difficult to stay in any band, since something always happens whenever I'm in one!
During this time, I've accumulated a collection of songs which I've never been able to perform. Once in a while someone would suggest playing one of them in the group, but we'd break up and that would be that.
One of the groups which had the most influence on me wasn't even a band, really. I was living in Alamogordo, New Mexico at the time and I was part
of a folk-rock combo called Spectrum which featured myself as an accoustic guitar player, a friend of mine on an accoustic twelve-string, and his then-fiancee as the singer. We all sang, but she was the lead for most of the songs. We got the owner of a local music store to "sponsor" our first recording--a four-track home studio unit. We managed to record four songs before I had to move away. I learned a lot about recording during that time.
After leaving New Mexico, I continued writing songs. I had one finished which I really wanted to record--I had been bitten by the recording bug by this time-- and began searching for a studio near my home town in Pennsylvania while I was on vacation. I decided I could play all the instruments myself. I recorded my first song in Decmeber 1984 in a studio in Elmira, New York. The owner of that studio helped me with the
production and provided me with pointers as to achieving the proper sound levels and balancing each track. In a way, this helped me achieve
precisely the sound I wanted for each song. I didn't have to worry about someone else's playing style.
I got my own four-track recorder and set out to record my own music in 1986. The initial sessions were problematic, to say the least! It took about three sessions for me to make something that I would be pleased to have someone else hear. At first, I had to figure out what part
I was going to play, then I had to get the proper balance. There's no easy way to do this, I just manage to find the right 'spot' and everything
fell into place.
I created an entire collection of songs called "Understanding the Art of War" and chose a name for myself as "Chris Nelson and the Amazing 1 1/2." The idea was that I was just me and the four track--a play on the name "Timbuk three" which was a guy, a girl, and a boom box.
Those early sessions turned out to be quite lengthy. Also, a defect showed up in my original four-track which ultimately caused me to get it
exchanged for another. Unfortunatley, I the original work tape in the deck when I changed it and lost two songs which I no longer have the
mixed versions of.
I recorded another collection in 1992 under the same name titled "A Diginfied Term For Disgusting Behavior" On this project, I used a drum machine to handle the drum parts on many of the songs. I started the project while I was living in San Bernardino, California and there was no room for drums in that place. Plus, that's not really a good way to enhance relations with your neighbors!
I started a third collection, but ultimately, it was a collection of remixes of older songs with a few new ones added to round out the collection. I called this on "Prescriptions For Social Disorder." This was the last time I used the "1 1/2" name. Actually, I thought of it as the
breakup of a band, whcih is pretty hard to do when there's only one of you.
I didn't do anything elese for a long time after that. I began working on my other hobby, writing Science Fiction. I have had several short stories
published in various e-zines. I've also written three novels, two of which are still available today.
I changed my name to Fishkill after seeing a news story about fish being killed as a result of a chemical spill somewhere. I thought of the line
from the Nirvana song "Something In The Way" which goes, "It's okay to eat fish 'cause they don't have any feelings..." It until later that I found out about a small town in upstate New York with the same name. I never knew!
I decided to put my music on the internet after I recieved a newletter from a friend of mine which featured an article about internet music. When
I got my new computer, I re-mastered the old songs from my four-track. I joined mp3.com and created a CD with all that material on it called "Past Mistakes"
Since joining the independent internet music scene, I've met a variety of different artists all who are very talented and deserve recognition. I'm proud to be a part of this scene.
Yes, acoustically right now. I plan to put a live band together in the very near future.
I'm into crashing guitars, alright! I was really influenced by punk and new wave. In some ways, I never really let go of that sound.
I am never able to get all the musical influences right in these things, I always forget someone:
Steve Miller Band
Fury In the Slaughterhouse
Various 60's tunes
Various new-wave and punk songs from the late 70's early 80's
I have a Sonor 9-piece drum set w/ Meinl cymbals
Ari Pro II accoustic/electric guitar
Marshall Lead Series 120 practice amp (sounds good on tape, anyway)
Marshll DFX 360 Amp
DOD Digital Delay pedal
MXR Multi-Phase shifter
Dunlop Cry Baby
Casio Porta-Tone Keyboard
Cakewalk Home Studio 9 helps me get it all together.
Fishkill is reaching an epiphany; there will be much more emphasis on live shows in the future, a new lineup to be announced later and a gradual redistribution of the muscial roles for the band.
It was never my intention to be a one-man band. The studio and the stage are two separate entities and it is easy to confuse one with the other. In my opinion, live shows still are the lifeblood of the industry, for without an audience, you don't have a purpose. The studio allows an artist the ability to reach new listeners who would not be able to listen to them any other way and to try on new ideas and incorporate styles that would not fit into the live aspect of a band's sound.