Chris Tishler is a stalwart veteran musician and singer/songwriter from Milwaukee, WI. His breadth of musical tastes showcase his love of his influences without relying upon them. Rather, his music is his own, giving an occasional tip of the hat to the musics that shaped him. Introspective, cathartic and honest, his music rarely follows a similar formula from one song to the next, yet his catalog as a whole sounds uniquely “Tishler”.
This rings apparent on his long-awaited debut solo album “Reach For The Sun”.
Having written and recorded original music for an assortment of regionally popular bands over the course of thirty-plus, multi-instrumentalist Tishler has a near-lifetime of musical and entertaining experience. He was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. His mother was a teacher’s aide by day and would occasionally play the family piano at night. Coupled with his artist-father’s record collection at his disposal, he expressed interest in music and art from an early age. Fronting the bands Johnny And The Losers and then Mothers Room, he cut his teeth in his formative teenage years on punk, then a bit later on hard rock, playing bills with Naked Raygun, Toxic Reasons, Die Kruezen, The Vandals and Bad Brains. Simultaneously, he played drums in the garage/punk/rap band Bombardment and then stoner-rock band Spirithorse, as well as moonlighting on bass in local Britpop favorite The Prevailing Westerlies. He moved on to play rhythm/lead guitar in the “supergroup” Animal Magnets. Wanting to lighten his workload while venturing further into his own explorative songwriting, he formed Wheelie (performing as a duo ...long before White Stripes, et al). A few years in, creative differences took hold and the duo ran its course. It was then that he almost accidentally began a twenty-four year career fronting the cover band 5 Card Studs. The itch to write and perform original music never left him, however. Not long after that band took off, he formed the original power rock trio CHIEF, who shared bills with likes of The Hold Steady, Electric Wizard and Thin Lizzy. A little over fifteen years went by and eventually the pressures of fronting a cover band that played over one hundred gigs a year and still trying to make time to write and play gigs with the original trio (at times playing two different gigs in two different bands on the same day to make it work for both) took its toll. Tishler quit the cover band and almost simultaneously, after spending over a year writing and releasing a double-LP concept album, CHIEF dissolved. Near the end of his tenure in both bands, he ventured into the studio to record a couple of songs he’d written after a sudden breakup.
...which brings us here...
The two new songs turned into multiple recording sessions, tracking some of his previously unreleased songs and others newly written (one written in the studio on the spot). Tishler played all of the instruments, save for certain parts for which he brought in special guests to round out the recordings. One year later, he’s releasing his first solo album. “Reach For The Sun” is a collection of thirteen songs from those sessions. They are both melancholic and celebratory, running the gamut from personal darkness to jubilation. In the end, the process of creating the record for him was one of healing and letting go in order to move on to better things. The album was produced by Jeff Hamilton and Tishler and features guests Liv Mueller, Betty Blexrud-Strigens, Matthew Meixner, Brian Kasprzak, Korinthia Klein, members of De La Buena, John Kruth and Brian Tairaku Ritchie of the Violent Femmes.