Scott Fisher unveils captivating indie-rock journey with ‘Once In A While’

Los Angeles-based, Portland, OR. bred guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist Scott Fisher takes us on a indie-rock tinged musical journey with his latest release, “Once In A While.”

Indie-rock virtuoso Scott Fisher takes us on a captivating journey with his latest release, “Once In A While.” Hailing from Los Angeles but with roots in Portland, Fisher’s musical prowess shines through in this indie-rock gem, infused with the chordal influences of The Zombies and a hint of Motown. The track delves into themes of hope, introspection, and a longing for artistic and sensual passion.

In an exclusive interview, Fisher reveals his daily routine, emphasizing the dedication and meticulousness he pours into his craft. Mixing tracks for himself and other artists, Fisher finds joy in combining modern production techniques with the rich musical heritage of classic rock. Reflecting on his musical community, Fisher acknowledges the nurturing and connected scene of Portland while recognizing the unparalleled talent found in LA.

scott fisher

Listen to “Once In A While” and read on for our extensive chat with Fisher’s infectious passion for vintage guitars, improvisation, and the creative process infuses his music with an undeniable joy. “Once In A While” showcases Fisher’s evolution as an artist, capturing the essence of his musical journey.

Happy: What are you up to today?

Scott: Today I’m setting up for some mixing at my home studio here in Los Angeles.  I have several tracks to mix for an Americana/ alt country artist.

I just got off the phone with the artist and I was happy to hear they want a more contemporary sounding mix as opposed to a flatter 70’s style sound.

I love so many classic rock records but I find it more fun these days to add some of those modern touches to a mix with automated effects, thicker low and and modern compression techniques.

The mix between old and new is a sound I really enjoy. Today is getting back into a mixing mind set and that’s what I’ll be doing for the next 10 days or so.

Happy: Where’s home, and what’s the music scene like in your neck of the woods?

Scott: I’ve lived in LA for a long time now but originally I’m from Portland Oregon. 

Of course LA has an endless amount of great musicians, quality venues and amazing recording studios.

I find the music scene in Portland more relaxed, connected and nurturing. Perhaps that’s because I came of age there.

Certainly Portland has a more tightly knit recording and live music scene. It’s a much more casual scene which can allow for more experimentation and cross pollination in my experience.

That being said, the best session musicians, mixers, engineers and writers that I’ve worked with are in LA.

If you need a ringer to sight read a complicated arrangement with creativity and a perfect tone in one or two takes, that’s much easier to find in LA. Unfortunately, virtuosity and professionalism usually doesn’t equate to inspired creativity and risk taking.

Ultimately LA has a different value system. People come here with different goals and expectations. More often than not the most original and interesting music to my ears grows outside of LA and Nashville. 

Perhaps they come to LA to record and or produce it and to find the business connections that can get it heard.  Art for the sake of art and creativity for the love of creativity is more difficult to find in LA. It’s still here though.

Happy: Tell us about your average day.

Scott: This year I’ve been mixing a lot for myself and other artists. I’m not a fast mixer so for me that means long hours in the studio tweaking and finding what sounds good for a particular track. 

Now that I’m mixing out of my home studio I’m trying to be a little more balanced with my time.

When I was younger and we were on the clock at bigger studios it was not uncommon for us to spend 15 hours working , sleep and then get back at it over and over again. Besides that being unhealthy and unsustainable I try to rest my ears a lot more now. There’s a point of diminishing returns where I know I’m starting to lose my ears and perspective on a song.

Basically, I try to play a little guitar or piano in the morning over coffee and get my practice in. I’ll hit the mix room around 10:30 a.m. and work 6-8 hours.  I try to do non music stuff with my dog and my girlfriend after that. I usually try to sneak back in the studio from 10 pm until midnight or 1 a.m. This is often the most productive mixing or writing time for me.

scott fisher

Happy: What about your ultimate day?

Scott: My ultimate day is still having a bunch of days locked out at East West studios here in LA or the Sonic Ranch in Texas where I record a lot. I love these magical studios and being there with talented people working on a project that we’re excited about creatively. I get a lot of joy out of the collaboration and the building of a track from the beginning to the end.

Happy: Tell us about your creative community. Who are some artists or bands that have inspired you, and how have they influenced your music?

Scott: Despite what many say, especially the older generations, there is so much great new music and countless talented musicians and producers. The business of music has certainly changed, but quality work is all around if one is willing to look.

One of the reasons I love working and recording at the Sonic Ranch in Texas is the great community of musicians, engineers and producers who pass through on a regular basis. It’s a big residential studio so there are always a number of projects at different stages of production.

Whether its’ Bon Iver, Spaceface, Arcade Fire or any number of huge Latin acts that pass through the Ranch it’s always an inspiring environment. That’s where I met Tim Lefebvre who co-produced my new LP and the single “Once in a While” with me.

We connected a few years back and I knew about him from working on the David Bowie Black Star record. He’s a masterful musician but more importantly I love his instinct and musical choices. I think whoever said.. “if you are the smartest and or most talented person in the room you are probably in the wrong room,” is correct. 

Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that fueled your passion for music?

Scott: By the time I hit high school I was very into 60’s psychedelic rock. How about an obscure live rendition of Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder..? That was my jam.

Pink Floyd – live at Pompeii 

Perhaps the most amazing and amazingly pretentious rock video of all time.

I loved all the Beat Generation stuff. Of course Kerouac and Burroughs.

I think all of the excess and possibility was very appealing to a middle class suburban kid in Portland Oregon. 

William Blake – The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom… I loved that stuff. 

All of those ideas challenged the general worldview that I saw around me which was appealing.

Of course as a grown man I have more nuanced views on these things having seem many friends struggle with excesses of their own and reality of the uncompromising life of an artist. 

All of this led me to jazz and Motown, stax  and muscle shoals. I devoured those records and to me they have the best combination of catchiness, musicianship and production. 

Happy: What did you read or watch last that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective? 

Scott: My girlfriend’s mother had a book sitting around called “Other Minds, the Octopus, the Sea and the deep origins of Consciousness.” It’s fascinating to ponder other forms of intelligence and that distant evolutionary tree that sprouted cephalopods. They are almost like an alien intelligence here on earth.

I had never thought about this separate evolutionary tree of intelligence before. 

Happy: Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a musician, from your early days as  a DJ to where you are now?

Scott: I started out with classical piano, and my first few projects were more piano and keyboard driven rock and pop. I moved more into tv licensing and had a few lucky breaks in that world. Ultimately I started producing and mixing more. Funny enough I started playing guitar later on and really fell in love with the instrument.

My last few LP’s are definitely more guitar based, but of course, I will always love the piano and the B3 Organ which were my first loves. Regarding the DJ situation, there is another Scott Fisher who has a popular track on the “fruity loops library.”

I definitely don’t come from the EDM world myself but somehow because of our shared name the internet wires have crossed and he get’s mistaken for me or me for him on various platforms sometimes. 

Happy: What specific elements of “Once in a While” contribute to its indie rock sound?

I think the general harmonic distortion on the track that we got from pushing the API console combined with the vintage 165A compressors on the drums create some indie fuzziness to the overall sound.

The composition leans a little more towards the Beatles on the versus, but we brought a lot of synth hooks and ambience in with the Mellotron synths running through a lot of effect pedals with delays and subtle distortions.

Tim Lefebvre who co-produced the record had dozens of amazing pedals that we incorporated into the textural sounds we layered onto the song. 

Happy: Do you have any gear that you can’t live without?

Scott: If I have a piano/keyboard and a guitar of some sort around I’m good. . If I’m on the road I like to have a basic pro tools setup with a mic and a laptop. Nothing fancy, just a simple SM57 to capture a basic idea or record a jam which might spark some ideas for a song or melody. 

Happy: Can you describe the lyrical themes present in “Once in a While” and how they relate to the overall artistic message?

Scott: “Once in a while” is a bit more of a lyrical collage compared to some of the other songs on the new record. 

I think it’s about “checking yourself” for lack of a better term. It’s about keeping an open mind and revisiting one’s own assumptions from time to time. The chorus is more about yearning for passion and inspiration.

I had a bit of writer’s block before I wrote this new record and was desperate to find my creative passion so I think that’s where the chorus lyric comes from.

Happy: What current vibes and philosophical themes are present in your music?

Scott: This LP is about our loss of sensuality in the name of efficiency in the service of profit.  The new  record is generally about moving more towards creative endeavors and away from systems.

Ultimately, the “Kingdom of Ego” is about our incentives being in the wrong places in modern American society. Economy of scale over the artisanal, distorted simplicity over nuance, ideology over critical thinking and profit over people.

Not to get too serious… Of course the music is about joy and love too. I absolutely love making records and helping people make records. Most of us do it for the joy and the love we have for our art and the art of others. 

Happy: Any plans to tour in 2023?

Scott: We recorded all the basic tracks for the new album live in the studio. The recording and rehearsals definitely gave me the bug to play live again. We’ll certainly do some shows in and around LA and we’ll see if that leads to some more extensive touring.

Happy: What makes you happy?

Scott: Vintage guitars

Vintage cars



A great mix

The Hammond B3 Organ

Sam Cooke

Jerry Garcia

Going to see my family in France