studio legends

Legendary recording engineer John Siket works out of his Manhattan home studio. Photo by Annie Atlasman

From sessions with Steve Lillywhite, to pawnshop trolling for soundmakers with Thurston Moore, to making improv records with Phish, Siket is a creature of the console.

John Siket’s musical footprint is massive. As a producer and engineer, his resume reads like a who’s who of cool, influential, and creative musicians. Bands as disparate as Sonic Youth, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, moe., and Helmet have recorded with him. He’s worked with legendary producers like Butch Vig (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Helmet, Garbage) and Steve Lillywhite (U2, Peter Gabriel, the Rolling Stones). And he may be the only producer/engineer to have an album named after him (Phish’s The Siket Disc).

Siket’s first serious gig was a summer internship in the mid 1980s at Bearsville Studios in upstate New York. “I was relegated to the shop,” he said. “I got to solder miles and miles of cable. But it was fun. I was in the studio, technically.” After a short stint substitute teaching and painting houses, Siket landed a job at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1988. “I think they hired me because I knew how to solder really well,” he said. “I didn’t care. I was in a studio and I just had that fever.” He worked his way up the ranks, from assistant to house engineer, and cut his teeth recording acts like Yo La Tango, Freedy Johnston, and Fountains of Wayne.

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