IN the Spotlight: No Sir E
How a transplant to the city creates a unique musical experience
For many talented kids growing up in a small town, the beckoning of a big city can be almost deafening. The opportunities can seem as large as the Chase building when compared to those in a town under sea level. For more reasons than one, Aaron Fisher (aka No Sir E) made the move and now lives among the corporate america suites wearing, beer garden-attending, Trolley Square-loving Wilmingtonians. However, this transplant has a secret that has taken him all around the country, putting him in front of cheering crowds, and opening for the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff when he visits The Queen. The best part is he can fit it in a suitcase.
Before you grab your strobe lights and hula-hoops just understand Aaron Fisher is not a dj. He makes electronic music on a one-of-a-kind handmade music-making device called a Monome. To the naked eye, the Monome might look like a big bright box with pretty color-changing lights, but to a small community of music makers the Monome is an instrument that allows you to loop, sample, playback and create in a way that few things on the market can do. While attending The University of Delaware, Aaron saved his money working at a pizza shop to purchase one and to play shows for his college peers in basements and pool parties. Now in his late 20s he continues to use his magic tool to connect with the world around him through sound.
What No Sir E brings to the local music scene is nothing like the typical loud and gritty rock and roll you love and expect. His instruments sit atop a table decorated with a string or two of LED lights. His large 6’9 frame looms behind his Monome, laptop, and other curious-looking devices on stage to loop, track, and fiddle around with pre-recorded sounds to take you on a wild journey, changing course with each song. Every once in a while you’ll witness him sing something almost inaudible into a mic and alter the sound right in front of you, making it larger than life until it’s no longer a mumble but a full choir of human voices. If rock takes you back, then No Sir E propels you into the future.
Conducting all these blinking boxes and producing these beautiful sounds is a kind and gentle soul living an anything-but-ordinary life in a city he loves. Born in Seattle then moving to Dover, Delaware as a small child, he has roots in small town life. He opens up about his time growing up in the small town and his life in music.
1. Where are you from and how long have you been making music?
Dover, Delaware by way of Seattle, Washington. I’ve been a musician for about 24 years and have been releasing music for 13. I started off playing piano in elementary school, switched around from alto sax, tenor sax, tuba, and bass guitar in high school, was in a few bands going into college, and then ended up forming NO SIR E in 2009.
2. When and why did you decide to move to Wilmington?
I moved up here to work at the banks five years ago. It made a lot more sense than to commute from Dover every day.
3. Who’s a big musical INfluence for you and why?
It’s definitely Daedelus - a classically trained instrumentalist turned producer and famed pioneer of the instrument that I use, the Monome. Nowadays, he's an associate professor at Berklee College of Music. He’s incredibly wise, humble, and one of the nicest people in the music industry. What makes him special is his unrestrained curiosity in approaching new ways to cultivate music. I’ve followed his music for such a long time and his sound has gone through so many changes and genres, yet it still feels uniquely himself. He must be protected at all costs.
4. Although your music is more on the electronic side a lot the art you use for merchandise designs and logos seem heavy metal related. Where does this influence come from?
The metal influences come from my days playing bass in metal bands around Dover, namely Resistance of the Fallen. It’s still music that I enjoy today, and it’s a part of who I am, so it’s like I’m paying homage to that era. Sore Eyes Designs, which is local to Wilmington, makes incredible art for some of my merch that captures the metal aesthetic that I know and love.
5. How does your most recent music release differ from previous releases.
On my latest album “Vacation Dad,” I really wanted to showcase my versatility in production styles as a sort of appetizer platter. There’s classical, drum and bass, boom bap hip hop, marching band, New Jack swing, bossa nova, adult contemporary, nostalgia, and video game references all in an album that’s less than 15 minutes. It’s definitely one of my most ambitious projects.
6. What do you hope people gain from listening to your music and coming to your show?
I want listeners, especially local ones, to know that this kind of music exists and it’s closer to them than they think. You may have to seek it out, but it’s out there and it needs your support. The live show is meant to be a visual one. Electronic music can be hard to evoke emotion and musicality through buttons on a controller, but I turn mine facing the crowd so that they feel like they are a part of the music process. They are able to clearly see how I control the flow of music and the expression that is put into the transitions.
To learn more or to INquire about booking, check out his website.