photo: shervin lainez
Only Son is the music of NYC-based songwriter Jack Dishel (former Stipplicon frontman and lead guitarist for The Moldy Peaches.) Only Son’s sophomore record, Searchlight, was released January 18, 2011. Searchlight features standout tracks like “Magic” and “It’s a Boy” as well as guest appearances by Regina Spektor and members of The Strokes and Of Montreal. It was co-produced with Dishel’s lifelong friend Eddie “Pull” Frente of the band kHz. A marked evolution from 2006′s “The Drop To The Top”, this album finds Dishel blasting off in search of new lands. This is something of a pattern…
Born Yevgeny Leonidovich Dishel in the former Soviet Union, Jack arrived in America as a three-year-old Russian refugee. A music fanatic from a young age, Jack got his first ramshackle drum set after seeing Tommy Lee spinning in midair above the crowd in Motley Crue’s “Wildside” video. That spawned his “suburban metal head” phase which gave way to a lengthy “urban street kid” period which began at the age of 14 upon hearing “Fuck The Police” on a friend’s stereo system in Queens.
“All of a sudden my pants were sagging and my hair was buzzed and all I did was listen to hip-hop, play handball and most importantly, write graffiti”, says Dishel.
He became so obsessed with it that he spent the next few years running along elevated train tracks painting NYC walls, tunnels and trains. After numerous escapes from the police and hundreds of pieces all over the city, Jack felt satisfied with the form and called it a day. By the end of his teens he had become an underground celebrity and had his work featured in numerous graffiti magazines and videos across the country.
Once in college, Jack got his proper introduction to indie rock and spent hundreds of hours soaking in the music of Elliott Smith, Built To Spill and Blonde Redhead.
He learned to play guitar quickly and began writing and recording onto his new four-track. After graduation, Jack moved to New York City and recorded two albums of his songs under the band name Stipplicon.
Stipplicon played many wildly energetic shows in NYC and gained fans that included many Lower East Side musicians – among them were Adam Green and Kimya Dawson, who asked Jack to play guitar for their band The Moldy Peaches.
The Moldy Peaches dressed in costumes, sang about porn and crack, and recorded one of the most beloved indie records of the decade. Their insane take on folk-punk took them all over the world playing with everyone from The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs to They Might Be Giants and Tenacious D. “One minute I was playing to my friends at the Sidewalk Cafe and the next I was playing to thousands of people in foreign lands…in a mini-skirt and tiara,” he laughs.
In 2002, after tons of costume changes and sold out tours all over Europe and the US, The Moldy Peaches disbanded to pursue their own projects. After they went their separate ways, Jack began working on a batch of new songs that were different that those of his previous bands.
He decided to lay Stipplicon to rest and re-invented himself once more as Only Son. His debut album, The Drop To The Top, saw him touring the world for two years opening for Regina Spektor and former bandmate Adam Green.
Only Son’s latest album is an expansive, diverse collection of songs; much like a late Beatles album, each song occupies its own space on the record and fleshes out a different side of his musical sensibilities.