This part-time journalist wants a full-time music career

Allison Bugg

For local musician Brian Lisik, hard work and patience are starting to pay off.

Lisik started playing guitar more than a decade ago. Soon after, he began writing songs, and in 2002, he started a band.

The 35-year-old singer/songwriter was born and raised in Akron, where he graduated from the University of Akron in 1992 and began playing guitar in the early to mid ‘90s.

“I started out playing small solo and acoustic shows in addition to writing songs,” Lisik said.

He teamed up with bassist Gerard Dominick, guitarist Tory Watson and drummer Tony Rockich in early 2002 to start the Brian Lisik Band.

“After playing solo for a while, the band started to take off so I went with it,” he said.

Lisik released his debut album Baggage in July 2004 on Cherokee Queen Records and is now touring locally with the band to promote the 10-song album.

“Slowly, things are coming together for us,” he said. “Everything’s a stepping stone. You have to find gigs first to gain some kind of following, or at least that’s what you hope for, and I think we’re doing just that.”

However, Lisik isn’t ready to quit his day job just yet. Besides rocking out in a band, he’s a columnist for Sun Newspapers around the Cleveland and Akron areas.

Lisik, in addition to his band, works independently and remains unsigned by a record label.

“Of course it’s discouraging, but all we can do is keep touring and let people know who we are,” he said.

Lisik said while he enjoys the independence of doing what he’s doing, it would still be nice if someone offered to pay for it.

Musical influences for Lisik include rockers such as Bruce Springsteen and Wilco, and he said he looks up to almost any acoustic singer/songwriters.

The Brian Lisik Band is planning an upcoming tour of Ohio and the Midwest. They are also working on recording both live and studio material for a new CD, which Lisik hopes to release later this year.

In addition, he’s working on a side project with his younger brother Craig. They are in the midst of recording a CD in Kent and hope to have it out early next year, he said.

For more information about Brian Lisik and his band, go to

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].