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Heatmiser

The Portland, OR, band Heatmiser was best known for launching the career of singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, but other members of the group went on to have successful music careers long after Heatmiser's demise. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Gust went on to form the pop/rock band No. 2, while bassist Sam Coomes formed the popular indie pop duo Quasi with his then-wife, Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Drummer Tony Lash, who produced some of Heatmiser's material, went on to do production work with a variety of artists, including the Dandy Warhols, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Minders. Heatmiser was well-known in the northwest rock scene of the early '90s, but despite Smith's burgeoning solo career, the band never achieved more than a cult following. Smith shared songwriting duties with fellow guitarist/vocalist Neil Gust, whom he met while both were attending Hampshire College, and their contrasts in styles made Heatmiser's records compelling but incohesive. Gust's songs were typically darker and harsher than Smith's melodic folk-rock contributions. The fact that Heatmiser toiled in relative obscurity during their active years and has remained unknown to the masses despite Smith's popularity is puzzling to say the least.

Heatmiser formed in Portland, OR, in 1992, a time in which labels large and small were scarfing up all the unsigned talent they could in hopes of finding the next Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Sub Pop records had signed several decidedly non-grungy Portland bands, such as the Spinanes, Pond, and Hazel, but Heatmiser somehow escaped Sub Pop's grasp. The band released its debut album, Dead Air, on Frontier Records in 1993. A second album, Cop and Speeder, appeared on Frontier in 1994 as did a five-song EP entitled Yellow No. 5. By 1996, Smith had released two critically acclaimed solo albums and it was becoming clear that Heatmiser was not his first priority.

The Tony Lash-produced Mic City Sons was released in October of that year by the independent label Caroline. Hailed by critics as the best Heatmiser record yet, Mic City Sons unfortunately was released as the band was in the process of breaking up. Thus, despite all the makings of a breakthrough effort, Heatmiser was grinding to a halt and would never record as a group again. Smith reported in an interview in 1997 that Heatmiser had signed a contract with Virgin, but an album never materialized. The bandmembers have maintained working professional relationships, appearing on each others' various projects in some capacity. Quasi toured with Elliott Smith in 1997, and both Smith and Coomes contributed to Gust's No. 2 album, which was released in 1999. ~ Scott Sepich, Rovi
full bio

Comments

49ers!!!!!!! !
Oh, Elliott.
.
wlktlkeatabi s c u t
WHO writes this half-baked s**t for pandora?
Sorry brah, you're NOT Robert Pollard. But RIP anyway..
R.I.P. Elliott
Just started listening to Heatmiser and I really love it. How did I miss this back in the day?
xoxo rip e
XO XO. RIP E.
rlyoun
Your link for Hazel on this page in incorrect. (it takes you to Hazel Dickens (?) - Most definitly not PDXs beloved Hazel.
Ohhhhh Elliott...
I love Elliott's music.
Cool! Thanks Pandora.
klaymann15
RIP Elliott, you are sorely missed
Great band. Elliott is seriously one of the greatest people ever
Love it!
I love and miss elliott
redbarn.stud i o
Sweet, I'll be listening to more Heatmeiser,
xo Michael Aiello, another self proclaimed talented artist living in Portland.
onikanine
i love this. i am SORRY that the mainstream didn't get them, because i want talented artists to be able to eat, live comfortably and get all the love and recognition that they deserve, not toil in obscurity so i can feel cooler than thou. hipsters can be so f*&%ing selfish.
jrockes3
Wow... this is a very good band. Can't believe I never heard about them before now.
blaserlives, i couldnt say it better myself. i am also glad the mainstream didnt get them. im glad even though it had a hold on elliotts solo material's sleeve, it eventually let go before the lames ruined it for everyone.
i just got my first ad - booo hisssss.
sjackson918
i had no idea...bless you pandora for more e.smith that i didn't know existed
nawoodward
nice.
bwaltz82
knew it!
Still one of my favorite bands. Rock all four albums regularly, and would never call them incohesive. Definately a great live act. Actually saw the last Portland show, and will never forget it. Glad the mainstream didn't get them. They will always be ours. R.I.P. Elliott, I still look for you on the fifteen sometimes even though your in St. Ides Heaven.
yeah good stuff. sorry i didn't hear it in 1996. . .
interesting
love this
Never heard Heatmiser before Pandora (shame on me) but bought the 3 full length discs since then! Mic City Sons is a great cruisin' CD.
ilromathis
Greatest songwriter of our time
joeharry21
long live elliot. and everyone else making this music (eternally.. ) snare drums like opium
redstarshoot o u t
amazing.
Cop and Speeder was brilliant.
Elliott Smith is awesome. i never knew he had a band....
bromide01
Dude, I was at that show, and they weren't so great.
They were great live.

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