David Fridman

David Fridman - Non performer

David Fridman

BMHOF Class of 2013

David Lawrence "Dave" Fridmann is an American record producer and musician who grew up in Buffalo, NY, and played guitar, keyboards, and/or bass in a succession of local bands starting in his teen years. He also became interested in sound engineering, which helped him land in the inaugural lineup of Mercury Rev in the late '80s, serving as the bassist and resident studio expert.  From 1990 onwards he co-produced all releases by Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips (with the exception of Transmissions from the Satellite Heart by the latter). 

Fridmann retired from Mercury Rev's touring lineup in 1993, wanting to spend more time with his family and also hoping to work with a greater variety of musicians. However, he remained intimately involved in Mercury Rev's studio projects. He first worked with a succession of indie bands, some punk and some psychedelic, including Luna, St. Johnny, Radial Spangle, and the Wallmen. 1995 brought two more albums with Fridmann's primary groups, the Flaming Lips' Clouds Taste Metallic and Mercury Rev's See You on the Other Side. Work with jennyanykind and St. Johnny descendant Grand Mal followed, and Fridmann also engineered half of Weezer's landmark Pinkerton in 1996.

With assistance from some of the Flaming Lips, most notably Michael Ivins, Fridmann opened his own Tarbox Road Studios in 1997, choosing a rural location in Cassadaga, NY, near the town of Fredonia, south of Buffalo. Its first project was the Lips' ambitious Zaireeka, a four-disc set meant to simulate quadraphonic sound by featuring different parts of the same songs on separate discs. With his own home base, Fridmann's work schedule picked up considerably; among his many other projects of 1997, most of which were little-known indie bands, he co-produced Jane's Addiction's reunion single "So What." 1998 brought Fridmann's first breakthrough in the form of Mercury Rev's gentle fourth album, Deserter's Songs, which earned massive acclaim in the U.K. and improved his reputation exponentially. Fridmann's upward momentum only increased with the 1999 release of the Flaming Lips' delicate, shimmering pop masterpiece The Soft Bulletin, which topped many year-end critics' polls and revitalized the band's career.

Fridmann has worked with many artists on many high-profile projects and often brings a distinctive, expansive, open sound to the albums he produces, which has much in common with that used by Mercury Rev. He is also an occasional faculty member of SUNY Fredonia, teaching sound recording techniques in the Fredonia School of Music.

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