A multi-talented, multi-faceted creator, Sier’s key interests are ever-evolving and ever-expanding. These include: 1) Questions about spirituality and mortality 2) The need for social justice 3) Uncertainty about the future of life on this planet. Running through his veins at all times seems to be a current of finding one’s power when faced with societal injustices and preparing for the future.
Throughout his remarkably varied career trajectory, Sier’s creative work has excelled in using social commentary as a tool for greater introspection and overall understanding. His work is often centered around bold calls for change against corrosive power structures and legacy systems that continually reinforce inequality. Whether expressing himself in song, visual mediums, or performance, Sier’s message is often political and in support of oppressed peoples and societal underdogs. Whether directly criticizing class divides and struggles, the corrosiveness of extreme wealth, climate change, or threats to freedoms of speech and press, he is also adept at providing solutions and prompts for change alongside critique.
“I’ve always approached my art as a form of community building to solve society’s most challenging dilemmas. The creative spark that drives my observations and the stories I tell are all connected, in some way, to societal change,” Sier explains. And, those creative sparks are NOT few and far between.
In 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street movement, Sier was thrust into the national spotlight with his topical “Occupy Wall Street Protest Song”. His bold message reached a huge U.S. audience after the song - and his personal story – were widely broadcast in a feature radio interview on San Francisco radio station, KALW, one of the largest California NPR affiliates, and on the youth-focused Headcount site. “I put together a protest music playlist on SoundCloud that featured my protest song, and invited others to participate. Before long, we had over seven hundred protest songs focused on inequality on the playlist,” SIER explains.
Sier also serves as a prime example of a forward thinking artist, executing a highly-successful Kickstarter Campaign. Solely via crowdsourcing technology, he raised over $20,000 in support of his full-length alternative rock LP, “Heads or Tales”. The album piqued interest within music circles due to its eclectic songs and one-of-a-kind guitar tunings. The tunings were inspired by a dream and the album is an homage to California and his hometown of Gary, Indiana, Two of the album tracks, “Shining Light” (Written for SIER’s mother) and “Karma Sea” were each featured in the PBS TV series “Roadtrip Nation” and “Athena” was included in a video showcasing Buster Simpson's “Carbon Veil” environmental art installation at Seattle’s SeaTac airport”.
Sier’s first foray into music was, as a child violin prodigy. From the age of four, he studied violin under the late Florence Linden, a respected violinist who performed with the likes of Itzhak Perlman and Jascha Heifetz. While Linden set her eyes on training the young talent to play with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sier credits his family for setting into motion his gift. “My aunt was responsible for discovering my musical talent. As the story goes, she handed me her mandolin when I was three and saw that I was strumming in time with a Nana Mouskouri record she was playing. She told my mother, who enrolled me in violin lessons with Florence," Sier remembers.
But, his destiny at being a classical violinist was short-lived. While studying violin, Sier heard a cassette recording of Jimi Hendrix playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” on his guitar at Woodstock. “That sound changed my life”, he recalls. Hearing Hendrix led Sier to rethink the violin as his primary instrument - much to the dismay of his teacher! Like many child stars who become burdened with the unreasonable rigidity of childhood perfectionism, Sier, in his words, recalls, “I was unhappy with the anxiety I experienced while striving for music perfectionism, so, I quit the violin and taught myself to play guitar.”
Undeterred, SIER taught himself by practicing along to records by his favorite bands including Santana, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. The guitar players in these bands were his mentors, and these early influencers would come to characterize much of his unique guitar playing style and current-day musical output. Once he reached young adulthood, Sier began his westward journey to California, initially landing in Denver. Sier recollects, "I found a job at a local music store where I met musicians who would make up my first professional band." Denver in the 80s was a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant jazz and R&B scene. It was within this culture Sier joined Badd Habbitt, with world musician bandmates that included members from Mexico, South America, and Israel produced by band leader and church organist, Arn Jackson.
Sier set his site toward California, accepting a job at a guitar amplifier company in the San Francisco Bay Area, a hotbed of social change and the punk movement at the time. Inspired by 60s anti-war musical activists such as Marvin Gaye and Gill Scott Heron, Sier’s writing became more political, with a militant edge. “I learned about radical culture at an early age after reading Abbie Hoffmans “Steal This Book” I found on a street corner where I grew up. This inspired me to make a record about important causes - climate change, segregation, the plight of small farmers battling corporations…So, I put together a short lived early rap metal band (Pre- Rage Against The Machine) and a rock power trio”, he recalls. The BLS (Bowler, Lamb, and Sier) trio played a few festivals and fans began approaching him, saying they liked the music and the message. The positive feedback affirmed Sier’s new music direction and the trio recorded a demo, ‘INDIANA.” The album focused on climate change, the plight of the small farmer, gang life and the beauty of growing up in the Midwest. "I write uplifting and contemplative music about topical themes that people can relate to,” Sier exclaims.
Sier is set to release an ambitious new concept album that is the pillar of his work as a shape-shifting musician and virtuoso guitar player. “Space and Other Things”, finds Sier collaborating with a host of acclaimed Los Angeles musicians, including the likes of Chris Chaney (Taylor Hawkins) and Aaron Sterling (John Mayer) mixed by Grammy-nominated engineer, Michael Patterson (Beck, BRMC). Plans for a visually-rich tour supporting the album are also in development with the first single, “Newspaper Man” slated to drop on February 25, 2023 on Deep Under Cover Records.