Rewind back to the 60’s and The Beatles rock’n’roll music resonated into the heart of countless individuals worldwide including 14-year-old teenager, Charles Fisher. Inspired by the beats of the famous rock band from Liverpool, Charles decided he had to be a part of the music industry. Fast track to the present and Charles Fisher is one of Australia’s most highly regarded Music Producers of all time and is often graced with the title, “The Song Doctor.” Countless, ground breaking records have been produced due to the craftsmanship of Charles and he has 40 gold and platinum albums to his credit including a Savage Garden album which yielded 10 arias.
A collection of records and band memorabilia line the walls of Charles’s recording studio in his Yarraville home. In the mid 1970s, Charles opened the Trafalgar Studios in Sydney and the studio was a premier Australian independent recording facility. Charles has worked with Midnight Oil, INXS, Cold Chisel, Electric Pandas, The Radiators, Sherbet, Radio Birdman, Marcia Hines, 1927, Skyhooks, Moving Pictures, Police, Syrius, The Aliens, Gyan, Elvis Costello, Olivia Newton-John and an extensive list of famous bands and artists. The Beatles continuously come into topic of conversation and his eyes light up when speaking about how they had such a significant influence on his life. “I just have always loved records. Before The Beatles entered the scene, I loved music and they just made it seem possible. The Beatles were just four kids from the suburbs who loved to play, they did what they loved and I could relate to it,” he remarked.
Reflecting back to his earlier years, Charles down-to-earth personality shines through as he explained how he never dreamed of being extremely successful but just wanted to make records. “Everyone dreams about being the best in their field but it wasn’t really what I was aiming for, I just loved making records. I would be in the studio when I was young often sixteen hours a day, six days a week but it didn’t seem to me like I was working hard. I just loved working in the studio and I preferred to be in the studio rather than at home,” he explained.
While Charles was just “doing what he loved to do,” he went on to become a phenomenal success. Charles first big international achievement was with rock band, Air Supply which he counts as a massive career highlight. His favourite bands and artists he has worked with? “Too many to name. I loved working with The Seekers. It was a massive thrill working with them as I had always been such a huge fan as a kid. The guys from 1927 were great to work with. Also Dave Faulkner from the Hoodoo Gurus who I still catch up with often and Olivia-Newton John who is the most amazing person,” he said.
Charles stopped being surprised by musicians from an early age. “When I first started meeting my heroes, I realised they were just people with a love of music. Some are really talented, some work really hard, for some it comes easy while for others it is difficult. What I love the most about my job is the freedom, the music and hanging out with the musicians,” he remarked.
Determination, persistence and self-belief have been the cornerstone to Charles success. “I made three huge records in my life which were really difficult to make because no one thought there was any point in making them. I made the record for Savage Garden in my living room because no one thought the record was any good and we couldn’t get any funding. Savage Garden stayed in a flea bitten hotel in Kings Cross, Sydney and they lived on rice cakes basically because no one thought they would be really good,” he explained.
Charles does not try to define his artistic abilities. “I try not to question it because once you analyse your art, it falls apart. Whether you’re a writer, musician or an actor, I think you have to instinctively let it go and it comes out. However, I think to be a successful music producer you need to have empathy with people, taste and musical knowledge,” he said.
While music plays a significant role in Charles life, family is of paramount importance to him. He lives with his wife, is a devoted father to his 28-year-old daughter and two sons aged four and two. Over the last few years, Charles has been creating music for movies and has been making music for his own enjoyment. He has been around the world approximately 12 times including living in the USA for ten years. For now Charles is contently settled in Yarraville and loves having Cruickshank Park as the biggest backyard in the world on his doorstep.
The inevitable question is asked, What is it like being referred to as “The Song Doctor?” and Charles answered with his charismatic smile, “It’s very gratifying.”