DRUMMER, PRODUCER, ENGINEER, MIXER
After attending Berklee College of Music as a performance major (drums), Steven spent the next 20 years and beyond as a full time musician playing thousands of gigs locally and all over the world with artists such as: Filter, Nicholas Barron, Sumo, Buddy Guy, Sugar Blue, Chuck Berry, Brandon Fields, Cathy Richardson, Magic Box, Dion Payton, Ben Vereen, The Steakhouse Mints, John Primer, Inner City, Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney) among many others and has also recorded on and/or produced/engineered hundreds of records.
In 1997 Richard Patrick of Filter asked Gillis to join the band to record on their 1999 multi-platinum album Title of Record – featuring the top ten single “Take a Picture” – as well as its follow up, The Amalgamut.
In 2002, while also continuing a full drumming performance schedule, Gillis begin producing and engineering in earnest and opened the first Transient Sound as a home studio in west Rogers Park. After co-producing Nicholas Barron’s “I’m Not Superman” with Vijay Tellis-Nayak, the full length album was recognized by the New York Times and James Taylor as one of the top 5 unsigned artists’ albums of the year. It was then that Steve and Vijay decided it was time to officially team up as creative partners and business owners and find the space that could afford their productions and recordings no limits, technically and creatively. In 2006, plans began and construction soon commenced to build Transient Sound in it’s current location in Lakeview.
Transient Sound is where Steven has worked with artists’ such as Los Lobos, Naked Raygun, The Locals, Nia Quintet, The Steakhouse Mints, Nicholas Barron, Andrew White, Juan Pastor, AyOH, Chris Chandler, Vertikle, Steve Rodby, Billy Always, We Feed Alone, Magic Box, Midwest Hype, Jackpot Donnie, Munroe, Tom Gulliogne and many more.
Steven has found that his strength is in production, arranging, co-writing, engineering and mixing with the various talented artists he has worked with and still he keeps a very active drumming performance schedule while also working his “day job” at Transient Sound producing/engineering and mixing.
In April of 2014, Steven was elected for a two-year term as a Governor on the board for the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy. In addition, he also serves on the Advisory board as a producer and engineer for Flashpoint Academy in Chicago.