Whether in music, comics, painting, or any other medium upon which The StiKman chooses to focus his intent, he is primarily a storyteller.
The StiKman, born The MaRk (also spelled “Mock”) PstiKman (the “P” is silent and usually omitted) in Brooklyn NY, was imprisoned without option for twelve years in the Poughkeepsie NY school system. Although bleak, Po’Town was where young “The”, as he was known to friends and family, began weaving stories by sculpting paint. clay, and sound. After a brief stint playing harmonica for legendary Texas-Blues guitar stylist, T-Bone Walker, and studying art and music at several colleges, including the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he shared the stage and hallucinations with Rashan Roland Kirk and others, The Stikman drifted his way to the San Francisco Bay Area where The Stikman formed an eclectic band, and called it Polymorph, because he wanted it to include any form or style that might interest him. Polymorph band members included David Immerglück, (Counting Crows) Beth Custer, Rance Mannion, Peter Josheff. and many more. ThestiKman documented the performances with a primitive reel to reel and began to learn to razor-edit tapes with uncanny accuracy. The rehearsal studio in Berkeley where Polymorph had been rehearsing became a recording production room which people began to refer to as Polymorph. The StiKman relented and began to refer to his place as Polymorph Productions, as well, where he not only worked on his own tapes, but recorded musical projects for hire. One such client was Dan Rathbun, with his band, “Acid Rain”. Rathbun thought that The StiKman’s unique approach made him the only choice to record his band. “Acid Rain” included Rathbun, with Nils Frykhdal, and David Shamrock, and Eugene Jun. “Acid Rain” rechristened itself “Idiot Flesh” which was supplanted by the “Sleepytime Gorilla Museum”, which also included Carla Kihlstedt, and The StiKman continued to collaborate with them through every incarnation up until today’s incarnation : Free Salamander Exhibit. Polymorph evolved into a partnership with Dan Rathbun and Rance Mannion, with whom he built Polymorph Studios in Oakland, a multi-track analog and digital Recording facility, and more recently returning to Berkeley. Known for recording a multitude of artists, genre, and ethnicities.
Collaborators: The StiKman continued to compose, record and perform, hence-foreword changing the name of his band to the eponymous “The Stikman”. Band members and recording contributors include Dan Rathbun (Free Salamander Exhibit, etc.), Nils Frykhdal (Free Salamander Exhibit, etc.), Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables), Jewlia Eisenberg (Charming Hostess), David Immerglück (Counting Crows), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Ralph Carney (Tom Waits), Dominique Persi (Stolen Babies), and many more.
Early influences: Igor Stravinsky, Burl Ives, Carl Stalling (Warner Brothers Cartoons,) Max Steiner, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Cab Calloway, and Louis Armstrong.
Later influences: Captain Beefheart, Paul Butterfield, Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Fred Frith, Ken Nordine, Olivier Messiaen, Tom Waits, Bjork, Kate Bush John Coltrane, David Lynch, Charles Ives, Brian Wilson, Muddy Waters, Harry Partch, Treg Brown, Ligeti, Bartok, Ornette Coleman, James Brown, Thelonious Monk, Sly Stone, Laurie Anderson, Les Paul, and Sun Ra.
Other artists: The StiKman has performed and/or recorded with other aRtists including: T-Bone Walker, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Eek-a-Mouse, Charming Hostess, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Us Jme Doma, Papas Culture, Val Esway, Ralph Carney, The Fabulous Hedgehogs, Backwash, and Alex Skolnick.