Founder Dan Schlissel was born in Worchester, Massachusetts to immigrant parents Sam and Helena Schlissel on November 9, 1970. From early on, in the womb, actually, Dan was exposed to a wide variety of music. Dan grew up listening to just about anything that came his way, especially enjoying the tastes and influences of both his older brother and cousins, that being primarily rock records. Everything from the Beatles to Creedence Clearwater Revival to the Clash and beyond were listened to with fervor. This period would have a profound influence on future tastes.

In 1982, Dan’s family moved to the cultural mecca of Kearney, Nebraska. Needless to say, even a young Dan realized that this was a barren wasteland for the mind. Longing for the east coast, Dan fostered a taste for the music he remembered, not only of previous influences, but to that of the people as well, from heavy metal to rap.

In 1988, upon graduation from high school, Dan fled to the capital city of Lincoln, Nebraska and enrolled as an engineering major. In college, Dan became a member of the University Program Council, eventually becoming chairman of the concert and dance committee. It was his responsibility to book, promote, and work concerts on campus. This, in turn lead to a job managing local indie music store, Feedback.

Through connections made at the University and Feedback, Dan pulled his resources together and launched -ism Recordings in the fall of 1992. The first release was by Such Sweet Thunder, as noted in the label history.

Dan graduated from college in August of 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. After working a string of lousy paying, and somewhat dehumanizing jobs in Lincoln, Dan decided to relocate to the Twin Cities, building a brighter future for -ismist, himself, his future wife, Suzanne, and the drone worker in general.

In 2000, Dan started to fold -ismist Recordings. He has been working on his newer venture, Stand Up! Records while occasionally revisiting the -ismist catalog, most recently with the Killdozer tribute album, We Will Bury You.