Semisonic formed in 1992 when Minneapolis natives Dan Wilson and John Munson, former members of Trip Shakespeare, teamed up with drummer Jacob Slichter. From 1995 to 2001, the band released four recordings – The Pleasure EP, Great Divide, Feeling Strangely Fine and All About Chemistry – and toured the globe. Feeling Strangely Fine sold over two million copies worldwide and remains a touchstone of late-90’s alternative rock. “Closing Time,” the band’s biggest hit, for which they received a Grammy nomination, was ubiquitous around the world and remains a familiar and recurrent radio presence in many countries. “Secret Smile,” which became a chart-topping single in UK and Europe a year after the album’s release in the US, is equally long-lived.
After the release of All About Chemistry in 2001, the members of Semisonic continued to perform as a band while also pursuing their various artistic endeavors, often in collaboration with one another. Dan Wilson has released several solo albums: Free Life (2007) on which both Munson and Slichter perform, Love Without Fear (2014), and Recovered (2017), the latter two accompanied by books written and illustrated by Wilson. As a song writer and producer, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists—the Dixie Chicks (with whom he co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Not Ready to Make Nice”), Adele (with whom he co-wrote “Someone Like You” and earned a Grammy in his role as a producer), and many others including Chris Stapleton, Phantogram, Pink, Mike Posner, John Legend, Dierks Bentley, Celine Dion. Wilson has toured the US, UK and Europe, presenting his show Words & Music by Dan Wilson, an evening of songs and stories that pull back the curtain on the art of songwriting.
John Munson continues his work as a performing and recording artist in The Twin Cities. He has recorded and toured extensively with The New Standards, a minimalist jazz trio that performs punk and indie-rock classics. The New Standards have released four studio albums—The New Standards (2005), Rock and Roll (2008), Sunday Morning Coming Down (2012), and Decade (2015—three holiday EPs, presided over a twelve-year run of sold out holiday shows featuring collaborations with many of the finest artists on the Minneapolis scene (including Dan, who produced their first two albums). The New Standards have played nationwide, from Lincoln Center to Anchorage, AK. John has continued a lifetime collaboration with Dan’s brother Matt, currently recording and playing as The Twilight Hours. He has been the recipient of several ArtsTour Grants from The Minnesota State Arts Board, and has kept himself busy producing and playing with some of Minneapolis’ best and brightest young artists. His current projects include a solo record, a new musical with Dylan Hicks, and producing a new record for Lucy Michelle.
Jacob Slichter’s critically acclaimed memoir of life in the music business, So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star, was released in 2004 and is regarded by people throughout the music business as required reading – in Rolling Stone’s words, “A killer account of the absurdity of life inside the majors’ hitmaking machine.” He has written for the New York Times and been a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Since 2013, he has been a professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, while continuing his work as a drummer and string arranger.
The band’s most recent activity includes performances marking the twentieth anniversaries of their first two albums. In October of 2018, Universal Music Group released a deluxe, 20th anniversary edition of Feeling Strangely Fine. Most recently, the band has been recording new music for a planned 2019 release.