Sunday, September 29, 2019

A Ripple Conversation With Kasador

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

My largest musical epiphany came later on in my development as a musician. In my first year of undergrad as a student of music in university I took a course on voice leading and harmony that changed the entire way I hear, write and think about music. I had an incredibly passionate professor whose excitement for the art form ignited my passion to learn. It unlocked music as both an artistic and intelligent form of expression. It opened my eyes to fully understand the subtle complexities that make music so beautiful.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

As a band we’ve adopted a very collaborative writing process. We think it’s important that the sound we present is an amalgamation of everyone’s unique musical background and influences. Every song works its way through the creation process a little differently but typically someone in the band will bring in the bones of a new idea (chords/lyrical ideas) and as a band we’ll turn it on it’s head and fill in the rest. Occasionally we have written and recorded the entirety of a song before coming up with lyrics or a vocal melody, and we’ll go back and record the vocals to the track.

Who has influenced you the most?

The Beatles were the first band that really got me hooked on music and the idea of being in a band. From grades 3-4 I used to fall asleep just about every night while listening to a different album. At the time I was playing bass and trumpet so naturally Paul McCartney was my idol. His bass lines we’re just so different than anything I would expect to come up with and was blown away by how someone could make such melodic bass lines fit flawlessly into songs.

Something I value in bands and musicians is versatility. I’d like to think that just about no one likes only one specific kind of music. I think its kind of shame not to explore the incredible array of varied sounds different instruments and cultures can produce and I look up to the Beatles efforts in that way.

I often feel that passion for music is overshadowed by much of the superficial satisfaction that being in the spotlight can offer. I find myself influenced and inspired by those most passionate of the art form.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

I find collaborating with other musicians to be my greatest source of inspiration and motivation to push myself. Everyone has a unique set of experiences that shape how they hear and create music. No matter if I’m playing with someone who just started playing or has dedicated their life to the art I find myself always learning something new and that keeps me inspired.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

In my humble opinion, Kingston has one of the best ‘new band infrastructures’ in the country. There is a great bar scene, a super supportive community, accessibility to major cities and a great network of musicians to connect with. It is also a stop for many larger acts that are traveling between these major cities, bringing lots of attention to our city. You can’t help but to be influenced by what your surrounded with and the Kingston roots rock comes through in our sound. 
Where'd the band name come from?

Will, Boris and I all met about 6 years ago when Will was looking for some members to play in a group he had called “Will Hunter Band” which had a semi-rotating group of musicians he would play his original music with. After a few weeks it was clear the personal and musical chemistry was present between us and in time transitioned into an equal creative. We felt we had now formed a new entity and wanted to move forward under a more collaborative brand. The word “Kasador” is a bastardization of the Spanish word “Cazsador” meaning hunter. We felt it was an appropriate homage to where we came from (Will Hunter Band) but now allowed us to freely express our personal musical influences under the umbrella of a collective.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

While my knowledge of 70’s silver screen films is alarmingly limited I think I would like to try my hand at composing a musical score for a groovy adult film. Primarily because I think it would be hilarious but when I’m creating music on my own I’m always super amused by how I can make gimmicky sounds fit into a musical piece. I also have a background in jazz and a love for funk guitar and I think I could make a gimmicky jazz funk fusion score that would fit.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

A song that comes to mind is Bohemian Rhapsody. I think writing a 1000 word essay to that song would be a breeze purely because of how much content is in the song. With multiple movements, varied instrumentation, cutting edge recording techniques and compelling lyrics there is an insane amount to discuss that musical opus.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

The first painful similarity that comes to mind is we have had 4 drummers….thankfully all are still alive to our knowledge! We have had several instances when something has been promised and not delivered. First one that comes to mind is when we were added to a new festival line-up in Perry Sound that had us playing along side for I Mother Earth, Hollerado, Our Lady Peace and many more Canadian greats. We were excited to be on the bill and thought to ourselves ‘wow we’ve made it’. As we drove up, we started seeing on socials that bands were dropping off the bill, which we should have known was a bad sign. Being young and determined we decided that Kasador doesn’t cancel – so we pressed on to find the poorest run festival one could imagine. Through the course of the day, a drunk driver leaving the fair grounds hit an OPP car, the liquor board showed up because they didn’t have a license to serve alcohol and that night part of the stage caught on fire. We were scheduled to play on the second day before I Mother Earth. We were listening to their sound check, when Will got a call from the promoter. He had skipped town because his ‘brother was in the hospital’ and Will would have to tell I Mother Earth that they would not be getting paid and the festival was shut down.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Playing live is what it’s all about. Being able to connect with your fans and play to people that came to be part of your creation is such a unique bond. One of the best feelings in the world is to be singing your song to someone in the crowd who is singing it back to you. Most of time when I write songs it’s just by myself in my room so it can be kind of surreal when you realize that someone you may never have met is affected by it. Playing live creates an energy only attainable by being at the show and it makes me feel very proud to make music.

What makes a great song?
Everyone in the band could give you a different answer for this, but where I think we all agree with is intention. You can tell when a song is written with a purpose and there is depth to both what and why they are saying it.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

In an attempt to be like Paul McCartney I was trying to come up with a very melodic bass line in my basement when I was 13. The song basically just consisted of this bass line, my brother strumming a chord or two on the guitar and me humming along to the melody of the bass. I’m not sure too many people would consider this to be a real song but it sure as hell felt like it at the time. Maybe it’s time to revisit that bass line..

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Our band has grown so much over the past few years, and our new/first record is something that we put a lot of ourselves into. It's set for release on September 13th!

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

I’ve always thought that John Mayer is a fantastic songwriter. I appreciate how he demonstrates his guitar prowess in an accessible way. I think his song Neon is a good example of how a clever and complex part can fit into a pop song without being overbearing. As he’s matured as a musician so have his lyrics. Similar to his guitar playing I think they are a good combination of relatable while maintaining a poetic depth.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Well, the aux cord and Bluetooth don’t work in our band van, so we rely solely on CDs and the radio. So CDs!

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Beer – something we’ve noticed is that local breweries are generally in the coolest neighbourhoods when we tour, so we have started to make an effort to search out new breweries. On this tour we’ve even organized acoustic sets at some breweries to 1) meet new people who hang out a breweries and 2) have some pints before our full band show.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We’re from Kingston, Ontario and any self respecting Kingstonian is familiar with a record store called “Brain’s Record Option”. It’s been a staple to the downtown scene for years and a go to place for a deep selection of records and posters. Brian himself knows the store inside and out, ask for something and he’ll know exactly where it is. Not necessarily because it’s in an organised pile of records but because the store is his baby. A great testament to Kingston’s commitment to the store is how quickly the city rallied to store’s aid when it flooded earlier this year. Public funding allowed it to complete a full renovation and get it back on its feet and looking better than ever.

What's next for the band?

The next big step for us is to release our first full-length album. It’s been something in the works for over two years now. We’ve unfortunately had an array of roadblocks including changing of core members and loved ones passing away. We’ve decided to incorporate the theme of what’s been holding us back into our writing. The album will be called Brood and Bloom and we feel that it illustrates the idea of creating something positive out of a negative experience. We’ve tried to keep the concept of the duality of the two ideas consistent in our artwork, music and lyrics. We’re super excited for its release and to start touring with it.

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