Whatever will be…
K Sera is not a typical rock band by any means. It is a gathering of many talented local musicians headed by Mike Caswell. Its debut EP, The Machinist, features a roster of around a dozen individuals from bands such as Self Against City, Heroes Last Mission and Broken Iris. There really is something special about listening to these recordings; it’s as if one can sense the amount of time, energy, commitment and passion that went into each measure of every song. On March 8 at The Underground in Roseville K Sera will be on hand live, in the flesh, for its debut live performance and to celebrate the EP’s release. Mike Caswell was nice enough to take time from his busy schedule to answer some of Submerge‘s questions via the wonderful weave that is the World Wide Web.
I understand that you started this project all by your lonesome. How was it that you recruited so many talented musicians to collaborate on the recordings for The Machinist, K Sera’s debut EP?
I really wanted the EP to have a collective feel to it, so we made a list of all the instruments and musicians we wanted and got to work. When it came down to it, all we had to do was ask. Everyone was really easy to talk to and fun to work with. It was a cool experience having so many amazing musicians help me out.
When listening to these tracks the first thing I think is, “Damn, these sound good. Must have been expensive!” How was it that you were able to finance recording such a collaborative type of EP? And how were you able to schedule getting everyone in the studio to lay down their tracks? How long did it take to complete these recordings?
Scheduling was a bit tough, but with the help of my manager, we were able to get everyone there. The whole process took about two months of basically just living in the studio, plus another month of preproduction before that. Sounds like a lot of time, but it went by incredibly fast. The whole process was a learning experience from start to finish.
What was it like to work with producer/engineer Jay Trammel? I personally have worked with him in the past and know he can be quite demanding and can push you musically to perform your best. Did you find this to be the case when you worked with him?
Jay definitely pushes you and expects the best, that’s why I was so set on him producing the EP. We wanted to make the songs the best they can be and Jay is never afraid to tell you, “You can do it better.” He gave Sean and I total freedom to try any ideas that we had, even if it meant going to Toys R Us to buy a Playschool piano. Jay has a way of making you work, without it feeling like work. Yes, it was a demanding schedule, but it was exactly what I needed.
So for this show on March 8 at The Underground, what will the live lineup be and what can people expect?
Most of the guys who recorded on the EP are playing with me [at the show], except for Lee [Hurtado, bass, of Heros Last Mission] and Justin [Barnes, drums, of Self Against City] who will be playing in their own bands. We are going to be playing all the songs on the EP, have some guest performances, visual art to go along with the music, and the entire night is going to be filmed, so it should be a good time. It’s one of those shows that the bands who are playing it are just as excited as the kids going to see it. Personally, I have ties to all the bands so it will be a night hanging out with friends and doing what we all love to do.
What are your plans for K Sera in the future? Any motivation to tour, shop the EP to record labels, etc?
I’ve already started work on ideas for the next record, but the main focus is touring. We want to get on the road as soon as we can.
Anything else you want to share with the readers of Submerge?
Sean Stack is the only other official member. I found him after a couple of open auditions. He’s amazing.
We rarely had a night alone in the studio. My closest friends were always stopping by to hang out, bring us food, and make sure we were all healthy and well rested. Also, other bands would stop by and offer advice and feedback on the parts we were working on, which was awesome.