Kingston-based alt-rock band Kasador is Will Hunter, Cam Wyatt, Boris Baker and Stephen Adubofuor. They spent their first three years cutting their teeth on the road with debut 2016 EP KASADOR toured extensively through Canada and the USA. The band released follow-up two-track single ‘Come Get Yer Money’ in 2017, and now bring us ‘High Rise’. We caught up with the band to find out more.
Everyone has their own struggles, and a little kindness and understanding can go a long way.
First up, tell us about yourselves - who are Kasador, and what were you doing before making music together?
We’re a 4-piece rock band from Kingston Ontario, made up of Will Hunter, Cam Wyatt, Boris Baker, and Stephen Adu. We’ve been together since 2015 when we all met at school. Before that, I think we were all individually preparing to join rock bands.
The name Kasador comes from the spanish word ‘Cazador’ - meaning ‘Hunter’. It represents our move from the name ‘Will Hunter Band’ to reflect a more collaborative group, while trying to pay homage to the band’s roots.
Who did you take inspiration from?
Recently we’ve drawn inspiration from people and events in our personal lives. Just writing about what we know and experience has come very naturally to us, and has been rewarding. It’s very cathartic. As far as musical influences go, we’re all over the map as individuals - I personally have found myself inspired by Matt Healy as of late. They’re a band that has taken over with just three albums - he’s not afraid to speak his mind and I love how he can mask really depressing or dark lyrics behind a poppy melody and instrumentation.
What do you stand for?
When four people come together, it can be tough to settle on things that 1) you all stand for, and 2) something that you can advocate for or support through your music. In the past we’ve toured in support of mental health organizations, and we haven’t necessarily been shy in voicing our displeasure with the current political climate in which people seem to lack basic human empathy.
Everyone has their own struggles, and a little kindness and understanding can go a long way. In writing our upcoming album Brood & Bloom, we really looked inward to our own struggles as individuals and as a band, and the resultant perseverance and personal growth that accompanied those hardships - hardships such as struggles with mental health, the deaths of our loved ones, lost friendships/relationships, addiction, and politics.
It sounds like a downer listing all of that, but there is a constant theme across all of the songs that good can come from the bad if you just keep pushing.
How would you describe your musical style?
At heart we’re a rock band, but we recognize that the definition of “rock” is always changing. We try not to get trapped or bogged down in nostalgia, and we’re trying to create something unique. We’re 4 people with different influences and ideas as to what makes a good song, and we’re constantly pushing each other out of our comfort zones. For this reason I’m hesitant to give a more concrete answer, cause I’ll answer the question differently in 6 months.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you love to work with?
I think it would be cool to work with Josh Homme from QOTSA. I’ve been a fan of most if not all of the stuff he has recorded or produced. Mark Ronson would also be cool - he must have some wild stories.
Your latest single is ‘High Rise’. When did you write it and where did you record it?
‘High Rise’ was written through the summer of 2018 and mostly at my Toronto apartment. We had decided to take a short hiatus as a touring band and work on album as well as ourselves. After playing club shows nearly every weekend for the years prior, I began to get a little stir crazy and developed anxiety that would manifest as insomnia. So I’d wakeup in the middle of the night and go and try and write songs.
‘High Rise’ was the product of one of those sessions; just filled with self doubt and questioning myself. After presenting it to the band, we tweaked it to sound more like Kasador and went into Bathouse Studios with producer Graham Walsh and recorded it in October of that year. It’s a pretty vulnerable song and I am glad that people have been connecting with it.
How does ‘High Rise’ represent you?
In my opinion High Rise represents an evolution in how our band writes and records. A trust in each other to push a musical idea to the finish line and a newfound willingness to get weird with sounds in the studio. I had these lyrics that were pretty personal, but after bringing the song to the band we changed the vibe of the song in a big way while keeping the lyrics more or less the same.
Once in studio we spent ages trying to get the right sounds - we wanted the song to be unique musically while also letting the lyrics do the talking… this required a whole lot of restraint that we may not have had in the past. Having Graham on that session was really important to what we captured. He had this great idea to put radio static in the background of the track, so we used a synth to patch into the radio airwaves and pressed record.
The song starts with a bit of The Joker by Steve Miller Band, and by the end of it we were listening to drive time announcers talking about how high-rise condos are taking over Kingston. After a bit of tweaking we had a perfect sample that runs through the background of the song giving it this new texture and higher energy. The song was a learning experience from start to finish.
What are your hopes for ‘High Rise’?
We hope that people like the song and that on our Western Canada tour we’ll have some people singing it back to us! Just to reach lots of ears and to help someone else feeling the anxiety or same self doubt feel less alone.
What are your other plans for 2019, can we catch you on tour?
The band is going out west for the first time through the end of July and then we will touring Ontario in September (still to be announced so don’t tell anyone haha). We are doing a really cool show at Kingston Penitentiary on September 14th with Tom Cochrane, The Headstones, The Trews and The Pursuit of Happiness, really can’t wait for that one! We have a big Toronto show that will be announced very soon, so keep checking in with us!
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourselves one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
The idea of collaboration scared me for a long time, and now it is how our band operates and it’s never been such a strong result. Just surround yourself with people who you trust, let them do their job and have fun!
Watch the video for ‘High Rise’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to kasadorband.com.