Category Archives: Velvet Suit Interviews

STOP ‘N CHAT w/ SARA KOSA- RECORDING ENGINEER

265139_133803580032866_1367393_nRemember our velvet suit interview w/ Sara Kosa after she built her Les Paul?  Well, since then, her old band (Young American Artists) imploded, she started and left (on good terms) a new band (Hell Mary), and she continues to exercise her love for audio, sound and music by working behind the board as a recording engineer where she does everything from tracking, to mixing, to mastering.  Recently, she gave us a brief (and modest) look into what got her to where she is now. 

How long have you been recording and what got you into it?
I started recording about 5 years ago.  The funny thing is I don’t actually remember how or why I got into it. I started out at William Paterson as a Music Business major and within a month realized that was a horrible idea. Somehow I ended up talking to Dave Kerzner, head of the audio program, and switched my major to Sound Engineering Arts.

 What’s the experience of recording your own band?
I try to treat it the same as recording any other band. I’ve heard other engineers say they don’t like recording their own band and that it’s frustrating, but I don’t mind it. I can separate myself from it…I try to treat it like my band members are the client. There can be downsides to it, but ultimately I don’t mind recording my own band.

 What is your favorite type of band to record and why?
I like recording punk/indie bands, probably because it’s what I mostly listen to. But, I usually end up enjoying anything I record.

What’s your favorite step of the recording process?
Probably mixing…it’s when I get to really work with what’s been recorded and [try to] make it sound good.

How do you find bands to record?
It seems to happen through word-of-mouth and meeting people at shows.

 What recording is your favorite sounding and why?  Least favorite?
One of my favorites is Presidents of the United States of America’s “Love Everybody” …which might sound like a weird choice haha, I’ve heard it described as ‘plain’, but..I don’t know I just really like how that album sounds. I love the tonality of everything, especially the drums…and I think it sounds so loud without sounding over-compressed. I don’t think I have a least favorite, at least not that I can think of right now.

I gotta ask this one.  Women on the recording end of the “industry”seem to be a rarity?  Has that effected your experience in any way?
It does seem to be a rarity, even in college there were (and still are) very few girls in the program. Sometimes I think it could make it harder. Similarly to like how I get treated as a girl that plays guitar…in punk/hardcore bands. People seem to not expect it.

Why should people record with you?
I care about making a good product and people happy more than I care about making money.

What do you do when you’re not recording music?
I play music, and during weekdays I work freelance editing audio books.

There you have it, told ya it was brief!  Sara tracked, played guitar on, mixed and mastered the EP below and you can find out more info on her by clicking ‘recording engineer’ above.  Talk about a workhorse!:

Velvet Suit Interviews- Sara Kosa on Building her Les Paul

Sara Kosa works behind the scenes as an engineer editing audio books and recording bands.   However, you may have caught Sara and her beautiful DIY axe on the scene at a recent Young American Artists‘ show. She finished the project late last year and the results are awe-inspiring! I’m reluctant to even call this guitar a Les Paul copy because of the unique qualities it has on it’s own. She had a lot of interesting things to say about the guitar and process in a recent interview with Bedside Manner.  Full interview and photos below…Oh, and I assure you, a velvet suit was worn during the questioning…

Bedside Manner: Can you give us the specs of your guitar…pickups, electronics, finish, etc…

Sara Kosa: The guitar is a Les Paul style. The body/neck are solid mahogany. The bridge pickup is a Gibson Burstbucker, and the neck pickup is the stock pickup that came with the electronics kit (and it’s actually not bad by the way). Electronics came with the neck/body kit I ordered, but I upgraded the parts from www.stewmac.com (which is a really awesome website that has literally every possible tool/part you could ever want to build an instrument from pickups to sheets of pearl). Apparently Les Pauls are wired so that the neck pickup volume/tone knobs are on top, with the bridge knobs on the bottom…but that felt really weird to me so I wired it the opposite way. I got Grover Locking Tuners and new volume/tone knobs from stew-mac also. For the finish we used Varathane wood conditioner pre-stain and Varathane Premium Wood Stain ‘Golden Mahogany’, and many coats of lacquer (which was sprayed on in my backyard hanging from a basketball hoop haha – not the best way to do it but my only option.) The finish was .. finished with wet sanding to make it very shinyyy. The input jack is a Neutrik connector (the kind that locks the connector in place so it doesn’t get pulled out).

Click readmore for the rest of the interview and pretty pictures!

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Velvet Suit Interviews- Lectric Pulp

You wanted it.  You asked for it.  You got it! Here’s the DL on the Lectric Pulp/Stanhope House breakup from the perspective of Joe Dimeck of Lectric Pulp.  Even though this is a written interview, I assure you at least 1 velvet suit was worn during interrogation.

Some say you helped re-build a sense of a North Jersey/Sussex Scene. What’s your take on that? What is the difference between the scene now than six months ago, as you see it?

Well, I certainly appreciate the folks who feel that way. It’s one of those heart warming/soul caressing kind of feelings if people actually think that. However, I’m just one person. Yea I may have booked a bunch of shows, but if people didn’t come out and support those shows there wouldn’t be any community at all. When it comes to building a music scene it really takes a collective effort. I just handled a lot of organizational things, but I think a lot of credit is spread out across the bands and the fans.

As for where the scene is 6 months ago. I don’t know, it seems like there’s more going on, which is cool. Whether I played a role in that I don’t know. It’s not like The Stanhope House was the only place hosting shows. Honestly, I’m kind of looking forward to being able to explore all the other places that I couldn’t go to because I was working a show. I keep hearing Pearly Baker’s Ale House in Easton is really cool. I mean, I like beer and music, and I hear they got a lot of both. Nevertheless, in the meantime, I got to get a job haha. It’s not like I was making much at The Stanhope House, but I was making something. Back to living on credit I guess :/

Click readmore to find out why Lectric Pulp will cease booking at the venue and what shows were Joe’s favorite…

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Velvet Suit Interviews- Small Steps Productions

We recently caught up with Erin Hopping of Small Steps Productions electronic interview style.  Don’t worry, we were wearing velvet suits when we wrote the questions and we busted them out again to read the responses.  Though we did this online, as this is the modern age, we will attempt to  present it in  such a way that suggests a real-life face  to face conversation actually took place.  See how that pans out by clicking readmore!  Click HERE to see what we said about Small Steps Productions earlier this month.

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Velvet Suit Interviews- The Benedict Arnold Trade School

On Saturday,  a very special show takes place at the Stanhope HouseThe Benedict Arnold Trade School debuts their ambitious full length album, “The Bakers, Does-Ology,” a 13 song folk infused, high-energy rock and roll masterpiece. They will be playing the 48 minute epic in its entirety joined by apocalypse rockers Dead Unicorn and folk quintet, Rusty Wheel.  We could go into how awesome album the is, but it speaks for itself.  Be there, dance hard, pick up the record,  and “For Best Results: Play straight through at high volume.”  In the meantime, get this!  We here at Bedside Manner were lucky enough to have somewhat of a stop-and-chat with Pat (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar) and Jake (Drums).  Let’s see what they had to say…We apologize for all of the poor editing and bad quality, but the message and enthusiasm are really what’s important here.   Click readmore for part 2!

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