Remember 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!:
Last week Dylan (drums) fell ill and could not attend or play the scheduled Hell Mary show at the meatlocker. He gave Steve from 96 the go-ahead and Steve learned an abridged set, an hour before the show. The show also marked Sara’s (guitar) last show with the band. She left on good terms and will continue to pursue recording. Check out part of the set below. You can still purchase “Forever on the Fence” which is limited to 200 by clicking HERE.
This also happened at that show:
You can now purchase Hell Mary‘s “Forever on the Fence” by clicking HERE.
Sometimes we set up things for friends. This time with 2 touring bands, local favorites and canned food!
Here’s most of the set. Expect a free EP by next year. “Like” em on facebook HERE. Thanks to Brandon Chiesa for filming it!