Sunday, 22 May 2016

Kerosene Stars Q&A

Your name:
Scott Schaafsma.

Where are you from?
Chicago, USA.

Name of band:
Kerosene Stars.

Who else is in your band? 
Jim Adair (drums), Brett Bakshis (acoustic guitar), Yoo Soo Kim (keyboard/viola), Andy Seagram (guitar/backing vocals), Tom Sorich (percussion) and myself (Scott) on lead vocals and bass. 

How would you describe yourselves and your music?
The best description I've heard so far comes from the music section of the Chicago Reader (our arts and entertainment paper) and reads: Smart unpretentious Beatles-loving group with a sure hand for hooks… It’s perfect pop -Noah Berlatsky, Chicago Reader.

Who are your main influences musically?
Largely British groups I listened to in the 90's such as Stone Roses, Blur, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Elvis Costello, The Kinks. I'm also  big fan of the Decemberists, REM, Big Star, The Posies, Spoon - anything that oozes catchy musical phrasing is what I'm in to, so the Beatles clearly fit the bill as well. I think all these groups sort of melt together in my mind and as I write these songs little hints from each come out. 

What do you hope to achieve in music?
Recognition. That's the major goal. Money seems to be a lost cause these days in this business so my main concern after doing this for over 20 years is to get people to notice us and listen to the music and gain an audience who truly has an appreciation for the delicate art of intelligent pop hooks.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
This year we decided to release three EPs instead of one record and it's been a busy time as I'm doing all of my promotions for radio and press as well as booking, and it's exhausting- but we're getting noticed - especially in the UK, but all over the US as well and elsewhere in the world as various radio stations are playing us sometimes multiple times per day. It's nice to get actual feedback from reviews and radio presenters that they honestly like what we're doing and prove it by playing us and sharing us with their fans via social media. 

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
 Empty rooms. You know, those 1am gigs where even the bartender is missing in action while you're playing... that haunting echo of nothing as you perform to no one. "Haunting echo of nothing" Actually, I kinda like that quote and I think I'll use it for something. hmmm... 

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
This is tough because I pride myself on being genre-less. Our 2014 record alone starts out in a near Velvet Underground style, weaves in and out of traditional country and closes out with songs that could almost be on a Nick Cave and Queens of the Stone Age record. 
These new EPs try to center around what is most likely considered power pop, but there are areas where we stray from that as well. For example, our January release "Burn the Evidence" has just four songs on it, three are solid pop tunes that rides the lines of jangle pop (Don't Believe in Miracles), to the more danceable title track, to quintessential power pop anthem (Talk Talk). But track two is a Tom Waits cover done with a Latin feel. Sorry, what was the question again?

Where can we listen to you?

Where can we find out more about your music?

Anything else you’d like to say about your music that I forgot to ask?
We're making a music video for our single "Talk Talk" from our Burn the Evidence EP. It's going to be a live action part animated hybrid short film and we're really excited about it. here's that link: 

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