I sip my café au lait while waiting for musicians Malcolm Guess and Ben Jones to arrive. Together, they are Kaura (pronounced kay-aura) – a hard rock band with a metaphysical edge. Don’t worry, these guys don’t preach on stage or give heartfelt sermons on how to love your fellow brother or sister. What they do is create music that leaves you feeling good.
Kaura hopes to restructure the balance and uplift its fans instead of encouraging them to reach for a razor blade. In order to do that, Guess and Jones had to re-charge their own batteries. They decided to escape L.A. for a few months and travel to Thailand, India, Bali, Laos and Cambodia.
Besides immersing the musicians in different cultures, the trip will hopefully churn out new ideas and renewed vigor. This is what separates them from other musicians: Not many bands would go all this way to find inspiration for something fresh and innovative.
"The agenda is we can be there and write, get inspired to come back and write an album. We’re actually doing the production for the album," Guess remarks. "Doing all of our preparations beforehand, making sure all our gear is working, getting camcorders. We’re going to do recordings and demos over there."
Kaura has been together for a couple years. Guess refers to their partnership as a work in progress. They make a good team – sharing not only studio space but also living as roommates. Amazingly, they don’t get on each other’s nerves but instead feed off of each other’s talents.
"We have real good communication," says Jones. "We work really
well together. We’re all different but we each have different traits and
skills that I think make this band pretty well rounded."
Kaura blends its musical resources along with its business acumen. Guess works as an engineer and producer for the band while Jones is the publicist. The combination both exhilarates and tires the duo.
"The tough thing is that we work for a lot of other bands," Jones continues. "We put a lot of energy into other artists and it gets frustrating because I’m like, ‘You’re doing all this work for this band and you wish that you can be doing the same for your own.’ I think when we come back from this trip, we’re looking to work less and shift the focus more toward our own thing and really push it. We’re at the point in our lives where this is it. There comes that point where you really need to make that leap of faith."
That leap of faith includes dropping their side gigs, which provide their steady
paychecks, and focus solely on their music. It’s always frightening to
leave the familiar for the unknown but it’s even more daunting not to take
the chance and see what could happen. Guess understands that this move is necessary
in order to soar to the next level.
"It’s scary but you have to embrace that challenge. If I believe in this, I have to put my ass on the line. I got to work if I want to make this happen. If you’re half-assed and say, ‘Oh well, I’ll do this and see which one takes off,’ it’s not going to happen."
Kaura hopes their upcoming CD, which Guess describes as haunting and reminiscent,
will stir emotions in their fans. Jones wants their music to be something to
lean on during hard personal times.
"We want our music to get out there as much as possible. This is our art, we feel like it really has a positive influence with the possibility of changing peoples lives." To read about Kaura’s travels, visit www.kauratravels.blogspot.com. For more information, visit www.kaura.com.