Mike Schrand, formerly of St. Louis alt-country band Belle Starr and currently of roots band Salt of the Earth, just released a five song EP that took just as many years to meticulously layer with producer Ken Kase. The project is coined The Birthday People and the disc is aptly titled The Birthday People EP.
Multi-instrumentalist Ken Kase, who’s worked with The Sun Sawed in 1/2 on vocal arrangements and guitar, describes sounds as textures and goes into some recording techniques and the like for our interview. You’ll also learn that Mike and Ken met at The Elvis Room at Blueberry Hill when Ken Kase Group shared a bill with Belle Starr. It wouldn’t be until years later that Mike and Ken would run into each other again at a coffee shop. The rest of the story is outlined in the above interview along with previews from all five songs, including the fiery “F-Bomb” and the nostalgic “Sappington Way,” where Mike recalls simpler times growing up in Glendale, Missouri.
The Birthday People EP also features Jake Brookman on cello and Nick Barbieri on drums and can be purchased at Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon. Physical copies can also be found at Euclid Records in Webster Groves and Corvid’s Cafe in South City.
Mike with current band Salt of the Earth
Belle Starr (circa 1999) Courtesy of Ken MacSwan