Kasra “Kaz” Mirblouk, a third-year majoring in computer science and engineering, spent his summer touring across California with his self-named band, Kaz Mirblouk.
KM is a three-piece garage rock-inspired band from Los Angeles consisting of a bassist, drummer and Mirblouk himself providing the vocals and acoustic guitar. The band expects to release their debut extended play (EP) Through the Glass in November.
Mirblouk’s interest in music began in fifth grade when he started listening to artists such as Jack White, who motivated Mirblouk to learn guitar.
Inspired by the wave of garage rock bands, KM started out in blues rock. However, over the past two years, Mirblouk states that the band has begun adopting influences from shoegaze and psychedelic rock into its sound.
Despite many musical influences, Mirblouk attempts to maintain eclecticism in his band’s sound and finds it difficult to label KM as one particular genre.
“I’d say we don’t just have one sound, but I’d like to convey all the influences I have in a way that [is] not completely a copy of everyone else. Because I feel if you restrict yourself to one genre, at one point, you’re going to run out of material that’s unique,” Mirblouk said.
Joey Kaufman, drummer for KM, said that the band’s diverse sound is very indicative of Mirblouk as a musician.
“[Kaz] is a great guitarist with a very niche style,” Kaufman said. “Listeners have categorized the genre as garage rock, surf rock, grunge, punk and psychedelic, but no matter what, Kaz sounds like Kaz.”
After playing at his first show in Davis in January 2014, Mirblouk set his sights on playing in Sacramento and the Bay Area, which eventually led to his summer tour across California.
Accustomed to playing mostly house shows and do-it-yourself venues, Mirblouk highlights one of his favorite moments on tour was being able to play at The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, where his band was added to the actual lineup.
“[Touring] was fun. Once it ended, you didn’t want to go back,” Mirblouk said. “We were … only on the road technically for only a few days, but it feels like when you go on vacation to some new place, and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is awesome.’ But I’m sure if I did it for longer I would’ve just been tired and wanted to go home.”
After making his decision to attend UC Davis, Mirblouk said that he struggles with balancing his time between school and music. Due to a heavy course load, Mirblouk says it’s difficult to find time to be creative and write new music without the burden of deadlines.
“If it’s possible to work part-time and do [music] or work full-time and do music, that’d be ideal,” Mirblouk said. “Sometimes, just because of school, [I wont] play for a few days and slack off [on practicing music] for an entire week.”
While still attempting to maintain a balance between music and school, Mirblouk said that the best advice he has ever received was from The Cosmonauts, the first big band that KM opened for in Davis. He passes this advice onto anyone else interested in pursuing music.
“They were pretty much like, ‘Despite [the fact that] you’re in school and you’re not going to be able to do much, it’s good that you’re at least trying. You should at least try to play out more,’” Mirblouk said.
Upcoming plans for KM include a house show on Halloween at The Morgue, located across from the Davis Cemetery. The band is also expecting to debut its first studio release, which was recorded during their tour at Thee Men’s Warehouse in Anaheim, Calif.
Max Besterman, Mirblouk’s good friend who joined him on the road during his summer tour, spoke highly of Mirblouk as both a musician and a friend.
“One thing I have always admired [about Kaz] is [his] unwavering dedication to his music,” Besterman said. “He holds himself to a high standard and has both the drive and the talent to match his goals. He’s as loyal to his craft as he is to his friends, and that’s saying something.”
KM’s debut EP Through the Glass is expected to be released in November. Fans of KM can also catch them at The Morgue on Oct. 31.
Photo [Courtesy — Connor Frey]