Kingston musician takes the stage

Veteran vocalist Chris Koster talks about future three-album release

Chris Koster during a live performance.
Chris Koster during a live performance.
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Kingston-native musician Chris Koster isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to the potential betterment of his sound, and releasing three albums next year is his newest gamble.

The indie-rock artist spoke of his upcoming plan for three new projects, and that he knew it was the right call to take a new approach to his sound.

“As I get older I’m trying to get better at columnizing things,” he said. “Which is why I’m releasing three albums in the next year from three different projects. That way I can let each project be its own thing and really be rigid and disciplined about the sound of each one.”

Koster began dabbling in music more than 20 years ago. At the age of 12, he’d already started playing in his first indie band, and later on performed vocals for his older brother’s band. Eventually, he started writing songs and grew to be a more active artist within Kingston by recording his music and performing more shows.

The self-produced Kingston native knew early on that he wanted to pursue music in his own, more personalized way.

“I think [self-producing] has helped me and also hurt me. Early on it was important to me to prove myself,” he said. “But it also creates a very insular head space where sometimes you’re not getting everything out of the music that you could with another set of ears or another outlook.” Local artists in Kingston have a good support system, he added. They help each other flourish musically.

“For the most part everyone is very supportive of one another, which is very important and it helps the scene grow into something interesting when everyone is free to do their own thing,” he said.

So far Koster has released two albums: Secrets Of The Lonely in 2004 and Sex, Love & Morality in 2008. Both albums are unique to one another: the contents of the second album were partly fueled by Koster’s friendship with legendary producer Bob Ezrin, who produced notorious musicians such as Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd and Kiss.

Koster’s newest work is influenced by his disbelief in genres as modes of categorization, which is part of the reason his sound varies from rock, to indie, to pop and even to metal, especially in his latest album.

He disregards boundaries in music.

“I listen to every style of music I can and I take influence from it all. Even if I really dislike something I’m learning what I don’t want to do, so in that way it’s influencing me.”

Koster is prepared to show his supporters that he isn’t scared to take risks with his music to keep things fresh, and to prove this, he’s giving them the prospect of three albums to look forward to.

“Music is your companion. If you treat it with respect you will have it for life and you will never be lonely,” he said. “The more success that comes from it the easier it will be to lose sight of that. If you treat it as a means to an end, that’s all it will ever be.” Chris Koster will perform at The Mansion on June 30.

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