Chris Koster
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Chris Koster


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"The Comers"


Home Base: Kingston, Ontario

The Buzz: A singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who produced his latest album Sex, Love & Morality, and got pointers from producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, KISS)

Why He Rocks: He brings a bit of drama, a bit of pretension, and some much-needed eccentricity to Canadian rock.

Web: - Naked Eye Magazine

"Sex, Love & Morality"


When an artist cites the likes of Prince, Trent Reznor and The Beatles as influences, it's anyone's guess as to what you might end up with. In the case of Chris Koster's followup to his 2005 debut, it's refreshingly none of the above, but instead an electro/rock hybrid that blazes a trail of its own. Recorded at The Tragically Hip's studio in Bath, Ontario, this album is loaded with equal parts dance floor jams ("Constantly") and rock club bangers ("Conceited"). On Sex, Love & Morality, digital wizardry meets rock 'n' roll in its purest sense, held seamlessly together by Koster's croon-to-clamour vocal acrobatics - Jamie Hunter - Inside E

"Chris Koster"

Sex, Love & Morality

3.5 stars

Like a harder-rocking, less-ethereal Jeff Buckley, Chris Koster puts his enormous multi-octave voice at the forefront of this album. The grinding guitars and cheesy 80s cartoon synths playing in the background make Sex, Love & Morality either the heaviest pop album or the poppiest rock album in history, but the music transcends genre fairly well. THe purist in me wants to see some of the more obnoxious drum-machine tracks redone with real drums, but this is otherwise a gorgeous album. Anyone who wishes Rufus Wainwright would write something they could dance to will be right at home. - The Ontarion

"A dark flair for the dramatic"

Koster loves the Kingston music scene despite feeling like an outsider

By Emily Whalen

If you saw Chris Koster's latest album Sex, Love & Morality in a record store you probably wouldn't think he was a Kingston musician. On the cover, Koster is clad in a black with a white tie, various instruments in hand. Behind him stands a band composed of sinister-looking wolves in tuxedos. His album cover seems like a very dramatic statement coming from a musician hailing from such a low-key city.

"I love Kingston," Koster said. "A lot of people move because it's tough to get inspired." But a lack of inspiration isn't a problem for Koster. He lives in Kingston and hasn't been tempted to move to a larger, more stimulating urpab center for motivation to write songs. "I wrote about a hundred songs for this album," Koster said.

But he doesn't take complete credit for his prolific songwriting abilities.

"They just ahvea way of showing themselves," he said. "I don't feel in control. It's a weird mental state, a meditative state. I get deeply engrossed in it." Since he started writing songs at 13 years old, Koster claims to have written some 600-odd songs - an exceptional feat for such a young artist.

But even though Koster has no problem writing songs in Kingston, he doesn't feel like an insider of the town's music scene.

"I feel very detached from the Kingston music scene," he said. "I'm that weird drama kid in class that sticks out." It seems fitting that Koster woud refer to himself as "that weird drama kid" because he places a heavy focus on the theatrical with his latest album. A concept album, each song falls under the themes indicated in its title and the tensions these three issues create.

"This [album] is more theatrical - telling a story with a beginning, middle and an end," Koster said.

Koster's first album, Secrets of the Lonely, was what he calls "a living-room record" - something to be played in the comforts of one's home. But Sex, Love & Morality isn't a a disc that stays home on a Friday night. It echoes his live shows, which are a more theatrical, operatic rock 'n' roll spectacle comparable to the live shows of Prince and bands such as Nine Inch Nails. But Koster doesn't exactly love these comparisons to other musicians.

"It's a necessary evil," he said of these comparisons to.

"It's a way of explaining something that can't be explained. So I see how it's completely necessary." Koster was able to evoke inspiration from a very original source, however, by making use of a well-known character within children's stories, the wolf. He uses the wolf, an icon, for inspiration and as an alter ego to write songs through.

"The wolf represents a duality - the dark side in everybody," he said. "I adopted that persona - saying and doing things I couldn't get away with."

Koster also received some help from the legendary Canadian music producer Bob Ezrin, best known for his work producing Pink Floyd's The Wall. Koster sent Ezrin more than 180 songs; in return, Ezrin sent back notes for each.

"I have no idea who I am. I don't know what kind of artist I am," Koster said.

"He was the first person I let in. Bob was the first person I was able to listen to. This album is the result of him turning the mirror on me." Ezrin also had Koster do some assignments to figure out what kind of artist he was. One of the tasks was for Koster to find the 10 best songs ever written - a daunting task for an artists, who tends to "over-think," as he puts it.

But he ended up coming up with his 10 best. Among them was The Rolling Stones' "Angie," an acoustic guitar-driven ballad that details the end of a romance. Koster ended up recording a cover of the songs and Ezrin was eager to send a copy to Mick.

"I asked, 'I assume we're talking about Mick Jagger?' and I said 'Absolutely not,'" Koster recalled.

Koster may not be ready for Mick Jagger to hear his music but he's ready to show Queen's students what he's about. Koster hopes to break into the Queen's bubble even though he jokingly refers to himself as "the token townie." "I've always regretted not being part of the Queen's community. We don't do the Queen's gigs," he said "Queen's is almost a city within a city. There doesn't need to be this divide." - The Journal


Sex, Love & Morality (2008)
Secrets of the Lonely (2005)



Chris Koster Sex, Love & Morality

Chris Koster is a rare talent – in an era of formulaic, uni-dimensional, cookie-cutter sameness, he stands out as an artist the likes of which is rarely witnessed or experienced. A multiple-threat on keyboard, guitar and vocals, Koster continues in the tradition of Prince and Trent Reznor – self-contained, self-produced visionaries who know exactly where they are going and how to get there. Sex, Love & Morality, the long awaited follow up to 2005’s debut album Secrets of the Lonely, showcases his progression as a truly gifted artist.

A prolific songwriter, Koster wrote over a hundred and twenty songs to prepare for his first album, while for the follow up his songwriting style developed to be more selective. One reason for this progression was his relationship with legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Jane’s Addiction). “He helped me hone my craft,” says Koster, “he really pushed me to do something different and challenged me.”

The result is an album that is truly unique and stimulating with stand out tracks like “Heavy Hearted”, “Montreal,” “I’m Just Trying To Break Your Heart” and “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”. The title track is very much a concise theme on Sex, Love & Morality; in one way shape or form those three things are involved in all of the tracks and sometimes the fight between the three.

Although both albums were recorded and self-produced at the Tragically Hip's studio in Bath, Ontario, Koster definitely had a more focused direction for Sex, Love & Morality. Secrets of the Lonely was recorded as a solo singer/songwriter, while with Sex, Love & Morality, he set out to make an explosive energetic album that will lend to his electrifying stage persona and full band performance.

Koster often plays every instrument on his albums; however, he invited his band The Lonely to contribute to a few songs. ''The title track is live off the floor with everybody in one room," explains Koster. "I wanted to capture that live performance energy and the only way to do that is with four or five musicians in the room, all breathing the same air."

Being a hypnotic and mesmerizing live performer, Koster is eager to tour this record and is sure to make an impact with audiences one way or the other. “When people see our live shows they either watch the show or leave the venue, it’s as simple as that,” explains Koster. “It forces you to make a decision and that’s definitely all I’ve ever set out to do.”

Sex, Love & Morality with its first single “Heavy Hearted” will be released on The Orange Record Label in February 2008. The artist and the record defy categorization. The music is granular, complex and mutli-layered but also remarkably accessible and memorable.

With the natural looks of a rock star, he appears dark, aloof and impenetrable; Koster is respected by the most gifted of musicians but also embraced by the average lover of pop music. Sex, Love & Morality is sure to make an impact with music fans and rank Koster among the most talented artists to come out of Canada.