Jeff Kozelski is a Charleston-based songwriter, musician and producer best known for his work in recent years with the bands King Hippo and The Outervention. But, the multifaceted guitarist’s latest band, named after himself, has been chugging along with new music, like the recently released LP, Collector.
“I think it’s funny to go back and listen to my old bands. Some of it sounds great, and some of it makes me wonder, ‘How the hell did someone not stop this from being made?’ My approach in the King Hippo days was to write complicated dance songs that we would rarely play correctly,” he said. “With The Outervention, I wanted to write more heartfelt songs that weren’t that ‘jammy.’ ”
Kozelski is more enthusiastic about his latest project that took shape in the wake of various band breakups. This mostly fluid outfit always includes a handful of like-minded friends and affords Kozelski the opportunity to continue his own evolution as a songwriter.
“When I started Kozelski, I just picked the people I really enjoyed being around after playing with tons of different little side projects.”
It’s no secret that local mainstays Wes Powers, Alan Brisendine and Jon Moore are among Kozelski’s go-to gang. These folks are featured prominently on Kozelski’s Collector, which was mostly recorded close to home at Fairweather studios. This particular batch of songs also benefits greatly from Kozelski’s many seasons spent honing his craft.
“My technique for songwriting is in a constant state of change,” he explained. “I have all the old guitar influences tugging at my fingers, and those things are mixed in with all that I’ve learned about song composition, guitar theory, new bands and the world.”
Several of the songs on Collector are based on moments Kozelski has witnessed during travels. “ ‘Cold Dice’ is about a homeless woman that pulled out all her hair in Haight-Ashbury,” he said. “Then the song, ‘Clever Devil,’ deals with addiction and relapse. Most of my songs have moments that I connect with, but then again it’s hard to remember what I was thinking at the time of conception.”
These are strange days for the record business, but there will be performances to promote this product nevertheless, Kozelski said. For instance, there is already a live-feed show planned for March 23 that will be streaming from the Kozelski Facebook page and other digital platforms.
“I would say as somebody that has been in the music business for over 20 years, I’ve seen its face. It’s going to be good and bad to you no matter who you are,” he said.