You can sum up Ian Kelosky’s music with one word: ambitious. From his time as singer/songwriter for seminal band Lo Dost, to producing albums for artists like Justin Lavash, Guy Bennett, Dan Reed, and Čechomor, you can’t venture into the Prague music scene without running head first into Kelosky’s work.
I met with Kelosky in his private studio deep, deep down in the basement of a inconspicuous building in Nové Město. There is a bar, couches, microphones, amps, and two giant paintings of chubby naked ladies. The brain center of the whole operation is Kelosky’s work station. Two screens are lit up with editing programs and the heartbeat like display of tracks he’s currently working on. Beneath them is an incredibly complicated mixing board with so many knobs and channel fades, it looks like he’s sitting in front of the controls of a Boeing 747. “It’s a lot of hard work to survive in music,” he says. “There was a time you had to rent expensive studio space, but now you have unlimited access to tools.”
Kelosky grew up in Virginia by way of Pittsburgh, and found early success with a group he formed in high school (he says he’d prefer to leave the name unsaid.) “I was just fifteen years old, but I thought it was totally normal to sell out huge auditoriums,” he laughs. “I had no idea.” Eventually, the band’s success caught the attention of a Czech promoter who offered to bring the band to the Czech Republic to tour and work on new material. An eventual contract dispute (where the promoter brought a handgun to the “negotiations”) led to a return to the States. It was there in 2003 Kelosky put together Lo Dost, an extremely popular band both stateside and in Europe. That band led to future projects, The Dog Fight, American Buffalo, and Tram 69, all of which have gigged furiously around Prague, and destinations further afield like Dubai and Bahrain.
“Listen to this,” he says, turning to his computer and playing an upbeat pop number with a looping backbeat. “With my current solo stuff I’m really trying to use my skills as a producer in my live shows. That’s one of the main reasons I like pop music. There’s so much you can do production wise.” Kelosky says it was Radiohead’s 1997 masterpiece OK Computer that first opened his mind to what he wanted to do as a artist. “At this point in my career, I could probably be satisfied and survive, but that’s not my end game.”
You can catch Ian Kelosky playing a solo show this Friday (29/3/2019) at:
La Loca Music Bar
Odborů 278/4, Prague 2
For more information, music, and current projects: