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Lost in Kostko finds its groove

Music: Valencia teen band Lost in Kostko combines a mix of musical genres and personalities

Posted: October 9, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: October 9, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Jeremy Bauer, Tyler Posey, Freddy Ramirez and Alex Gertsch make up Lost in Kostko, a Valencia band that’s getting national attention.

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Take a little jazz, add a bit of Blink 182, a dash of Green Day and a helping of harmony, and you get Lost in Kostko, a four-member Valencia teen band that’s starting to make a splash in the music industry.

Composed of: guitarist and vocalist Tyler Posey, 19; guitarist and vocalist Freddy Ramirez, 19; bassist Jeremy Bauer, 17; and drummer Alex Gertsch, 18; Lost in Kostko is playing in support of its self-titled EP (available on iTunes).

Recent gigs have included Hollywood landmarks, such as The Key Club and The Roxy, where they sold out the house.

“I saw fans singing our lyrics. It was so cool, and something I always envisioned,” Posey said.

“Yeah, you could hear it while we were playing,” Bauer piped in.

“It was like a choir singing to us,” Ramirez said.

“Funny, my dad used to add a fan track to our videos, and now he doesn’t have to anymore,” Gertsch said.

While Posey, an actor who currently stars on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” might be somewhat used to the adulation, the rest of the band is enjoying its newfound fame.

“We had fans that flew in from Toronto. That’s pretty cool for a young band,” Ramirez said with a big smile.

The making of a band


The quartet originally began four years ago, when Posey and Gertsch, already friends at Hart High School, decided to form a duo.

“I knew he played drums, and one day, we just started playing together,” Posey said.

Ramirez and Bauer came on board in 2009.

“We ran in the same circles. It’s a small town. It was fate,” Posey said.

“It was beautiful,” Ramirez said dramatically, as the rest of the band burst into laughter.

While they take their music seriously, the members of Lost in Kostko are quick to joke with one another and mug for the camera, like their heroes Blink 182, which all cite as a major influence.

Each had his own unique path to becoming a musician. 

Gertsch was 9 years old, a self-described “excited” child who would pound on the kitchen table along with songs playing on the radio.

“My parents told me I should play drums, that I had a good sense of rhythm,” he recalled.

He received his first drum kit and, along with it, lessons.

“Who wants a little kid just banging away on drums? It’s so loud, they wanted me to learn how to do it right, immediately,” Gertsch said.

As he got older, Gertsch became interested in jazz while taking lessons at Vibe Performing Arts Studio in Newhall. He joined the Hart High School jazz band in his senior year while continuing to play with Lost In Kostko, devoting most of his spare time to learning the craft.

“Music is easy to fall in love with,” he explained.

For Posey, it was growing up in a musical family, particularly with a big brother who played guitar, that inspired him to start playing bass at age 12. Six months later, he switched to guitar. Singing came naturally.

“I’ve always been singing, ever since I was a little kid. I just started taking it seriously and taking lessons,” he said.

Posey practices and rehearses between acting gigs. “I’ve been into music longer, but I couldn’t choose between acting or music. It’ll have to choose me,” he said.

Like Posey, family played a big role in shaping Ramirez’s musical future. His grandfather, who hailed from El Salvador, played guitar and sang.

“It was really cool. At first, I played drums, but then I bought an acoustic guitar and fell in love,” Ramirez said. “I took a month of lessons, but after that, I’ve been basically self-taught.”

Listening to Green Day’s bassist Mike Dirnt propelled Jeremy Bauer to pick up the instrument two years ago. 

“I just found something really interesting in bass lines, more than guitar,” he said. “I’ve played every day since.”
The quartet gelled instantly, as Posey recalled. “Once we brought the second guitar in, it just got so big and powerful. It was way better,” he said.

Writing and gigs

Lost in Kostko has a signature sound on tunes such as “Somebody,” “First Date” and “Sorry to Disappoint.”

“Some songs are punk, others are more relaxed, but all are in-your-face rock,” Gertsch said.

“It’s happy punk,” Posey said.

Currently, Posey is the primary songwriter, often coming up with the lines and lyrics before introducing a song’s skeleton for the rest of the band to fill in.

He was also responsible for coming up with the band’s name, recounting a scary experience he had as a 12-year old at a big-box retail store with a friend.

“I had never been before. My friend’s mom said, ‘Go have fun,’ so we ate all the free samples, and my friend put a virus on one of the store’s computers,” Posey said. “We realized that it had been a long time since we’d seen his mom, and we didn’t have a cellphone to call her back then. We were lost in Costco. She finally came running in the store — drenched because it was raining outside — to get us.”

To avoid potential legal action, the band changed two letters in the last word of its name. “If you use the Cs, you’ll get sued,” Ramirez said.

Lost in Kostko is preparing for an upcoming Oct. 21 gig in Petaluma, where they have invited a band called Push to open for them. “They remind us of us when we were younger,” Posey said. “We want to help them get their names out there.”

‘Straight to the moon’


A return gig to The Key Club in Hollywood is scheduled for Nov. 12, and it has the band’s new manager Paul Fox excited. 
Fox, a former studio musician who has played with acts such as the Pointer Sisters and Motley Crue, and has produced artists, such as Björk, Natalie Merchant and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, took on Lost In Kostko after listening to their demo and attending their Roxy concert.

“I’ve been to a lot of shows at the Roxy, and you could feel their energy. I felt the air moving and the ions in the room; it was like a pulse,” Fox said. “They’re really doing it from the heart; they’re not just goofing around. Well, they do goof around, but when it’s time, they get to work.”

If Fox has his way, Lost in Kostko will be opening up for bigger bands, perhaps even its heroes.

“If I could get to Blink 182, and they turn around and take these guys out on the road, that would be amazing,” Fox said. “There’s something really fresh about Lost in Kostko. I think they could go straight to the moon.”

For more information on Lost In Kostko, www.myspace.com/lostinkostko, like them on Facebook or search for Lost In Kostko on YouTube to view videos.

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