Interview: Colton Kayser


“Life is too long to be with someone wrong” sings New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Colton Kayser in “Bad Guy”, a track from his newly-released album, Place To Settle. I wrote that song as a reaction to getting shot down for a date, it changed from ‘I’m not a bad guy’ to ‘I’m not THE bad guy’,” he says with a laugh.

Kayser, who is currently making a name for himself in the re-emerging Asbury Park music scene, got his first guitar at the ripe old age of 11, started singing at 12, and then began performing in public. Songwriting came shortly after, and he naturally gravitated towards folk and alt-country. “I feel like that kind of music tells a story, it has something to say. A lot of pop music doesn’t say much of anything,” he laughs, “And the idea of telling a whole story in the span of four minutes was appealing to me. A good chorus tells you all you need to know.”

After finishing college and graduate school, Kayser worked for a year to save money to make the new album. Tracked live, with five musicians connecting and playing in the same room together, spontaneous energy can be heard in every track. The subject matter explores the age-old topics of love and loss, with some inspiration from his family’s experience living through and dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. “I live six blocks away from the Atlantic Ocean. On one side of my house is a river; the house I grew up in ended up with about two feet of water in it. It took three years for my dad to be able to get back into the house,” he recalls. “Hurricane Sandy had a big impact on my family.  We ran out of power for 12 or 13 days. I wrote ‘As Kids’, the last song on the album, during that time.”

Asbury Park is the right place for Kayser, who says that it’s a melting pot of sounds, housing everything from punk to alt-country.  “It has really exploded in the last five years, it’s come back in a big way. The infrastructure is there, there are several clubs we can play, there’s a professional recording studio,” he explains. “You’re definitely going to see more bands coming from Asbury Park.”

Now that Place To Settle has been released, keep a lookout for Kayser, who is readying for a tour of the East Coast and the South. Until then, take a gander at Place To Settle:

Purchase Place To Settle

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