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Karl started musical career by playing flute in the third grade. In a desperate attempt to increase his street-cred, the next decade saw him add bass, keyboards, guitar, and other instruments to his repertoire. He also built synthesizers... bye bye street cred!

von Kries started playing live in the thriving Amherst Massachusetts music scene which spawned the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. Karl played in a host of long gone Valley bands like Frog Nebula, Darwin, the Just Assassins, and more - developing a mutated style that merged indie power pop, grunge, elctro-folk, and metal.

Relocating to Boston, Karl went into the studio under the band name INSTAR to record the stellar debut EP, "Rich Girls." Rife with rich arrangements and powerful, intelligent lyrics, the debut stands head and shoulders above typical DIY releases. A controversial pharmaceutical packaging method had INSTAR fielding some uncomfortable phone calls from local law enforcement. London's NME magazine called the EP "Excellent", and many other positive reviews followed.

The Film Industry took notice as well. Director John Gruber tapped Karl and former bandmate Mike Suby to write and record the score for the independent film "Blunt!", which went on to win "Best Comedy" at the New York Independent Film Festival.

On the heels of that success, Karl recorded the soundtrack for "DRINK", an innovative short film from MTV Animator / Director Pat Smith (Daria, Downtown, Beavis and Butthead). The film explores the bizarre transformations that overcome a teenager who imbibes a mysterious liquid. "Drink" won Best Debut Film, 2001 New York Film Expo., Winner, "Oz" Award, 2003 Chicago Animation Festival, and 2nd Place, 2001 ASIFA-East Animation Festival.

Von Kries next scored Pat Smith's edgy follow-up film "Delivery", which won the AFIFA-East Animation Festival in 2003.

Von Kries next produced a full-length LP entitled "Secret Services", which was released in 2005 and is distributed on iTunes, Emusic, and more. This harder-edged record featured a full-band sound, heavy layered guitars and von Kries' typically dark but intriguing lyrical imagery. Standout tracks include "Son of Sam", "The Future's Going to Forget You", and "Toxic to the Good Times".

In 2006 Instar released a set of songs under Creative Commons license. Featuring B-Sides and music from his past bands, this collection includes eerie holiday music ("Saturnalia"), heavy rock ("St. Sebastian") and many others, all free for listeners to download, share, and sample under a Non-Commercial Sampling Plus license.

Up next? Another collaboration with Pat Smith on the upcoming (and visually amazing) "Masks", and another record - these inspired by Karl's recent relocation to California. Stay Tuned.

Band Members & Instruments:
Karl and the Ad-Hoc players.

Similar Artists:
From - "Korn having tea with Bauhaus and Billy Corgan comes with some pizza topped with 'shrooms." -

Influenced by:
Gustav Holst, Black Sabbath, Magnetic Fields, 3EB, Kate Bush, Radio Birdman, Bowie, Heavy Metal the Movie Soundtrack


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Toxic To The Good TimesToxic To The Good Times (4:47)
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