At some point, Mark Kozelek relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he met Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. They then relocated to San Francisco, California, where the pair met guitarist Gorden Mack and bassist Jerry Vessel. In 1988, Red House Painters was formed. Initially, the group was active in the San Francisco scene and put out several demos. Guitarist Phil Carney later replaced Mack.
Their first studio album, ‘Down Colorful Hill’, was released in September 1992. In the next two and a half years, they put out three studio albums: ‘Red House Painters aka Rollercoaster’ (1993), ‘Red House Painters aka Bridge’ (1993), and ‘Ocean Beach’ (1995). These albums contained Kozelek's intense, highly autobiographical songs and received positive responses from the media.
Red House Painters released their first and only extended play, ‘Shock Me EP’, in February 1994. They have also put out two more studio albums, ‘Song for a Blue Guitar’ (1996) and ‘Old Ramon’ (2001).
During this period, Kozelek started exploring his curiosity involving the 1970s classic rock music. In 2001, he released his first solo album, ‘What’s Next to the Moon’. In the same year, Red House Painters dissolved. However, Kozelek, Koutsos, Vessel, and Carney continued to work together and create music.
As a solo artist, Kozelek has put out ten more albums, including ‘Like Rats’ (2013), ‘Perils from the Sea’ (2013), ‘Mark Kozelek & Desertshore’ (2013), ‘Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols’ (2014), ‘Dreams of Childhood’ (2015), ‘Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites’ (2016), ‘Yellow Kitchen’ (2017), ‘Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White’ (2017), and ‘Mark Kozelek’ (2018).
He has also released the EPs ‘Rock 'n' Roll Singer’ (2000), ‘Down in the Willow Garden’ (2015), and ‘Night Talks’ (2017).
Kozelek’s second band, Sun Kil Moon, was a continuation of the first one. He formed it with his old bandmates Koutsos and Vessel, alongside Geoff Stanfield and Tim Mooney. They released their first album, ‘Ghosts of the Great Highway’, in 2003.
Since 2005, Sun Kil Moon has released nine more albums to date: ‘Tiny Cities’ (2005), ‘April’ (2008), ‘Admiral Fell Promises’ (2010), ‘Among the Leaves’ (2012), ‘Benji’ (2014), ‘Universal Themes’ (2015), ‘Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood’ (2017), ‘This Is My Dinner’ (2018) and ‘I Also Want to Die in New Orleans’ (2019).
They have also put out two collaborations with Jesu: ‘Jesu/Sun Kil Moon’ (2016) and ‘30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth’ (2017).
With no other permanent member left in the group, Sun Kil Moon now serves as a primary recording moniker for Kozelek. A lifelong fan of boxing, Kozelek not only named the group after a deceased Korean boxer, but he has also written several songs on the sport as well, including ‘Duk Koo Kim’ (on another deceased Korean boxer).
Mark Kozelek made his acting debut opposite Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, and Kate Hudson in writer-director Cameron Crowe’s adventure comedy-drama ‘Almost Famous’ in 2000, portraying Larry Fellows.
His next film was another directorial venture by Cameron Crowe, the 2001 romantic mystery fantasy ‘Vanilla Sky’, in which he shared the screen space with Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz.
Kozelek has also acted in the 2005 romance drama ‘Shopgirl’ and the 2015 musical comedy ‘Youth’.
Kozelek made a documentary on his European tour, titled ‘On Tour’. It was released in 2011. He has also served as a composer on the 2001 comedy-drama ‘Last Ball’ and the 2018 drama ‘The Pretenders’.