Koyo - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Joey of Koyo. We discussed the writing and recording process for new song, “Straight North”, a favorite musical moment from the song, signing with Pure Noise Records, details about an upcoming song and 7” record, when they plan to start working on their debut LP, which song is their gold standard and best represents the band, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Of course! Thanks for reaching out, we're always pretty psyched on any interest anyone has in talking to us about our band or what it’s about. Means a lot. 

You recently released your new song “Straight North”. Can you tell me about writing the song and recording it?

Straight North was actually written before most of the Drives Out East material was. Our guitar player Harold had written it in May of 2020 during the later end of proper quarantine era, and we had jammed on it as recently as that following July. I had written lyrics around that same time, and the lyrics that made the cut are almost exactly what were written in the first draft. Recording it was an amazing experience. Jon Markson who recorded and mixed/mastered all of our newest material was the absolute best to work with, and empowered the song with all the right guidance and polish it needed to sound exactly how we imagined the final product would, if not better. 

Do you have a favorite lyrical or musical moment from the song?

I think what always gets me with this track is when the full band kicks in. Post the twinkly little intro, the brief pause into the full band just slamming on their respective instruments. Koyo strives to maintain a certain amount of grit, aggression, and even at times I'd even say heaviness. That moment in the song is an instance of us maintaining those desired qualities in an otherwise softer, more ballady track in our discography.

You recently signed with Pure Noise Records. How did it work out for you to sign with them and how has the experience been so far?

Signing with Pure Noise has been an awesome experience both for the band's trajectory, as well as interpersonally between both camps. It feels like a very understood project by all parties we work with at PN, and for me that was a huge necessity for signing. Feeling understood, feeling like we have all the resources to succeed or at least try, feeling supported in all respects, we've gotten that and more thus far since signing. It's been a blast. 

You’ve released two songs with Pure Noise. Are they part of a larger release? Is there any chance that you’re working on an EP or album? If so, what can you tell us so far?

So in essence, both yes and no. "Ten Digits Away", "Straight North", and the soon to be released "Call It Off" were all intended to be standalone singles to more or less introduce us to the Pure Noise audience as a new signing, and give us some new music to play for our remaining touring this year. We're going to be compiling them together on a 7", and on streaming services they live under the same roof as an EP, but the songs creatively were looked at as three stand alone singles presenting the next chapter of what our band is/has been/will always be. 

We are working on our debut LP, no firm timeline on when it will be out or what it entails. We start tracking this July. 

You used the phrase “Emo’s Back” to promote the ‘Drives Out East’ EP. Who came up with the idea to use that statement with the release and did you think it would take off with fans the way it has?

So if I recall correctly, I came up with the phrase? It was kinda a nod to hardcore bands always citing the return of, well various things (bands, a sound, a style, etc.). Harold who does all of our art, merch, etc. he designed the banner and the posters that we pushed throughout 2021 in support of Drives. I didn't think it'd take in the way it did, there was a lot of genre discourse on twitter the week we dropped Drives. Frankly, we identify ourselves as a hardcore band first and foremost because that's where we come from, and what inspires a lot of the music, but people can call us emo, pop punk, whatever. People who hyperfixate on genres or trying to define what bands are should parlay that into a job in cyber security or tech or something, it's a lot of wasted energy that could go somewhere productive. 

Moriches” from that EP seems like it’s a huge song for your band. It’s one of my favorites of yours. Did you know when you were working on it that it would be a special song for your band?

I think I knew that song would be special from the jump. "Huge" or like, defining, I wasn't totally sure, but I felt a sense of urgency and excited anxiety from the moment I heard it. We look at that song as the gold standard Koyo track, the perfect balance of everything the band wants to be. We experiment a lot and slide all over the place stylistically song to song, but if someone asked "what does Koyo sound like?" I'd say show them that song.  

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for having me! Just sending genuine appreciation to all who support the band and listen. It's been a crazy ride for us already in a pretty short span of time, just psyched on the future and to show the world everything we have in store. LIHC forever, peace. 

Follow Koyo:



Follow Sound In The Signals:



No comments: