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Journeys Bands to Watch: Koyo
Koyo Band

We have some BIG BIG news to share! Journeys has launched a program to support touring, up-and-coming artists of all genres and styles. This month, we’re partnering with Long Island melodic emo and hardcore band Koyo.

With roots in the Long Island Hardcore scene and pulling inspiration from bands like Taking Back Sunday and The Movielife, you’ll definitely want to catch a show on the Just Like Home tour with fellow NY bands: I Am The Avalanche and Bayside.

Lucky us, we got the chance to sit down with Koyo and learn more about where they got their start, touring, and what’s coming next. Check it out!

Q: In your words, how would you describe Koyo to someone who has never listened before?

A: Koyo is a band from Long Island. We sound like we’re from Long Island. Everything about the band reflects that we’re from Long Island. We’re a by-product and representation of a very special music scene.

Q: We know you were all good friends before forming Koyo, but how did you initially meet and decide to make it happen?

A: Spanos, Harold, and Joey all grew up together and went to school in the same district. Harold introduced us to a lot of underground and alternative music, and we all began playing in bands together as early as 7th grade. As the years went on, we met Sal and TJ and spent years going to hardcore shows all over the northeast together, as well as playing in some bands together (but in fragmented pairings of people).

Koyo started in 2019 when we decided we needed a band that included all of us together.
We’d all been touring in or with our other bands, and we wanted something to work on together when we were home. We had the first Koyo practice fall of 2019, and the rest is history.

Q: How did you persevere and continue to grow after forming at the height of a global pandemic?

A: I think, for one thing, timing was somewhat on our side. We dropped our first EP on March 14, 2020, which was the day most tours ended up ending early because of the pandemic. We didn’t really get to shove off and play at all, but in a weird way, it helped. No one knew when they’d get to see our band, let alone live music again, so people just kinda listened on repeat while they were stuck at home.

We also made good on all that free time. We spent the majority of it writing, recording, and creating for Koyo as often as we could. We wanted to put in the time and set ourselves up for a special moment when everything would come back, and I think we succeeded.

Q: Koyo has always been very vocal about its love for Long Island, NY. In your own words, what makes Long Island so special?

A: It’s America’s most interesting suburbia, in our opinion. It’s the suburb of one of the most diverse cities on Earth, the suburb of one of the largest hubs for creativity and culture on Earth, and it’s naturally impacted by those factors. Going west to east, you go from cityscapes to suburbs, to the woods, out to wine vineyards and summer properties out east.

All of these varying settings and realities are planted on top of a beach paradise that’s heaven in the summer but a wasteland in the winter. It’s just legitimately unique and breeds unique people of all kinds because there’s nowhere quite like it. We're proud to come from a one-of-a-kind place.

Q: What are some of your music obsessions right now, who are you listening to lately, and what songs do you have on repeat?

A: High Vis, Echo Chamber, Mongrel, and New World Man have all had me pretty hooked recently. High Vis’ “Trauma Bonds” in particular, I wish I wrote that song. The track is beautiful. Also been revisiting a lot of Memphis rap stuff which I (lead singer Joey Chiaramonte) kinda acquired a taste for when I’d road dog for Vein.

Q: What’s your favorite post-show snack or meal?

A: In-N-Out if we’re in the right area, without fail. We’re also McDonald’s believers, a McChicken never doesn’t hit. We all love our electrolyte drinks. A light blue Gatorade Zero hits 10/10 times.

Q: What are you looking forward to most on this upcoming tour with Bayside?

A: Being surrounded by people and music from Long Island that we genuinely love. Bayside and IATA are bands that we listened to long before we thought touring with them would ever be an option. Not to mention, NY/LI people just vibe and get along on a different wave. It’s hard to explain, but without knowing a lot of the people on this tour, I feel like we’ll all just get along well.

Q: What advice would you give to a younger band/artist who is interested in touring and playing shows?

Attending shows is just as important as playing them, and the opportunity to play shows and tour usually is rooted in showing up to shows in the first place. That’s how you make friends with other bands, level up your own craft, get inspired, and get to know how everything works.

Q: We know that Joey, your lead vocalist, is sort of notorious for performing shirtless, but what are some other style staples we can see on the tour. Any Journeys brands or other faves?

A: We’ll all be decked out in some new kicks, courtesy of Journeys. Particularly speaking, Harold and Joey will be rockin some Timbs because if you haven’t gotten the message, we’re from New York.

Attire aside, we’ll be bringing the same high-energy show we always strive to put on. And yeah, probably that trademark shirtless look. It gets hot up there. Comfort > everything.

Q: What’s next for you? What projects are you excited to be working on in 2023?

We have an LP coming out this year on Pure Noise Records. That’s our entire 2023 and 2024 right there, it’s our debut LP. Aside from that, some more U.S. touring, and a return to Europe in the pipeline, all slated to be announced sooner than later. A whole lot to come from Koyo, thanks for listening and supporting what we do.

Want more? We know! Keep in touch with Koyo, their music, and the tour on their social channels. Find them here: TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. While you're at it, don't forget to follow @Journeys on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter as well!

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