Koyo (SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Typecaste) pay homage to Long Island emo on debut EP (listen)
SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Typecaste, Rain of Salvation, Hangman, and Adrenaline are some of the most exciting new hardcore bands around, so it's exciting news that members of those bands have teamed up to form Koyo, whose debut EP Painting Words Into Lines is an homage to the storied Long Island emo and melodic hardcore scene. Vocalist Joey Chiaramonte tells Exclaim:
Painting Words into Lines is our love letter to Long Island music that shaped our entire lives. We all grew up on bands from Long Island that have deep-seated roots in hardcore. We want to continue that tradition as best we can. This is real music about real experiences, and we hope it's as cathartic for listeners as it was for us to bring it all together.
Joey also further commented on the meaning behind the band's name, their influences, and the intention of not being a "worship band" in an interview with the Resonating blog:
What made you choose “Koyo” as a band name?
So, we had trouble finding a band name we agreed on. The project was spawned under the name “The L Word” which was just ripped straight from Silent Majority’s “Taming The L Word”. We ultimately decided against that. Marazzo (guitar) eventually proposed Koyo. Not only is it simple and sticks easy, but its definition also ties in nicely with the music and vibe, I guess. Koyo is the Japanese phenomenon of the leaves changing in autumn. Changing seasons, the colors, the nostalgia, its ideas and feelings that just naturally tie into the band artistically I guess; at, like, a grandiose conceptual level, at least.
What are some influences you guys took inspiration from for this band?
At the forefront, Taking Back Sunday, The Movielife, Silent Majority. But all your staple larger Long Island melodic/hardcore bands all had things that I think affected the music written. Glassjaw, Crime In Stereo, Brand New, Capital, the list is near endless.
However, people these days really confuse doing worship bands and having a band with strong influences. I think some people will read this and listen to Koyo and be like, “What??? That doesn’t sound like *insert band here* because bla bla bla.” Like, no, fuckface, we didn’t just rewrite a bunch of songs from bands we liked. We’re not a worship band. Inspiration comes in little parts, sections, and moments of bands you like, hardcore or otherwise. [We] for sure tried to hit on a few of those moments and ideas.
You should pretty much know what to expect from that interview, and Koyo deliver. They do indeed sound like a clear homage to Taking Back Sunday, The Movielife, Silent Majority, and the like, and it's true that they do it without blatantly worshipping any individual band. They fuse the more chugging guitars of Silent Majority with the vocal interplay of Taking Back Sunday -- if TBS went in a more hardcore direction after Tell All Your Friends instead of a more alternative rock direction, it might've sounded something like this. The whole EP will definitely take you back a good 19 or 20 years, and if you've got a fondness for that era, you'll probably agree these guys do it really well.
The EP comes out on Saturday (3/14) but in the meantime you can stream the entire thing at Exclaim.
UPDATE: It's now officially out!