Creation Stories: Toyko

Hailing from upstate New York and the suburbs outside of Boston, Toyko‘s Zac and Matt met through Craigslist while on the hunt for new roommates out in Los Angeles. Although they’ve since left their original home, the self-proclaimed nerds’ musical project, Toyko, is flourishing.

The duo is preparing to release their debut EP this Summer, and have given us great tracks, “Like What I Like,” and “You Do.” Check out what Zac had to say about the band’s formation, writing process, and their Austin Powers inspired name.

How did the band come together?

Well Matt and I met via Craigslist when I first moved to L.A. and didn’t have anywhere to live yet.  A room had just opened up at his apartment and I moved in.  We didn’t even know we both made music at first, but as soon as we found out we started working on tracks together.  We kept making songs together for about three years writing for other acts.  We finally decided it was time to start something we could call our own.

Who or what has inspired your sound and latest single, “Like What I Like?”

We’re self proclaimed nerds and are really open-minded with our music.  I had written the lyric ‘I Like What I Like’ during the demo stages of the track before we had any other words and it ended up spear heading the direction for the rest of the track.  We thought it would be fitting to have a pop anthem that embraced everyone’s inner-weirdo.

Is there a story behind your band name?

I was a huge Austin Powers fan when I was little.  There is actually an Easter egg in the movie, Austin Powers Goldmember.  When Austin lands in Tokyo, the subtitle reads “Toyko International Airport.” I always thought it was funny, and I liked the way it sounded.  Plus everyone thinks that we are actually called Tokyo so when someone gets it wrong, then gets corrected, they never screw up again 🙂  Definitely reminds you that everything isn’t what it seems at first glance.

What is your favorite show memory?

We haven’t performed any shows yet…But in terms of other shows we’ve been- to I remember seeing Roger Waters with my dad when I was in my teens.  That was a really special show.  He played all of ‘The Dark Side of The Moon’ album which was amazing to see live.

What would be your dream tour and why?

I can’t wait until our first tour… but we are constantly recording so, a big bus with a room we could record in.  Also sold out shows with fans who know every lyric to our songs.  (Lyrics are posted in our SoundCloud descriptions if you want to get your Karaoke on)

Tell us about your writing process; any unusual quirks?

Every track always comes together a little differently.  Usually it’s some piano or guitar chords that catch me in the feels.  I think we are both suckers for beautiful chord progressions so once those are in place the vocals just write themselves.  We also both keep ongoing lists in our phones with potential lyrics and themes for future songs.  That along with iPhone voice notes are super helpful to make sure you remember every idea you might have throughout the day.

What’s your favorite song to cover?

Honestly we’ve only really been focusing on making original music, but I do want to learn how to play EDEN’s “Wake Up” one of these days.

If you were to create a “soundtrack to your life,” what songs would be on it?

This is tough… It would be a mix of classic rock, early 90’s hip-hop, some grunge alt. rock type stuff, some pop and electronic.  So like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Notorious B.I.G., Nirvana, Bloc Party, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Nine Inch Nails, Postal Service, Porter Robinson… honestly a bit of everything with the exclusion of contemporary country music.

Would you like to add anything else?

Thanks for all the awesome questions!  Make sure to follow our socials and ask us anything else you’d like to know. 🙂


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