Interview by: Hunter Dood | November 2, 2022 | Photo by: Sydney Jackson
NOT A TOY’s latest single, “Gutter Kid” is nothing like the Denver-based band has ever released, and will be a major influence for their future work.
Lead singer Branson Hoog said the song was fully produced by the band, a major change from their past work.
“We would record in a studio and it would be a very structured thing,” Hood said. “And our first EP didn’t go in the direction we thought it would, so we brought it home and remade it ourselves. When we would record with other guys, they would try to fit us into a certain mold that other bands would be, and that’s not us.”
For “Gutter Kid,” Hoog took influence and inspiration from the show “Arcane League of Legends.” He says the song is written from the perspective of one of the characters form the show that “went against the grain and wreaked havoc.”
“Gutter Kid was spun because we were craving this aggressive energy that we haven’t had in five years,” Hoog said.
Drummer Benji Spoliansky says the song has received both love and hate.
He says the song received love from the label (Fearless Records), the band and fans that have seen lot performed live. The aforementioned hate came from YouTube comments.
“Ultimately, I took it as a positive response that we were getting hate,” Spoliansky said. “I just don’t think the people that hated it fully understood it, the song is different and people tend to reject different at first.”
“I love Gutter Kid,” Spoliansky said. I think it is one of the best songs we have put out.”
Hoog says the band enjoys fully producing and controlling what they make. The quartet of Hoog (lead singer), Spoliansky (drummer), Jeremy Marmor (guitar) and TJ Wessel (violin, Keyes) all work together on producing their new music.
“I feel like now all rules are gone and we make what we want to make,” he said.
Spoliansky says them fully producing allows there are no parameters for the band.
“I think there are so many untapped sounds and vibes that we will find by doing this,” he said.
Hoog says the band will continue to explore all types of sounds moving forward.
“We are trying to master all edges that NOT A TOY can be, I don’t want to be just a rock band or a rap artist or popstar. Every time we get into the studio something different happens because different people write different parts of the songs.”
NOT A TOY has a new single titled “Dementor” coming out November 17.
“It is so sick,” Hoog said. “We wrote it with Morgothbeatz who has done stuff with MGK, Lil Xan, Maggie Lindemann and Sueco. He is one of the guys really trying to pull rock and trap into one thing and he’s doing it so well.”
He added that this song will be another new sound for the band.
The band is looking forward to 2023.
Hoog says they are stoked to hit the road and tour in the upcoming year as well as continuing their “Painful Interviews” series where they tattoo musicians while and interview them.
Spoliansky says momentum is gaining for the band as 2023 approaches.
“Internally, looking at the growth over the last ten months, it has been incredible and we are gaining that momentum,” he said.
Hoog added that Next year is looking bright for the band and that they are excited to continue putting out new music.
“We are going to ride that momentum in 2023.”
Find the band @notatoy on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and @notatoyofficial on TikTok.