Why You Should be Listening to Not A Toy
Following on from a press conference courtesy of °1824 with Branson Hoog (lead singer) and Benji Spoliansky (group's drummer), Colorado-based music collective Not A Toy are catching the eyes of others.
Confining to not a specific genre and do what they feel fulfils their artistic vision, Not A Toy started from the warning label on a plastic bag. Speaking about their unique branding, Spoliansky said: "The biggest project with NOT A TOY is that we didn’t want it to feel like one band or one entity’s music taste, we wanted it to feel like a snapshot of this generation’s artistic expression." He added: "We wanted Not A Toy to feel more like a movement than a band." With being not allowed to go on tour to share their music, Not A Toy have had their fair share when it comes to breaking into the music industry. But they have found comfort within the confined spaces of the pandemic, as Spoliansky added: "I think that the biggest blessing is being able to stay home and focus on the art and what's still to come."
Initially meeting in high school and cutting their teeth in various projects, Not A Toy came together in 2020 with the influences of My Chemical Romance and diverse artists such as Kanye West and Lana Del Rey. “I think, in the long run, the biggest influences have actually been the artists that have been the most creative and have tried pushing music as an art form themselves,” Hoog said. “I think one of our biggest consistent ones is Kanye. As a producer, we all love his outside of the box, no rules mentality, and that’s what NOT A TOY has really tried to hone in on.”
From their hit single 'J Cash' - "about us being fameless in the basement striving for what every artist or band narcissistically wants, which is to be successful with their music and be famous,” said Spoliansky. To 'Quit Quitting' which was filmed while abiding by pandemic restrictions and a song about contemplating where you're at in life. The four members aren't just artists, but also work with tattoos, art and a clothing line. Speaking about their other work, Hoog added: "It was easier for us not just be a band, we were passionate about too many other things. It was really hard to keep the other art forms out of the music just because we were passionate about so many things."
With their self-titled debut EP now out, Not A Toy brings a bold look to their sound through anthemic rock and an introspective view of modern-day musicians.