By Sean Stroh
a toi me’SHen isn’t holding back any punches.
With song titles like “WMD”, “Tear Down” and “Behind the Mask”, the SoCal natives couldn’t be more blunt about the themes and ideas emitted in their music.
In its music video for “Phony People”, we see very little of a toi me’SHen (pronounced A Toy Machine). Instead, we are confronted with news clips of riots, war and political figures such as Barack Obama and George W. Bush–a not so subtle implication of just exactly who these “phony people” are and where they are coming from.
The band, consisting of Tony Lanza (vocals), Daynon Lato (vocals/guitar), Scott Pitcock (guitar/back-up vocals), Doug Miller (bass) and Jake Fight (Drums/vocals), blend a number of different genres such as rock, metal, hip hop and rap together, making it difficult to classify a toi me’SHen under one generic genre banner.
Coming Up Magazine talked to Daynon Lato (vocals/guitar) about the band’s upcoming show at M15 Concert Bar & Grill in Corona on Jan. 30, the group’s goals for the future and the problems with music streaming.
You guys officially formed about two years ago. How did the five of you ultimately meet and form this band?
Long story short, myself, Tony Lanza and our producer Daniel Holtz have been working together for about ten years on a bunch of different projects. We met our drummer Jake and he was really intrigued by some of the material we had done and he said he’d love to play with us so I said let’s make this happen then! Tony and I had worked with Doug in the past and Scott was someone I had known forever as well. They all just seemed to fit in the direction I wanted to do with our producer and Tony. From that point on we started working hard toward making this whole this happen.
How beneficial was it to go into the recording of the band’s first studio album with experience from past projects?
It was quite beneficial really. Jake, our drummer is 25. We have a decade on him but he learned the material real quick though (laughs).
You guys will be playing in Corona later this month. What has the reception been like so far at your live shows?
We always have a good response. We’ve all played around with other bands so we reflect that in our shows. We have backtracks running with some songs and we run our own sound with a digital board. Our sound guy always comes with us and runs everything through an iPad. We also have apps on our phones where we can get into the digital console ourselves and adjust our in ear monitor mix which makes things a bit easier.
Can you recall where and how your first gig went?
It was at a private gathering. It went fine! We were seasoned enough where we were rehearsed and not confused or scared.
We play to a click track. It’s hard not to be pretty straight. We’re running with a little more of a formula.
Is there a particular venue in the area that is kind of a dream venue for you guys?
We definitely would love to play large arenas–that’s our main goal.
We want to be able to tour out of the country and play in places like China and Japan.
As a relatively new band trying to spread your music to as many people as possible, what is your opinion on streaming services like Spotify? Do you see the death of buying a physical copy of music as a bad thing?
Yes absolutely. It’s not a good thing at all.
Our song “Waste of Time” is about the music business. It is reflective of how they are the enemy now because of the way this is run. When music was broadcast, people got paid for the time that it was aired and people were happy. Us artists need to make a living and you can’t make a living with streaming.
I’m not sure if you heard, but the writer of Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass” went before Congress and said he’d only gotten paid around $5,600 for a song that was streamed nearly 180 million times and No. 1 in more than 70 countries.
It’s just not right.
Is there an upcoming band you are currently listening to that you would like to give a little shout out to?
There is a band from around here who are good friends of mine called Radiodrone. They are my homies!
And obviously I got to ask you about your guys music video for Phony People. Was the idea of the music video from a particular person in the band or was it more so a collaboration between all five of you guys?
It was more of a collaboration from me and Tony. Doug our bass player was the one who made the video though.
Tony and I have a lot of the same views when it comes to what’s really going on in the world. Again, it’s my belief as an artist that it’s our obligation to bear witness of the time and this album kind of reflects a lot on that.
We’re supposed to trust and have faith in people. We have the government lying to us and the point is those people are phony. We have to start waking up before we start losing our freedoms.
Check out Phony People Now!
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