• August 21, 2017
Yoko Zuna. Photo: FB
For a band just shy of three years old, Yoko-Zuna is already making waves across New Zealand.
The four-piece band was announced last week as part of the Rhythm and Vines (R&V) set list for 2017 for the second year in a row.
“We’re really stoked about [the announcement],” says co-founder Swap Gomez.
“Last year, R&V was one of the best moments we’ve ever had as a band. This year, we’re trying to create a better show . . . a step up from last year.”
The three-day festival will feature international stars like Schoolboy Q and Mura Masa, and Kiwi artists like David Dallas, JessB and Sachi.
Yoko-Zuna consists of Gomez on drums, Frank Eliesa on keys, bass and synth, JY Lee on saxophone, flute and FX (digital effects) and Kenji Iwamitsu-Holdaway on guitar and bass. Cam Duncan is their production engineer.
They have a hard time describing the kind of music they make, but electronic, hip hop and progressive definitely add to the description.
Playing at R&V for the second year is not as intimidating as it is exciting, with the band grateful to be a part of the show, with a chance to watch the other artists.
“The best thing you can do as a band is not have any expectations. If you get disappointed, you’re going to really get disappointed, so we just go with whatever the flow is,” says Mr Gomez.
Yoko-Zuna spent the last year touring New Zealand, and played their first Auckland show in months on Saturday night at Cassette 9.
They will also be playing at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND festival in the first week of September, as well as two other independent shows.
“It’s our first overseas experience as a band, which should be fun,” says Gomez.
BIGSOUND is a big step towards their ultimate venue goal - Europe.
“If we were to do what we did here in Europe, we’d get a good amount of love. There’s more people, more festivals, more things to do out there.”
But their love for New Zealand means they won’t be moving out of the country any time soon, with another tour planned for the summer.
The band also have a new song it is set to release “sometime next week”, and a new album that’s “almost done”.
“The new song will be a flavour of the new album.”
Flavours which come from their own eclectic musical influences of metal, electronic styles, hip hop and Linkin Park.
As for any advice they can give on their success, the answer is simple.
“Just have a really good game plan - plan the shit out of it - and be prepared for things not to go your way," says Gomez.
“And be original."
Yoko-Zuna will play R&V on December 29.