The punk rockers, BOYTOY are back with their album, Night Leaf, which is out April 27 on PaperCup Music. The girl group writing music for the love of writing music. There’s no hidden agenda. Their music is authentic and it radiates through the riffs of every song. BOYTOY fits the punk aesthetic because they’re raw and to the point. The new album looks to stick to the mantra of “be yourself.”
BOYTOY was formed in 2012 by Saara Untracht-Oakner, who asked guitarist Glenn Van Dyke to join, and has since included drummer Chase Noelle, and bassist Lena Simon from La Luz. Untracht-Oakner and Van Dyke had been in other bands before, but once those bands decided to break up, Utracht-Oakner was looking to form an all-girl punk band. Although now the two live in different cities – Untracht-Oakner living in Bushwick, and Van Dyke living in Jacksonville – they still make it work together. Untracht-Oakner tells C/S Magazine that the two of them often get together to record and plan tours.
The band describes their sound as rock and roll, and it ranges from 60’s surf jams to 90’s grunge rock.
“Even since the beginning of BOYTOY, our music has evolved so much,” Untracht-Oakner said. “Every record that we played, partially maybe because we’ve had a different drummer for every record, but also because of how we’ve grown, every record’s different.”
BOYTOY songs mainly drive from personal experiences, according to Untracht-Oakner, as well as from other music. She shares, “I think that it’s normal for a person to grow from different experiences, and change, and that reflects in the music for sure.” Some songs go from talking about love and heartbreak to being stoned to simple life themes.
“[The message in the music that we play] depends on what song you’re playing, but, I guess even in the way I like to live, I would say, ‘be real.’” Untracht-Oakner said. “It’s cliché to say ‘be yourself,’ but in an industry where so many people are trying to impress and kind of try to be something else, or try to emulate another band that has already done it, you know, do your own thing.”
Their next album is said to be all of over the place, in terms of messages and inspirations. It is said to be partially inspired by the impactful events of 2017 – the death of Prince and Bowie, which are said to be the band’s idols – as well as experiences drawn from being on the road and touring. The single “Mary Anne” was actually inspired by a real life fling, Untracht-Oakner said.
“The other songs are kind of combinations of different experiences,” she adds. “Maybe like the initial idea would be inspired by something specific, and another verse would be around something else that kind of draws at the same feeling, or, you know, the way ideas connect in your head, and thoughts, sometimes it’s not linear, and sometimes it’s the way it comes out in a song, that one thing reminds you of another, but they somehow are connected.”
For example, a song from the album will be called “Juárez,” after the border city on the Mexican side neighboring El Paso, Texas. The song, according to Untracht-Oakner, was inspired by their visit to El Paso and Juárez with the band La Luz. She mentions that they went to try a margarita at the Kentucky Club in Ciudad Juárez, and it became very impactful to her that one moment she was in the U.S. and the next she was in Mexico, without anybody checking their passports or anything. The song is a story of that experience.
By Aimée Santillán