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A Conversation with Koitus | Metal-esque Band from Hawthorne, CA

Koitus is an up-and-coming metal-esque band from Hawthorne, California. “Coitus” is the technical term for sexual intercourse. They changed the first letter of “Coitus” to a “K,” and made their logo a koi fish.

The band went through several lineup changes, but currently the group consists of Faye as the vocalist, Dylan on guitar, Nate on bass and (sometimes) vocals, and Kennedy on drums; all juniors in high school. The band has only played a handful of shows thus far, though you could never tell based on their energy and skill. 

Kennedy was unfortunately unable to join for the interview, so the following will include thoughts from Dylan, Nate and Faye.

Dylan joined the band over the summer of 2023, and soon after, Kennedy joined. Nate was on vocals until they asked Faye to join as the vocalist. Faye and Dylan had played in a couple of bands together before, so joining this band just made sense.

Faye said, “I mean, the entire reason I got into music was freshman year of high school, Dylan was like, ‘Let's start a metal band.’ So I learned metal vocals, I learned how to metal scream… That band went nowhere, got disbanded, then I joined Dylan's other band because their singer quit, and then that band got disbanded, and so now I’ve jumped onto this band. There’s just been so much, like, kicking members out, things not working out, but it's fine now. I'm sure it's fine now.”

Dylan has been playing guitar since he was nine years old, and picked up drums two years ago. Nate started on piano at five years old, then started playing viola in second grade, and is still playing this instrument. Viola transferred over to bass easily, which Nate has been playing for three years. Faye started metal screaming freshman year of high school, and started playing electric bass about a year and a half ago, then picked up upright bass six months ago. Faye has a wide collection of instruments, including an Arabic oud, a cornet, a jazz guitar, and more. Though she doesn’t play all of them, she wants to eventually. 

When asked if the group planned to go to college after high school, the three felt similarly — circumstantial at best.

“I genuinely hate school and the school system so much. God forbid I have to do this for another four years in college,” Dylan said. “I'm really just like, I absolutely need to get a job, because as a musician, there's no way to just do it right off the bat. The way I see it, no matter what I'm going to do, I'm always gonna be playing music with people. I'm always going to be working with music. Any way I can just live comfortably and just keep playing music with people and be happy with what I'm doing.

If absolutely nothing works out, if I'm on the streets, I’m in the gutter, maybe I'll go to college for, like, business. And then when I get that business degree, I would be like, ‘You know what? I'm gonna make the best record store.’ Locally owned, most badass shit ever. And I'm going to throw all these shows in the back… And I keep doing that forever and ever.”

Faye added, “It's like, what you enjoy and what fulfills you, versus like, I don’t know, in my head it’s almost like, selling your soul, just sacrificing a part of yourself… I imagine myself working in an office job or even just a regular job, and I'm like, ‘That just sounds so miserable.’ If I'm not doing something creative, if I'm not doing music… it's just such a big part of who I am.”

The band is influenced by a huge variety of past artists and genres, from gothic, to nu metal, to indie rock, to avant garde. Dylan is particularly a huge fan of Sonic Youth. Nate loves Deftones and takes influence from Latin roots as well. Faye famously hates Limp Bizkit, and loves Haley Heynderickx. 

Koitus is also greatly influenced by other local bands, inspired by watching other bands grow and develop their sound.

However, Koitus also has their reservations with the local scene, especially when it comes to misogyny.

“It's supposed to be a very free thing, a very liberated thing of, like, inclusivity and radical acceptance, in every single form, but I feel like it's still a very male dominated space,” Faye said. “There's still a lot of toxic attitudes around outsiders and like, bigotry and stuff like that. And I don't like that.”

Nate added, “With Faye, having a female front woman is, like, super cool. She totally brings the heat, and I just like that we can represent a lot of people.”

The group also expresses feelings of disappointment with glorified drug abuse within the local music scene.

Dylan said, “What about the music? What about going to shows to go to shows, to support the bands you love, not because like, ‘Oh, this place here, they allow these noz sellers, they'll sell four, for like $5.’”

Faye continued, “Koitus is anti-noz. If you do noz, you’re a fucking loser.”

Nate added, “It's too woven into the scene, of doing drugs and especially like, those kinds of drugs. It should be a part of our message, or like, the scene in general to get rid of that and uplift people instead.”

Faye wanted to let viewers know, “It's not just noz. It's any kind of aerosol, like whippets, anything like that, you're getting high from literally destroying your brain cells. It is killing you.”

Faye writes the lyrics for the band, and writes about a lot of real-life issues and experiences, including writing anti-noz lyrics. She also writes about classic nu metal topics, like having fun, being cool, and living fast (but not too fast).

Faye said, “My philosophy is, sometimes I'll write something, and I'll be like, ‘This is absolute dog shit, but it doesn't matter because no one can tell what I'm saying.’”

Dylan added, “We’ve walked perfectly the fine line of taking ourselves not so seriously, but also taking our live shows and how we compose our songs very seriously.”

When writing full songs, Nate or Dylan will write a riff, then this riff is built upon by the other stringed instrument, then drums are added, then Faye writes lyrics to go with the instrumentation. The group then adds further embellishments to the songs, like pauses or flourishes.

Faye said, “It's like painting; blocking in the broad strokes, and then slowly refining it.”

We also briefly discussed the effect of social media on music and art. The group expressed that it is a useful tool, especially with TikTok; viewers are able to find bands they wouldn’t have found otherwise. However, the effect of capitalism on artistic movements is a concern for the band.

Faye said, “Any form of art has just been completely commodified through social media, and through just every aspect of the music industry, any sort of art, film… any media industry. It's just, you have to make money or else you can’t do it. And it's also just, on the other side, corporations wanting to make as much money from this art as possible.”

Dylan added, “Using the whole TikTok music algorithm as just a way to make as much money as possible, because that's how all these tools, for any music promotion or music creation, that's how everything is, it's just to make money. And that's what I really don't like about TikTok. But I also do think it's like really cool how quickly an artist can reach people. I just feel like with everything in life, there's just ups and downs, and that's the thing with Tik Tok.”

Interviewing Koitus gave me a lot of hope for our young musicians in the scene. The band members are still in high school, yet have such an intricate grasp on issues within the scene, the music industry, and societal issues as a whole. Seeing how excited this band is to just be making as much music as they can and playing as many shows as possible made me so insanely excited to see what they will accomplish, as they are just in their beginning stages. Koitus is enthusiastic, inspired, and inspiring.

Koitus is planning to record music soon, in an ultra-DIY fashion. They have ideas for merch, CDs, shows, albums and more circulating. They are looking to play more shows all over SoCal, from Long Beach to L.A. Follow them on their Instagram to stay updated on shows, music, merch and more! 

You can catch Koitus at the JUNK! show at The Smell on Saturday, April 6th! Tickets available here: 

Watch the full interview with Koitus below, including a snippet of them performing “Root Bloody Root” by Sepultura in their garage practice space!


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