Jo Passed
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Jo Passed

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Exclaim Premiere"

When Vancouver psych outfit Sprïng called it quits earlier this summer, frontman Joseph Hirabayashi said that he would be moving to Montreal and launching a solo career under the name Jo Passed. Sure enough, he has now unveiled his first tracks under the new banner, and Exclaim! has the premiere.

Of the two songs, "Star Song" is closest to the tripped-out psych-pop sound of Sprïng, as atmospheric electric guitars trace out unpredictable riffs alongside melodies that are tuneful in an off-kilter sort of way. On the other hand, "Monkey Mind" is a ferociously fuzzy alt-rock tune with jagged fretboard fireworks, pounding drums and poppy grunge melodies.

Jo will play Montreal's Le Cagibi on October 9. Tour dates in the eastern part of the continent will follow. - Exclaim!


Hirabayashi formerly played in Vancouver based neo-psychedelic band Sprïng, which formed out of the disbanding of experimental punk band, SSRIs. Hirabayashi lead both bands with his neurotic perfectionism coupled with his propensity for outlandish humour and rebellion. Sprïng released an LP titled Celebrations in March of 2014 and subsequently toured Canada and down the West Coast three times.

After a third tour in 2015, the band began to slowly disintegrate over a period of a few months. A ten year long collaborative relationship between Hirabayashiand his friend since childhood, Elliot Langford, fell apart and left Hirabayashi scrambling, hulking, and wading through a deluge of personal and creative issues. The result left Hirabayashi with a case of insomnia that lasted months, until the day a song was finished for a new potential project. Jo Passed is formed out of the idea that songwriting is more of a natural reflex than a cultivated act. Hirabayashi began jamming with drummer Mac Lawrie (Cult Babies, Tough Age, Energy Slime, Flash Palace) in June of 2015 with the idea of recording and moving to Montreal together to check out the east coast music scene.

Spring had officially disbanded and Hirabayashi sold all their belongings and drove across Canada to Montreal, in a move to not so much sever ties with Vancouver as much as uproot and commit to touring as a lifestyle. Out EP was written and recorded in Summer to fall of 2015 in both Vancouver and Montreal. Jo Passed’s live set-up is guitar with bass and drums. Jo Passed takes the project DIY recording studio approach to an uncomfortable, but rewarding place–recording in whatever spaces become available and keeping things flexible. Out EP will be released through tape label Craft Singles on January 22nd. Jo Passed will be touring the West Coast in late January and the east coast in late April. - The Spill Magazine

"Jo Passed Track Premiere: “No, Joy (I’m Not Real, Girl)”"

"...a perfectly formed release that’s as disarming as it is precise in relaying the vision of its composer." - Artist Direct

"Song Premiere: Jo Passed - "Lego My Ego""

We’ve got the exclusive premiere of Jo Passed’s debut single “Lego My Ego” (best song name ever) off of his upcoming EP Out, to be released January 22nd on Craft Singles.

The project was formed by songwriter/vocalist/producer/multi-instrumentalist, Joseph Hirabayashi.

”’Lego my Ego’ was written for my old band Sprïng about a year ago,” said Hirabayashi. “We played the song on a few tours and at some of our last shows. When Sprïng disbanded, I decided to keep this song for Jo Passed out of all the unreleased songs from Sprïng.”

Hirabayashi went on to explain the inspiration for the lyrics.

“The song is about someone dealing with falling in love with a dogmatic close-minded person and what you would have to go through to navigate that,” continued Hirabayashi. “It’s about loving someone even if it means accepting that they are essentially non-accepting. This is definitely a recurrent theme on Out. The riff is also so hard to play in this song that it marks the last time I ever write a song that’s way too hard right way. It’s almost like playing the song has the same feel as the lyrical challenge of the song. Sometimes I think the challenge of songwriting is to write a song that doesn’t just connect with other people, but that can sustain your own personal interest after you have played it 10000 plus times.

“Because it as the first song written for this project, the tone of the song definitely set the tone of the EP. I wanted things to sound like they were dry and driving. I wanted it to sound like your eyes are closed and you see a desert road that you are driving through and things are burning up and hot, and you aren’t quite sure whether what you are seeing is a desert mirage or if it’s real. I wanted it to sound expansive yet closed, and dark and dingey yet warm.”

Listen to “Lego My Ego” above, and be sure to catch Jo Passed on tour (dates below). - Paste Magazine

"Jo Passed Discorder Review"

There is something deeply pleasing and satisfying about an artfully crafted experimental-rock album. Between psychedelic sliding guitars and polished-perfect melodies, Jo Passed’s newest release Out is an album full of exploratory pop sounds to revel in. Fronted by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Joseph Hirabayashi (formerly from neo-psychedelic band Sprïng who disbanded in the summer of 2015), the Jo Passed outfit has a similar style but is more cultivated and melodic. And absolutely, Hirabayashi’s unique lyrics and outstanding attention to detail can be credited for this album’s commanding presence.

Out begins with “In,” distorted guitar bashing that is reminiscent of psychster Ty Segall during his earlier days. It abruptly shifts to the perfectly layered ruckus of a steady beating drum stacked with guitar riffs that can only be described as delicious. It’s an excellent start, and sets up nicely for an album full of cunningly blended alternative sounds and accessibility.

Hirabayashi slows things down for the second track, “Rage,” without laying a hand on the volume. Between the distorted guitars and echoing vocals, it’s a hefty dose of well-groomed quirky sounds to drown yourself in. Despite the fact that it’s a little unsurprising that the following song (and best named track) “Lego My Ego” is a sudden jolt in energy in comparison to “Rage,” its thumping drum kicks and bouncing bass line are catchy and animated.

The final song, “Spring,” seems to be a homage to Hirabayashi’s old relationship with his former band, Sprïng. Notably his creative relationship with Elliot Langford, who Hirabayashi played closely with for years, may be on the back burner for the moment. However, he seems hopeful that they’ll collide musically once again, singing “Something could happen, it almost worked before, we just have to try harder, we can make it work.” It’s a rhythmic, buzzing end to a highly entertaining album. Out is an explosive blend of harmoniously grungy pop and exquisitely crafted melodies. It’s pop music for those who like it a little rough around the edges. - Discorder

"Redrick Sultan’s album release a night of technical wizardry"

“We just heard a Sprïng riff!” a particularly astute Jo Passed fan gleefully cried after a few seconds of soundcheck guitar-noodling. The band hadn’t even begun playing yet, and the hype was already high at the Cobalt last Thursday night.

The Sprïng Superman blew in on an electric cloud, opening Redrick Sultan’s album release for Fly as a Kite with Jo’s signature thunderclap rock, time-changing melodies, scorching climaxes, and warped funk, all packed into their first song, “Spring”.

Despite those idiosyncrasies, Jo’s newer songs, from last January’s solo EP, Out, were much heavier and less melodically focused than his established oeuvre which is more delightfully weird.

Still, the weightier atmosphere did not prevent the crowd from moving. The sunken waltz of “No, Joy (I’m Not Real, Girl)” sent fans in the front row into blissed out twirls, swaying with their arms slung over each other’s shoulders. Jo’s final song, the mechanical, wound-up “Lego My Ego”, sustained that communal, possibly more than platonic mood, but injected the crowd with a dose of energy, inciting them to pogo-ing into one another.... - Vancouver Weekly


-"Out" EP released January 22nd 2016.

-2 online Single:



Jo Passed is the songwriter band project of current Vancouver based musician, Joseph Hirabayashi. After the breakup of Hirabayashi's band Sprïng in 2015, Joseph assembled material quickly and moved out to Montreal to start a new project in a new city. With the help of Mac Lawrie (Flash Palace, Cult Babies), Jo Passed released a debut EP entitled "Out" on Toronto label Craft Singles.

After returning back to the West Coast in early 2016, Joseph assembled a new lineup of Jo Passed with Bella Mckee, Spencer Hargreaves on bass, and Daniel Ruiz; released a 2nd EP, "Up" through Portland label Golden Brown (Lefse Records) and toured the West Coast several times. Since forming in 2015, Jo Passed has performed over 80 shows both on both coasts in both Canada and the US. Jo Passed is currently working on a debut full length to be released in 2017.

Band Members