Toybox
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Toybox

Tempe, Arizona, United States | SELF

Tempe, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Pop Rock

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College parties are the stuff of random hookups and getting drunk. For local punk band Toybox, one Arizona State University shindig also meant the solidification of their band.

All of Toybox's members are former ASU transfer students hailing from Japan. Guitarist Naoto Yonezawaand drummer Celica Nakamura formed the band about three years ago after a Sum 41 concert. As other members left to move back to Japan or for personal reasons, they were in search of a vocalist (read more by clicking link) - Metromix Phoenix


Toybox Members:
Naoto Yonezawa : guitar, vocals
Yo Yamakawa : vocals, bass
Celica Nakamura : drums

Toybox Influences:
Green Day, Sum 41, Ramones

Genre: Punk, rock.
Better described as: A fun punk band with a twist—singer Yo Yamakawa's Japanese accent makes them stand out.

Behind the name: “In the beginning, when we started, we just kind of brought whatever songs every member liked,” Yamakawa says. “We were covering Sum- 41, Green Day, Metallica and all sorts of different music. When we were thinking about the band's name, I was like ‘What about Toybox?' because we play all different kinds of music, and it's like if you open a toy box, all different types of toys come out, and it's fun.”
If you have two minutes to check out the band's MySpace page, listen to this: "One Day One Step" will have you dancing instantly, with a catchy, thrashy beat. And it's so nice that the cute Yamakawa tells listeners that he likes all types of hair colors. (read more by clicking the link) - Metromix Phoenix


Sunday, 30 May 2010 01:11
Fujiya Market. Tempe, Az. May 29, 2010.
With Japanese and English bilingual lyrics, explosive guitar riffs, and delightful personality, Toybox is quickly becoming Arizona's favorite Rock band amongst the anime and Japanese American Communities. We were delighted to attend their acoustic presentation on Saturday May, 29 at the Fujiya Market in Tempe Az just before they departed for their first ever tour across the Southern United States.
We've all been wondering what Toybox is all about, and Twisted Manga is proud to announce we have secured an exclusive flash interview with Toybox and obtained their permission to share their acoustic performance with you on our website via Youtube. - Twisted Manga


When one thinks of Japanese punk, exotic locales like the hard-hitting streets of Osaka come to mind. Well think again, gaijin. Turns out the Valley's got its own J-punk band called Toybox and they're releasing a brand-spankin' new album called Stay Alive tomorrow at Big Fish Pub.

Following up on the the band's debut album 5 Seconds To..., Stay Alive has a much tighter feel, or so Toybox says.

"We are fun-loving people but when it comes to writing songs, we are very picky," Toybox said. "Sometimes it takes hours to decide simply how to play four bars."

As the band is completely made up of transplants from various parts of Japan, Toybox's songs switch between Japanese and English.

"We have songs sung mostly in English with occasional Japanese parts; like Sublime does with English and Spanish," they said.

Tomorrow's show at Big Fish Pub kicks off Toybox's North American tour which will continue through Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, and Alabama. The band will also perform tomorrow at Fujiya Market on Priest and University in Tempe at 2 p.m. - The New Times, Phoenix, Az


Artist: Toybox

Title: Stay Alive

Basics: High holy shit, Batman! It looks like YAFI finally got something that is neither countrified rock about make-believe bandits or pop punk from some plucky 17 year olds. What we have here is Toybox, a neat little three-piece that plays Japanese pop. The three members all hail from different parts of Tokyo, yet they managed to meet while attending classes at Arizona State University. The band members all met at a -- wait for it, wait for it -- Sum 41 concert! That being said, Stay Alive is actually rather pleasant and doesn't reek of stale pop punk like some other YAFI winners in the past. (for more click on link) - Phoenix New Times


It’s not often an album I’ve never heard before makes me nostalgic for my high school days, let alone one that came out last year and is sang partly in Japanese. But so it was with Toybox’s five-song EP, Five Seconds To…, which really took me back. Despite the fact that it’s Toybox is three ASU Japanese-exchange-students-turned-locals, and perform some of their songs in Japanese, they sound like the bands all my friends were in during my school days, old school pop-punkers of the 924 Gilman Street persuasion. (for more click link) - Phoenix New Times


Tempe, Arizona’s Toybox is comprised of fellow Japanese students from Arizona State University uniting from a mutual love of pop and trad punk. Originally coming up with the idea of starting the band after seeing a Sum-41 show, guitarist Naoto and drummer Celica began Toybox with now-departed members Sunao and Kyoko. As Celica originally handled bass in Toybox, her role of drummer in replacement of Kyoko (forced to leave the country as he was an exchange student) prompted a shift of hardware and eventually personnel in the band.

Picking up vocalist Yohei (aka “Yo”) for their ragtag punk troupe, Toybox ventured forth as a quartet (including another former bassist Ren) and issued their debut EP from 2007 Five Seconds To…

Since this recording, a lot has apparently happened to Toybox as Yo continues to lead the group on vocals, but he now carries the bass as well with the band trimming itself down to a trio. Glancing at their MySpace page, this little group has made a name for itself on the west coast, even garnishing a Hot Topic endorsement for a headlining gig.

That being said, it’s difficult to assess Five Seconds To… so long after-the-fact, considering the five-song EP is impulsively rough. Yo’s vocals at the time were naturally still in a development phase, as legend has it Yo won his spot in Toybox by drunkenly caterwauling to Naoto’s guitar at a party.

Frankly, a lot of moments on Five Seconds To… yield Yo wailing off-key and he occasionally sends the band’s simplistically-written songs off-kilter. Granted, when he reverts to singing in his native tongue, he sharpens up considerably, and also it is to be assumed Yo has polished up his chops in the span of two years.

For the most part, Five Seconds To… hums along with straightforward punk grooves on “5 “ to Take Off,” “One Day, One Step” and “WDA.” Of the three, “WDA” is the edgiest, yet all three songs bear reminiscence of Sum-41 as they do long-ago punk legends such as JFA, All and Uniform Choice. Meanwhile, “You and Me” rings like a pub-roused tribute to Elvis Costello on the opening bars before jacking distortion into the dreamy would-be punk ballad.

Much of Five Seconds To… explores the group’s confused emotions which spill into the sometimes complaint-natured songs, subtle in certain spots, evidently blunt in others such as the gnashing line “now get the fuck out of my face” from “WDA.” Positivity is mostly the message, however, particularly with a beckoning shout for reconciliation between Toybox and their former guitarist Nathan Oser which spills into “One Day, One Step.”

Whatever they’re doing now, it must be miles ahead already. At the very least, Five Seconds To… is a pretty decent initial outing with which to learn songwriting and also to figure out how this band stands lineup-wise.

From reviewyou.com
- reviewyou.com


Discography

Stay Alive- 8/2010

5 Seconds To...EP

Photos

Bio

Toybox is a three-piece rock band based in Tempe, Arizona consisting of members Yo on vocals and bass guitar, Naoto on guitar and Celica on drums. Though the three of them hail from different parts of Japan, they met, and formed their band, at Arizona State University. They continued to develop their reputation for intense, energetic and commanding performances and forged fast friendships with other local bands and promoters and put out their very first professionally recorded EP 5 Seconds To…. Soon after releasing the EP, the original bassist Ren had left the band. While the departure was certainly difficult and upsetting, Toybox did what Toybox does best: persevere. Yo picked up the bass to fill in Ren's spot. And it was magical. Suddenly this leaner, meaner and more focused Toybox hit the stages of Phoenix with unprecedented and unparalleled zeal. A slew of new music began pumping out of them unlike anything long-time fans had heard from them before. Harder, faster, darker and powerful riffs, bombastic drums and frenetic vocals signaled the rise of a newly dedicated, hardworking Arizona rock band embodying life, love, death and reality with a unique and singular sound.
2010, the band has released highly anticipated first album titled "Stay Alive". Upon releasing, Toybox has started the U.S. tour going through Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana,Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.