London/Leeds trio T.O.Y.S. (not to be confused with the hyped band Toy) are a spunky, keyboard-led proposition that somehow manage to synthesise lo-fi pop, Krautrock, and indiepop into an enjoyable, visceral whole. Imagine Canadian band Holy Fuck with the Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner on vocals, and you’re halfway there.

Clocking in at less than thirty minutes, their self-titled debut EP is full of classics that deserve to be a smash on in indie dancefloor (wherever that it these days): 'Love Hurts' and 'When I was a T.O.Y.' burrow themselves in your head and refuse to let go.

Since its release on the Leeds label Dufflecoat Records in 2011, the band has played with the likes of Piano Magic, Allo Darlin’ and Foot Village, as well as being a regular at London indie-pop institution Librarians Wanted. The EP has since sold out, leading to a remastered pressing; the follow-up EP, ‘T.O.Y.S. 2’, has been released on the London-based Oddbox Records.

With band members David Kitchen (keyboards/vocals), Adam John Miller (fuzz bass) and Eddy Lines (drums) having played in a multitude of bands according to their biography, Pennyblackmusic sat down with bassist Miller to try and work out what makes the band tick.


PB: I understand that you formed in Leeds in 2010. How did the band come together, and what is the significance of the band name? Is it an acronym for something? And does it annoy you that there also other bands with the word ‘Toy’ or ‘Toys’ in their name?

AJM: Dave bought a new second-hand keyboard and brought it round to my house...a few beers later, and the fuzz bass was out. A few days later, Eddy started drumming along. We all thought we were just enjoying jamming in Adam's basement until we realised we had a bunch of pretty decent songs, and maybe this was a band?

With this revelation came the inevitable need for a name. Toys was the first word someone said. The other bands with similar names necessitated the…uh...dots. It is an acronym for whatever you want it to be. The best one we've heard yet is "The Other Young Studs". We're not annoyed by the other Toy(s). It’s just a name - ultimately arbitrary.

PB: Who were/are the Acutes, Angry Sandwich, Manhattan Love Suicides, the Medusa Snare, the Wednesday Club and Downdime, all of whom are listed in your biographies?

AJM: We began [the biography] by listing all our other bands. As we say, T.O.Y.S was a side project, but now T.O.Y.S has definitely become an entity unto itself and one that we probably spend more time on than our other bands - although it hasn't always been easy. Back in 2010, before we'd even played a gig or recorded any material, I moved from Leeds to London - the band could have ended before it even began, but we thought we had something worth pursuing, even if purely for our own benefit.

Anyway, back to the question…Dave's main band is the Acutes and he also has a recording project called Angry Sandwich...Eddy's main band is called Downdime and he and I were both in the Manhattan Love Suicides...Eddy was also briefly a member of the Medusa Snare, which is my solo project (with a revolving cast of assistants)…I am also in the Wednesday Club and as of recently Satan & Megastar and Lisa Bouvier's band the Disposables. I also run a spontaneous pop music project called the What I Wanted To Do's.

PB: Who are Dufflecoat Records?

AJM: Dufflecoat Records released our first EP in a limited run that sold out pretty quickly - we got it remastered and you can now download it from our Bandcamp. Our recent EP came out on Oddbox Records.

PB: What can we look forward to at the Pennyblackmusic night?

AJM: Errr, moments of clarity.

PB: What’s the band’s favourite joke on tour?

AJM: We are deadly serious at all times.

PB: Thank you.


T.O.Y.S. will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night at the Brixton Jamm, 261 Brixton Rd, South London on March 16th.











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