Not A Toy is comprised of Branson Hoog on lead vocals, Jeremy Marmor on guitar, Benji Spoliansky on drums, and TJ Wessel on violin and keys. Their name comes from “this bag is not a toy,” which is also considered a self-respect message about knowing your self-worth. Operating out of a shared house in Denver, doubling as their tattoo studio, the guys like to let the music take them where it wants to go.
Not A Toy released their debut self-titled EP earlier this year following their goal of creating something that hasn’t been done before. Seven unique tracks including “J Cash” and “Quit Quitting” are what resulted from that goal, each slightly resonating with a mix of genres like pop, hip hop, and rock, but also not quite fitting with any genre at all.
Not A Toy wants to feel more like a movement than a band.
Their song “J Cash” is a perfect example of the genres that they mesh together into their unique sound. The song is about being “fameless” in the basement, aspiring towards what every artist narcissistically wants — to be famous. “Quit Quitting,” with a catchy dreamy feel, leads with, “What if I quit, What if I quit quitting? If I did, Would you, give it a rest? What if my mind keeps ticking even when I’m in bed, and if I try to calm down, putting songs inside my head.”
It’s obvious that Not A Toy does not intend to “quit quitting” anytime soon.
The band met collectively in high school and previously went under the name Shatterproof, but that was a different band with a different sound. Their sound has been influenced by Warped Tour genre bands, and artists that are creative and try to push music as an art form, such as Kanye and his “outside of the box” no-rules mentality.
Watch the official music video for their song “J Cash” here:
In any other year, they likely would have burst onto the scene, attracting fans from a variety of areas, but this is 2020 after all. It’s been a challenge to get exposure during a global pandemic while being unable to tour, but this has also allowed them to stay home and focus on the art.
Not A Toy will be around for years to come, gradually building a fanbase of people from every genre along the way.