2016 saw YOKKO release their successful second album To the Fighters. To the Boxers. and complete an extensive tour of Switzerland and Europe. Now, the band is getting 2017 off to a great start with their catchy new single 'Heart On Fire'.
Only four months after their first sound check in a rehearsal room in an urban basement, YOKKO played their first two major concerts. But these weren't just any old concerts, they were performances at two of the biggest festivals in Switzerland: the legendary Gurtenfestival and the new kid on the festival block, Zürich Openair.
'When you hear YOKKO's music for the first time, you'll get angry. Angry with yourself for not discovering these great songs much sooner and paying the band the attention it truly deserves for its brilliant songs. These guys will go far.' – Gurtenfestival.
These concerts were followed by their self-produced Top-10 debut album, Seven Seas, a Swiss Music Award for 'Best Talent', and a tour that included over 50 shows in Switzerland and abroad (including Eurosonic Noorderslag, Paradiso Amsterdam, De Oosterpoort Groningen, Ampere Munich, and Molotow Hamburg), which brought the band a nomination as 'Best Live Act'.
So how did the band cope with such a string of successes? After taking a six-month break from the stage, the five musicians withdrew to the Vox Ton Studio in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, where they channelled the rich experience they had gained with their debut album into the writing process for a new album. They fought for every note, they lived every line, and fine-tuned every sound until they got exactly what they were looking for. They turned night into day and silence into a powerful wall of sound.
While they produced their own first album, the boys wanted to lift this new album to a new dimension: paying great attention to detail, YOKKO set about creating an analogue, timeless production. Using the same mixing desk used by Queen for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in 1975, recording equipment and old synthesisers, the result is a unique and mature sound. Their own expectations and those of others helped the band members to mature. Their music has matured too, as has the way they express themselves and their desire to make a statement, namely that it is worth going your own way and always standing up for yourself.
The new album To the Fighters. To the Boxers. is a powerful soundtrack of life and another expression of their personal style of music, which they call 'Atlantic Wave'. Walls of guitar and synthesiser sound link the coolness of the Atlantic with the size and power of a wave that crashes down on the shore before rising again with pumping drumbeats, distorted bass lines, and smooth vocals to carry the listener to a new world.
The band set the tone with their street single, 'Circle'. The album was released on 4 March 2016 (Muve Recordings/PIAS) and entered the Swiss album charts at No. 2. After a hugely successful 2016 with over 40 concerts in Switzerland and abroad (Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France) as well as lots of sell-out club shows and a European tour as a support act for Nada Surf, YOKKO still have a few aces up their sleeves. The boys can't wait to carry as many people as possible on their Atlantic Wave this year. Their latest earworm, 'Heart On Fire', which was released on 27.1.2017, heralds the dawn of a new age in the history of YOKKO.