(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (in this case, Industrial Electronica soloist I Ya Toyah) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains).
Which Muppet would you marry, which one would you wanna knife fight in a swamp and which one should be our global emperor? Why?
I’d definitely marry Animal as he is never boring, makes me laugh and lives the lifestyle that fits mine! He is always on fire just like me. I’d swamp knife fight Cookie Monster with the solemn purpose: to win. I want all the cookies, I’m the cookie monster so he is totally on the way to my true happiness!!! As for global emperor, it has to be Miss Piggy. I’m all about women empowerment and she definitely is one strong female figure!
Tell me about your new album. The writing, vibe, production/producers, etc.
My Code Blue album is my debut work as I Ya Toyah. It is also the first album I wrote, recorded and produced on my own. It’s an album about mental health, suicide, loss, darkness, and anger at all the things that cause these distortions, both socially and individually. As a part of larger spectrum we often lose perspective on who we are and why we are. Code Blue is a reminder of how important it is to revive and stick to our core values, even if it means to rebel against the current establishment.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been all about releasing the remixes of songs featured on Code Blue album. Right now I’m preparing to share Adoration Destroyed remix of ‘Puppet’ song. Together with Lumbra Records who is my video production collaborator we are currently filming and prepping the video for that remix. Adoration Destroyed made this remix so amazing, the first time I heard it I just knew it has to have the visual representation. I saw the story in my head and now we are bringing it to life. It will be available this summer and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Why do you make your style of music? Why not polka? or Japanese symphonic folk metal ? or..?
Hah! Polka- it is popular in some parts of my country! Do you know that Polka meaning in Polish is Polish woman? It’s me haha! But, seriously, NO! I don’t like Polka. I love metal though. Dark melodic progressive metal and some symphonic metal as well as industrial metal, industrial electro, goth rock, synthwave… Why do I do electronic industrial/electro punk/goth electro? It came with deciding to go solo. As a one woman writer/composer and performer, I had to figure out what style fits my live show vision. I can’t play drums, bass, guitars, keys and sing the way I want to at the same time. It’s just too much- I barely get away with triggering my drum sounds, playing keyboard/midi controller, synthesizer, guitar and voice. It’s very important to me to fully convey the message I want to pass from the stage. It takes a focus. The genre was simply working for me. This being said, the music I do is a straight translation of my emotions, feelings, attitudes, and observations into the sound. So, I guess it came sort of naturally.
Which voice in your head is the craziest?
It is the one that comes twice a day, at 3:33 am/pm. It reminds me that I’m only half devil and none of this is by intention- it is simply the result of experience I’ve acquired in life so far. The other half is pure insanity and it keeps telling me that I can change this world one step at the time. And I believe it.
How often do you work on your music?
Always. My music is the result of all the things happening around me making me feel. Even the times when I shut down thinking that I feel nothing… nothing is everything and I’m inspired.
Do you have any projects about to launch? What’s the scoop on that?
Oh yeah. I Ya Toyah is, as of recent, the part of industrial supergroup The Joy Thieves. It is a collaboration of musicians from different projects, including Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Pigface, Marilyn Manson, Stabbing Westward, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Blue October, Ashes Divide, W.O.R.M. and more. The Joy Thieves have just released a debut EP last month but more is about to launch in upcoming months. I’m also doing other collaborations, with Glitch Mode Recordings and their artists, and…the Code Blue remixed album. I put one video out for remix done by Rhys Fulber, another one I’m currently working on, and there will be one more video for an amazing remix I just received….I’m not going to reveal the details of that just yet but I’m super excited!
There’s a good chance you will look back and be embarrassed by your current hairstyle. Discuss.
Hah…I don’t know- so far it has been no regrets kinda thing…I’ve done some weird things, shaved head partially, colored my hair in 5 different colors and ended up looking like a parrot but….it is always fun. I guess I’m pretty open to experiments with my haircuts. My hairstylists often ask me, are you sure you wanna do this? I’m always like, it will grow back or, I’ll wear a hat if it’s that bad.
If you could accomplish one thing in a music career what would it be? When you achieve that will you quit?
I’ll never quit based on achievement or the lack of it. I could only quit if I lost passion… because passion is what drives me in the first place. It doesn’t work like this for me- there is no ‘one thing’ that could make me feel I’ve accomplished it all. I feel rewarded every time someone connects with my music. And it’s priceless. I guess the idea of accomplishment could be more people connecting to it- connecting with me because of my music and performance. Being able to do this on the bigger scale would be mind blowing and definitely fulfilling.
Would you accept 1 million dollars now to give up any and all music forever? If not what is your price?
There isn’t any price that could make me stop. It’s like selling your soul to devil wanting you to quit doing music. Well, I already sold mine to the one that told me to continue.
What really pisses you off?
Ignorance. Judgment. Shaming.
Worst thing ever eaten?
Cheddar cricket. I was told it would taste like chip. It tasted like…cheddar cricket.
What are some of the unwritten rules of tours?
- Don’t bring chocolate inside your tour van. Chances are you’ll sit on it in your stage outfit and….it will not look good.
- Prior to arrival for load in, always ask if there are stairs…. Always. Me and my crew learned this lesson well. FEAR THE STAIRS!
- $1 menu at Taco Bell at 4 in the morning is the one religion you want to follow.
- Snake that shit. That’s it- don’t ask.
If you had a time machine what would you do with it?
I’d go crazy alternating the time until there was no past and no future, only now.