Nathan Johnson’s LOYA has always been a free-spirited movement for the musician but the latest release from the Minneapolis-based artist’s release, Komaglass takes that to another level. Where Johnson used to do whatever he could to make heavy, industrial rock music, he’s steered in a different direction to create an eclectic synth-y album that’s only slightly influenced by his past tastes like the Deftones. This time, LOYA is deriving sounds from atmospheric synth groups like Depeche Mode and using that to create something that he can call his own.
“My thing lately is no limits,” said Johnson recently when talking to Alternative Addiction. “This stuff is different, especially coming from my last record. I wanted to do my own thing. When I started this, I was sick of being compared to my main influences and I thought that I could do something better if I channeled my own voice and just let that come out. I let go of the idea of trying to make heavy music and I decided to just make what I wanted. That’s an electronic pop sound. There are a lot of different elements sprinkled into this music. That was the important thing for me, I wanted to open up my creative palette and just let something organic unfold.”
When making Komaglass, Johnson decided to go the crowdfunding model to raise money for the recording. He knew that he’d have some success thanks to his following across the country, but he was still surprised by the amount of success that he had with the model, raising over $4,000 to make the new record.
“I’m just stoked because we were successful doing that,” began Johnson. “I didn’t know if we would succeed with it. I’m still really surprised and I’m grateful for everybody who loves LOYA for making that happen. I think a big part of me having the following that I do is because of my whole approach. I think it’s a different approach. I don’t play live shows and I do everything backwards. The music is weird. It’s out there. I think people connect with that. I have a modest fanbase across the U.S. and the world, but people see the music I make for what it is. Some of the people who pledge love the music and other people just love the fact that I do things the way I do them. They like to see people doing their own thing. People want to be a part of that. The amount of support that I’ve received with this has been overwhelming and I’m forever grateful to the people that did support it.”
Komaglass is a no-bounds type of record that shows Johnson experimenting with his music and the visual elements that accompany it. The best example that can be given with what LOYA tried to accomplish this time around is best exemplified on the song, “Heptapod.”
Read Part Two