As the songs start to take flesh, they usually tell you what they’re about.

A lot of the music on this record existed without real lyrics for most of the writing process.

Of YOKAI by COPYCAT. @copyxcat_

I hardly sit down & write.

John & Donny bring in a riff, & I start mumbling melodies on it from the jump.

I don’t really think about it, I just hit record.

Still by @victord_photo.

I’ll play it back in my car & whatever feels raw, I build on; I’m never married to any ideas.

As the songs start to take flesh, they usually tell you what they’re about.


I tend to mix & match verses or completely transplant lyrics to another song last minute (All In/This Prison).

Some of them have a concept from day one (Feral & Possessor) & others I got to listen to for the first time in the booth with everyone else (Pity Party / DOA) .


Violate started as a song for one of Donny’s projects but somehow it ended up in my hands a month or so out from heading to Taylor’s.

He had showed me a live recording of the song at the beginning of 2023 & I thought the original vocalist had crushed it. S/O to him. But for whatever reason, they didn’t end up using it so I got a crack at writing something completely new over it.

Of YOKAI by COPYCAT. @copyxcat_

I’m a fan of the genre & I always imagine how different vocalists would approach another band’s song if it was a blank slate again.

Stoked I got to try it for myself & I’m happy with the result.

-Danni Ortiz, vox for YOKAI.


See YOKAI play tracks from their upcoming record this Friday at a South LA Graffiti Club. All proceeds go to bands. RSVP for free here.


By Hector Zaldivar

Professional magician. @hexzald