Von Boyáge is a Los Angeles based music duo, consisting of frontman and founder, Christopher Hocker and drummer Stevie Noah. The name “Von Boyáge” translates to mean “a boy’s journey through life” and was spelt in reverse for two reasons – to help SEO searches and because Christopher seems to do a lot of things backwards.
After posting flyers and ads on Craigslist for over a year, Christopher finally found Noah and they have since been writing music which blends colorful synths, 1980’s inspired beats and relatable lyrics. This is what makes Von Boyáge’s sound original, yet familiar to the listeners. Von Boyáge has used music’s progressive movement to complete a full sonic spectrum of old and new styles. The music challenges its listeners to look into the past while discovering their own direction for the future.
Tell us about your project
It has been a long road. I (Christopher) began writing music in High school, mainly
short-story emo songs on acoustic guitar. As I got into my college years, the music I was exposed to influenced my writing and I began to dabble into various electronic genres. The one that resonated with me most was 80’s synth pop. As my songwriting developed I began to incorporate other members into the project. This soon proved to be problematic as I realized no one cared about the project as much as I did and I was beginning to question if I would continue solo or not.
I always wanted to be a part of a band so it was a tough period for me filled with ups and downs. After college and a rough break up, I decided it was time to try moving west and beginning a new life and career in music. It was just before moving that I came up with the band name “Von Boyáge”. I figured it fit the ideals that I wanted to express in my music, mainly the idea of life being a journey.
Moving west was really great for me. Los Angeles proved a fresh start and a real step forward in my career and personal life. Although I had ups and downs since my move, the best thing that happened was meeting Stevie Noah, my drummer. I was sick of convincing myself I could do it all alone and needed a hand with the project.
I put out flyers around Los Angeles, but it was ultimately a Craigslist ad that landed the meeting. We hit it off and began getting to work almost immediately. Since then we have gone through a pandemic, built a studio, put out two singles, and are working on a third. Despite the hardships that the pandemic has brought, we have actually had a solid past year of progress. I also decided to get sober to help with my focus and am about to celebrate my year and a half mark. Really stoked on the future of this project!
What is the favorite song of yours?
Our favorite song is always the next one we are working on. Artists are like that in the sense that they have to maintain the mindset that their best work is yet to come. More specifically we are really excited about the next single we are putting out which is called “Swim”. It really ties the project together both figuratively and literally.
Who are your musical influences?
Stevie and I both love the 80’s genre which includes modern day indie pop, synth pop, indie, etc. We both have our favorite bands but some that we share would be Depeche Mode, The Cure, Killers, U2, Coldplay, and others.
What are some things to do to keep your creativity alive?
I personally have to continually write new material to keep my brain occupied. I have what you would call “songwriter ADD”. I’m always digging for the next track, something fresh. Stevie likes to play drums so sometimes he will just go into the studio and bang away. Keeping his skills sharp is his top priority. Also, we rehearse a lot so that also keeps us busy.
Who are you binge listening to these days?
Lately Stevie has been blasting Royal Blood’s new album. We love the crispness of their production and the way the drums sound. Although their sound is a little too rock and roll for me personally, Stevie loves them. Funny thing is I don’t listen to a lot of music. If I’m in the car I hear what’s on the radio but I do not have any streaming services or even own a pair of casual headphones. I like older stuff including anything 80’s or within that genre of sound. Matt Maeson however has been a major influence on my songwriting as of late.
Favorite movie or TV show?
Stevie and I both have interesting humor. We both love “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the humor that Larry David possesses. My favorite movie is Forest Gump, but we both really like Dumb & Dumber, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Home Alone and others. Also I am a True Crime fanatic. I’ve seen every documentary ever created about true crime, the subject fascinates me.
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about
“Laissez Faire” was our latest release. We put it out on May 11th. We wrapped the song in 2020 but with the pandemic going on felt it best to hold off on release. This did however open up a window for us to successfully produce a cool music video to accompany the track. The song was actually written many years ago about my move west and having to let go of a long term relationship. It has undergone many changes since then but ultimately landed on the sound you hear in the latest release.
What’s the future looking like for you?
Stevie and I are really excited for the future. We have made great progress since we met and upon completing our own studio have been recording and rehearsing nonstop.
Who inspires your aesthetics?
I think we both have a unique style. As I stated previously I love the 80’s, including the fashion, so my attire is a bit more “out there” as far as colors and themes. Stevie feels comfortable in casual attire but is never afraid to spruce it up a tad with a splash of flair here or there. We both have agreed on our style being different but we feel it helps us diversify a bit and broaden our aesthetic.
What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?
We have a couple milestones we have hit together but have both accomplished things previous to meeting as well. I can speak for both of us when saying that when we are on stage we feel most alive. Building the studio and recording our songs there has been nothing short of an amazing feeling as well. Our main goal is to get the music out to as many people as we can, so naturally we feel accomplished when we receive good feedback from strangers.
What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?
That’s a great question. Today it proves harder than ever to be able to succeed in the music industry. It is extremely flooded and saturated with new artists every day. We have noticed that creating engaging content and being active on social media has helped us out a lot. Just putting music out is the best thing to do. Patience is also really important here. If you have a strong product, work on it until you are happy and then get it out there! Another thing we have been fortunate enough to do is create a team of friends to help with production, music mixing, and overall brand development. I’ve come a long way since thinking I could do this alone and am very thankful for the friends that have been there to help.
Where do you think music and the music industry is headed after this past year?
I think It is doing its best to bounce back from a very tough year. Stevie always reminds me of upcoming shows and festivals so I think everyone is trying their best to get things going again. We all have to do our part and follow the flow of reopening the world. As I said, we haven’t stopped working on the project since we have met so we are trying to do our part as artists within it.