They say two Tonys are better than one, and everyone knows three Tonys is a party waiting to happen.
Having escaped a cult at the age of 18 to start a band in NYC, TONY OR TONY is the exciting new hyperpop group that's been sweeping the city's DIY scene and serving up more than your daily recommended dose of Tony. Likening their music to "late style thumper rave and glissando core," the band is first and foremost a party band, taking inspiration from The Prodigy, MGMT and A.G. Cook to form an eclectic sound that is as unpredictable as it is exhilarating. (Think Beastie Boys' attitude meets 100 gecs' level of irreverence.)
Consisting of Tony, 1.2 and Tony Z — with assistance by Quick Tony — the band recently made a splash at NYC's Elsewhere with their debut headlining performance and they're keeping the momentum going with their new single "New Toy." Starting off with a dazzling stack of synths before plummeting into a thrashing drop, the track is nothing short of an unabashed headbanger that'll make you want to stomp your feet and throw things in a frenzied burst of pure energy.
"'New Toy' is basically a fractured love song made from mashing three songs into one," TONY OR TONY says of the new single. "The result was sad/angry and also victorious. It's like a combination of multiple songs you want to hear when you get your heart broken."
The single arrives alongside a new visual directed by the band starring Sasha Melnychuk that "follows the journey of an online shopper that buys a boy band instantly with 1-Click shipping for so cheap (<1 cent per stream with pretty boy dolls designed by NYC-based NFT artist Jett Strauss)."
The band says: "We wanted the video to mimic the bipolarity of the song, to have sweetness and also horror. Dr. Seuss and the Three Stooges are some of the influences for a resurrection tale about e-retail therapy."
In an age where K-pop groups can bleed into the metaverse as digital avatars, AI can cover country classics and every artist and their mother is minting anything they can get their hands on as an NFT, the line between artist and commodity has never been blurrier. TONY OR TONY's vision of an on-demand boy band in a box with next-day shipping doesn't seem too far outside the realm of plausibility. It's bleakly dystopian with a dar,k tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that feels like a modern-day take on a particularly warped Grimm's fairytale.
Check out the PAPER premiere of TONY OR TONY's "New Toy" – and exclusive behind-the-scenes shots from the making of the music video — below.
Photography: Hana Mendel