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Kayo Dot is an American avant garde group that was formed in 2003 by Toby Driver. They released their debut album Choirs of the Eye on John Zorn's Tzadik Records label that year.

The music of Kayo Dot bridges several genres, from heavy metal to classical music. Their songs involve complex instrumentation (composed by singer and frontman Driver). They are substantially longer than typical rock songs, usually ranging from 8 to 18 minutes in length.

Tzadik's descriptive label on that album reads: "Kayo Dot powerfully integrates elements of modern classical composition with the layers of guitars and vocals more common to rock and metal. With a compositional map that is strict in form yet malleable in execution, Kayo Dot uses a vast array of instrumentation to create an exciting convergence of violence and serenity."


Kayo Dot was formed after the disbanding of maudlin of the Well, a progressive heavy metal band which formed in 1996 and dissolved in 2003. Many past members of maudlin of the Well – Josh Seipp-Williams, Sam Gutterman, Terran Olson, Andrew Dickson, and Toby Driver – studied at Hampshire Collegemarker in Amherst, Massachusettsmarker from 1996-2000, where My Fruit PsychoBells...A Seed Combustible was recorded. At Hampshire, Driver, Olson, and Dickson were students of jazz musician Yusef Lateef, whose theories of autophysiopsychic music may have influenced the bands' output.

Driver has gone on to say on their website:"Some members of this project worked in the progressive-metal project-band maudlin of the Well from 1996 - 2003, at which time motW dismembered. Kayo Dot isn't much different from maudlin of the Well musically - rather it's more like a continuation in the direction maudlin of the Well had been progressing."

and has also said:"People are too preoccupied with whatever connection there may be between maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot."

In May 2005, Tom Malone joined the band as their new drummer after longtime collaborator Sam Gutterman left the band in March 2005. Kayo Dot then signed to Robotic Empire Records and released its second album, Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue, in January 2006.

In 2006, near the end of the fall tour, four members – playing guitar, bass, drums, and trumpet – left the band for personal reasons. On the tenth of December, Greg Massi also left Kayo Dot on good terms stating he was going "to try and figure out other aspects of my musical life and take some time to figure out where I want to be going." (Massi has recently completed his solo album, "A Time for Rust" under the moniker Baliset.)

The band released their third album, Blue Lambency Downward on May 6, 2008 to Hydra Head Records to mixed reviews.

Kayo Dot is currently preparing a fourth studio album for release in early 2010. The title has been confirmed as Coyote.

Current members

Image:Kayodot2.jpg|Kayo Dot in Santa Cruz, CAImage:Kayodot3.jpg|Violinist Mia Matsumiya
Guitarist Greg Massi

Studio Albums


  • Split with Bloody Panda (2006)
  • Split with Pelican, Zozobra and Steve Brodsky: Champions of Sound 2008 (2009)


External links

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