Hailing from Ocean View, Hawaii, K.O.A. was formed in 2015 by vocalist/guitarist Erik Wilcox and vocalist/bassist Justine Hanchar. The band released a debut CD, played shows locally, and their song “Falling Through the Cracks” was featured on the 2016 Rocktopia compilation CD. It received radio airplay in the UK, and K.O.A was also featured in Fireworks Magazine.
In 2017, drummer Laura Roberts joined K.O.A., and with this lineup, the band chemistry and live show dynamics were undeniable, and the band felt unstoppable.
Their second CD, The New Norm, was released in 2017 to positive reviews. Mastered by legendary producer/engineer Harry Hess (Three Days Grace, Barenaked Ladies, Harem Scarem), the CD dramatically boosted the band’s online presence. The single “Beach in Hawaii” has received over 200,000 streams worldwide. After a slew of shows to support the CD, the band landed a spot in the largest annual festival on Hawaii Island; the 2017 Kona Rocktoberfest.
The self-produced third CD, Put on Your Happy Face, features a raw, stripped-down sound, and the single and video “Aloha Friday” shows how punk rock can exist on a laid-back Hawaiian island! “Put on Your Happy Face” has received over 150,000 streams to date from over 75 countries around the world as the band continues to expand its audience.
The band’s name “Kauz of Affliction” is a play on words for the District of Ka’u, Hawaii where the band is from. Fans and friends often refer to the band as “K.O.A.” Some often think that K.O.A. is a reference to the native Hawaiian koa trees that dot the landscape where they live so it’s always a surprise when an audience is expecting songs about koa trees and instead get punk rock! For that reason, K.O.A. likes to joke that “they’ll play any venue once.”
Musically, K.O.A’s sound is unique and comparisons are difficult. Reviewers have described their music as “a raging hybrid of metal and punk” “where “every track takes you by surprise.” Yet K.O.A. manages to write songs that pull the listener in with strong, compelling hooks and memorable subject matter. Citing varied influences ranging from punk, metal, pop, new wave, and even hints of reggae, K.O.A incorporates all that and more into their genre-defying and defining sound.
This year marks an exciting new chapter for the band with the release of the single “Give it a Chance.” This song provides a taste of what’s in store for their fourth full-length CD. Never ones to rewrite the same album year after year, K.O.A.’s sound continues to evolve as they further challenge themselves with each release. Though they will always maintain the core sound that sets them apart, the new material promises to be even more driving, catchy, and infectious.
Look for a new full-length release in the fall of 2020 and in the meantime, check out their first three releases on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, or visit them at https://www.facebook.com/kauzofaffliction