Gang of Youths' legendary guitarist, Joji Malani, is leaving the band
He'll be playing his last show with the band in the US tomorrow night.
Over the last few years, you've probably heard of the gripping ferocity of Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le'aupepe, and how it translates into the live realm: emotional, captivating, triumphant and engrossing a couple of words thrown around. However, if you've seen Gang of Youths live over this time, you'd know that all of the focus isn't just on one of the world's best frontmen, but also on how he works alongside the rest of the band and draws his energy from the rest of the group; their infamous guitarist Joji Malani - one of the band's most recognisable names alongside Dave - being a source for much of this energy.
He's been an essential part of the group for eight years now, and his connection with the band feels almost essential at this point - it's hard to think of a Gang of Youths where Joji's masterful craft is non-existent. However, in a message posted onto their social media today, it seems like we'll have to face the reality of this happening, with Joji stepping down from the band to pursue his own projects, ones bound to amplify the brilliance of the musician in his own, personal realm.
"It’s with great sadness but immense gratitude that we announce our wonderful brother, best friend and guitarist Joji Malani will play his final show with Gang of Youths in Oklahoma City on the 11th of October," the band wrote on Facebook. "He’s lovingly given eight years (practically the bulk of his 20s!) to this project, and a few months ago made the tough decision to leave GOY and move on into the next phase of his professional life. Eight years is a long time for any job, and we are so grateful to have had him for as long as we did. Keep an ear and eye out for some of the exciting things he’s getting up to very soon."
It'll be strange seeing Gang of Youths without Joji, but here's hoping his new work - which you might be able to find on his Instagram account - will fill that hole. Find the full statement below:
Follow Gang of Youths: FACEBOOK