Despite the great friendship with his bandmates, and despite Gang of Youths’ recent successes, ex-guitarist Joji Malani says he left the band because he “just didn’t find it fulfilling.”
He made the comments during an appearance on episode 9 of the “What a Great Punk” podcast, which is hosted by the guys in These New South Whales, a Sydney punk band with its own Comedy Central mockumentary series.
There’s not a ton of GOY-related convo on the episode, but when asked about his former band, Joji did say he was comfortable talking about what happened. He said that he and the band — especially Dave — were (are) best friends, and that his relationship with Dave even “goes beyond friendship.” But that, along with the band’s successes — like signing that international record deal with Warner Music — wasn’t enough for him to stick around.
“Even with all of that, when you have something in your heart which you feel you need to do, and the place you’re currently at is just not fulfilling … you know, with every new high with Gangs that we experienced in the last few years, I just didn’t find it fulfilling. And that’s why I knew I had to move on.”
Joji’s last appearance with Gang of Youths was October 11, 2019, as the band finished a string of shows opening up for Mumford & Sons. The band’s announcement only said that Joji had decided it was time to “move on into the next phase of his professional life.”
In this podcast conversation, Joji said he had recorded an album’s worth of his own songs after leaving the band, but seemed to suggest that he’s focused now on starting a record label and managing a new band. (I didn’t catch the name of the band if he mentioned it, but based on this Instagram post and Joji’s soon-to-disappear IG story, it seems to be Coconut Cream.)
He says his mates in GOY were sad but supportive when he told them about his plans to step away.
As were we all…..