Yung Skayda and Karm The Tool of WHOKILLEDXIX always follow where their intuition and excitement take them. The Los Angeles-based duo talk about their own music with the jittery enthusiasm of a kid who’s discovered their new favorite band. Each song they release is adventurous and electrifying, pulling on the most idiosyncratic threads of hard-nosed punk, bruising rap, shredded rock sounds, and dizzy electronic music. But thinking about genre is never really part of the question—they can find something compelling in more or less any sound. As they work, the first thought is always the best one. “We don’t try to hone in on any of our influences,” Karm explains. “When we’re making a song, it goes wherever it wants to go.”

In moments like the early single “ANXIETY,” they sound somewhere in between the roiling energy of 100 Gecs and Bad Brains, but on another new track, “ATTENTION!,” they bridge the gap between noise-punk and Paramore, mixing saccharine melodies with noisy interludes. On their new album, PULLBACK, the duo show they can interpolate ideas from every genre under the sun, but everything they create somehow sounds unlike anything else.“We’re making the music we’ve wanted to make since we began playing in bands as teenagers,” Karm says. “We’re getting better at being able to translate ideas in our own voices.” 

Growing up in central Connecticut, Skayda and Karm always knew they would be making music together, but WHOKILLEDXIX has taken off quicker than they could have imagined. Since they began the project, they’ve never had any set of rules for what they make together—preferring to indulge in whatever sound strikes them in a moment. But lyrically, they’ve always held fast to a core value. “This music is about fucking fighting your inner demons,” says Skayda. WHOKILLEDXIX have quickly gained a large following because of this devotion to their mission, which is to help kids find a scene they never had themselves growing up. They’ve created a home for outsiders and weirdos, for all those who love MCs who scream and punk rockers who rap. And it’s resonated.

“I thought I was going to have to put in work for 10 years before I saw anything,” Skayda says. “But the success confirms that we’re in the right place. It helps us keep going.”

WHOKILLEDXIX have found a home in popular music by shaking the genre to its foundations and rebuilding from the rubble. They don’t fit into a specific scene, and they’re proud of that fact. They are relentless pursuers of new ideas and fresh discoveries, which PULLBACK only emphasizes. “After years and years of feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere, we’re now making the rules,” Karm says. “You like rage music? You like rave music? You like pop-punk music? Hop in.” WHOKILLEDXIX will let anyone on board, but they’re not altering their route for anyone. They’re ready to go anywhere—and everywhere.