Denver-based band Tonguebyte is your next music obsession


(Graphic illustration by Elliot Stemen | The Collegian)

Kadyn Thorpe, Arts and Culture Reporter

Music fanatics, listen up! If you’re looking to get more into the local music scene here in Colorado, look no further — we have got you covered. 

If you want to support local artists and add a little spice to your playlists, we’ve got the band for you. According to their Facebook, Denver-based band Tonguebyte strives to “push Denver music into a funky punk rock-fueled future,” and they’re sure to be your next musical obsession.  


“I would describe our sound as emo jazz,” said Jacob “JJ” Maestas, vocalist and guitarist for Tonguebyte. “All the people in our band have big propensities towards emotional music and jazz.”

The six-person indie-rock band is made up of Maestas, bassist Ben Eberle, guitarist Daniel Geller, drummer Diego Lucero, percussionist E. Lyon Xavier and saxophonist Bo Brooks. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, some of the members played together as a jazz combo for Eaglecrest High School and made Tonguebyte official in 2017. 

“The name Tonguebyte comes from our high school days, when we freshly turned 18 and would smoke a bunch of cigars because we thought it was cool, and when you smoke cigars, you get this thing called tongue bite, but that evolved into tonguebyte, like a gigabyte, because I kind of wanted the band to be an allegory of the things that I’ve said that meant the most to other people,” Maestas said. 

Their music has fast tempos and saxophone solos that will without a doubt unlock some serotonin as you listen. Driving down the road on a hot day with your windows rolled down and the wind in your hair is the vibe their music puts out. 

With a hyperactive bass line, the lower and deeper sounds can sometimes overshadow the electric guitar, giving Tonguebyte a more original sound compared to other bands. The heavy bass lines played by Eberle, the crashing of symbols as Lucero tears up the drums, the blending of Brooks’ saxophone in and out of the song and the harmonic vocals created by Maestas and Eberle create a complex combination of sounds that fuse together just right. 

“Everyone in the band kind of has their own separate music that they like, and I feel like that’s what gives us such a unique sound, but if I was to say, the one thing that connects us is probably jazz and punk,” Maestas said. 

Tonguebyte has the ability to blend in different genres of music to create a truly original sound. They are not afraid to push the limits and experiment with different sounds and take risks in order to create what they love. The band is a combination of punk rock, indie and Jamaican rhythms to create a ska-influenced sound. Ska is a genre of music that blends together Jamaican rhythms, horns and punk rock to create a danceable, high-energy sound that will get you out of your seat every time. 

With influence from bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Descendents, it’s clear why Tonguebyte’s music is so high in energy and fast-paced. You know just from listening to them that their live performances would be filled with high energy not only from the band but from the audience as well. It seems to be impossible to sit still while listening to their music. 

“We like to tailgate our own shows and just hang out with a lot of our fans in the parking lot and just kind of hang out,” Maestas said. “So if you want to find us before a show, that’s probably where it would be.”


Recently, Tonguebyte released a music video for their latest single, “White Rabbit.” You can find the video on their YouTube channel. If you’re a music video fan like myself, watching a music video can make you feel more connected to the song and to the band. 

“Releasing the ‘White Rabbit’ music video was a pretty big ordeal for us,” Maestas said. “It took time to plan, but when it came to shoot, we shot the whole video in one day, and that was pretty hectic, but it was a really fun time. The director, George Till, has a fantastic team that is super professional and really fun to be around. Also, I got to have my own bunny in a music video, which is super sick.”

The “White Rabbit” music video is filled with imagery of Zuri Leigh, a musician and model based out of Denver, as she sits in a room filled with vibrant flowers and a white rabbit. The second half of the video consists of watching the band jam out, with close-up shots of Maestas and Eberle playing the guitar and bass. It’s definitely a music video that is going to make you want to get up and vibe with the band on the screen. 

In an Instagram post promoting the music video, Maestas stated, “This is the only song i wrote in 2020. It was written about coping with the pandemic, which my rabbit, BunDeLaCreme, helped a lot with.”

It’s a beautifully written song based on something that was seen as such an ugly situation. They took to their creativity to cope with what was happening in the world, and it definitely worked out in their favor. 

As of now, Tonguebyte is working on two new tracks: “Spells,” which will be in the same style as their latest release “White Rabbit,” and a punk track called “Rolling Rock.” 

Be sure to check Tonguebyte out on Spotify and show them some Fort Collins love. If you want to see them perform live, check out their Instagram, on which they announce all of their upcoming shows.

Reach Kadyn Thorpe at or on Twitter @thorpekadyn.