Interview – The Joy Formidable

North Wales gave birth to The Joy Formidable and the media gave the trio a t-shirt with the word “hype” on the front. With all the praises, frontwoman Ritzy Bryan said they’re not trying to be the next Yeah Yeah Yeahs as they’re a group focused on making music they feel passionate about.

During the past few weeks, you guys have been claimed to be music’s latest “next big thing”. How do you feel about such a moniker?

My mum is just too kind.
What do you think it takes to be “the next big thing”?

I think it takes a lot of trans fat and a tub of lard a day.
One reason for the hype surrounding The Joy Formidable is the fact you are now signed onto an American label, Black Bell Records, which is founded by Passion Pit. Did they approach you about the idea?

We had toured with Passion Pit in the United Kingdom and did a few dates with them in New York City. We’ve become friends, but the initial connection was over the music we were both doing. They suggested releasing our EP and we loved the idea. They’re passionate and have a great team at the label and it gives us an excuse to see each other outside of touring.
As a European act, is signing overseas a major accomplishment?

Writing a body of work that you feel passionate about is the big accomplishment. Working with people who love it too is a bonus.

It obviously takes talent to be included in lineups for prestigious events like Bamboozle in New Jersey. How was that experience for you?

We had a great day. The weather was blissful and the audience was lovely. We like the atmosphere at festivals and Bamboozle was what we’d call a “a good un’”.
Was their ever a point in time while performing at that festival where you thought “I hope these people like our band”?

Not really. You’re doing the wrong job on-stage if that’s your thought bubble.
The North American audience is just being introduced to your music through your EP A Balloon Called Moaning. Some have classified it as dreamy indie pop while others tag the “noise rock” label on it. What would you say your music sounds like?

To be honest, we’re just here to make it, not to try and name it.
Half of your EP was recorded in a bedroom; what was that experience like?

We really like the spontaneity of how we record. It lends itself to being able to capture a moment at any hour of the day or night.
Do you have any similar plans for your official debut album?

It was recorded in similar circumstances, a bit in London and South Wales. The new record is the first time we’ve had live drums on an album and because of that, Matt has brought a lot of rhythmical power to the tracks. The album blends the best of our live side with the synthetic signature of our EP.

As it probably does inspire you quite a bit, what’s the music scene like in North Wales?

We’re a very passionate nation and parts of Wales are quite isolated, so it has the potential to inspire and create quite an original sonic. Not many bands have emerged from North Wales, maybe because of its infrastructure and it’s proximity to the border. North Walian bands have often gravitated towards Manchester or Liverpool to seek a scene. We’re looking forward to putting it back on the musical map
For a band that’s emerging from a less-recognized community, what’s the most important thing you hope to accomplish by the end of this year?

We’re very proud of the album we’ve just finished. That itself is a victory for us. We’re looking forward to sharing it too.
Is it safe to say Toronto hasn’t seen the last of The Joy Formidable?

The Joy Formidable hasn’t seen the last of Toronto.

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