Interview :: The Joy Formidable [1.27.10]

The Joy Formidable made their first trip across the ocean from Wales to the United States with a string of sold out shows in New York. We exchanged some emails with lead-singer, Ritzy Bryan. She reflects on the band's early distribution choices, decibels, and if New Yorkers are, in fact, jerks.

32feet: How did the decision to release the record through NME for free come about?

Ritzy Bryan: NME were the first to stream it for free, but it had been available from us prior to that as a free download. We wanted people to hear the record and we were confident that it would generate some real fans, who go on to see you live, and invest in different ways. We put a lot of thought into the physical format; a boxset, a poster edition: that balance between download and having something to hold and collect is important us. Was it a success; yeah it was a great record , everything else is pretty irrelevant.

The scope of your record, A Balloon Called Moaning is massive. It is true "big room" music. What were the inspirations for the sound?

We didn't go into it thinking I want it to sound like this, this or this, but we know what sonically pushes our buttons, what gives us goosebumps. I'm really tuned into dynamics, when things take off , I want to feel the walls quivering. You can have a great song, but on record if it misses that mark, it's really disappointing. In some places ABCM is pushed within an inch of its dBs, a producers nightmare, but we stuck with it, that's how it came out.

Do you have a favorite song on the album?

It changes everytime I hear it. The best thing is that I don't have a least favourite. Today it's "9669."

You all just came through New York for the first time, opening for Passion Pit and then doing two of your own gigs at Union Hall and Pianos. New Yorkers are crushing narcissists. Tell us what you thought of us.

If they are, they hid it well. We had a brilliant time, a very warm welcome, loved seeing the PP boys again and two sold out shows of our own. We're itching to go back and hopefully this time do a longer tour.

Who is your favorite band you've shared a stage with so far? And do you have a dream tour partner?

We haven't toured with any arseholes, all the bands we've travelled with have been great, and many have become friends. And that's not the safe answer, there's plenty of arseholes out there like in every job, we've just been lucky or forged our own luck not to play with them. I've got a real soft spot for Passion Pit and Temper Trap as people, and musical admiration as well. A dream tour partner, let me think, my knees would shake if we opened for Elvis Costello.

Any big news for 2010 you can let the world in on?

The focus at the moment is our debut album, it's almost finished and we'll be releasing it later in the year. We've loved making it, after months on the road writing it, and it being an abstraction it's finally coming together. The headline tour in March will be our biggest to date and we'll be previewing some of the album, so that's exciting, and then in May we'll be Stateside again, doing a tour of Alaska.

Listen :: The Joy Formidable - "Cradle"

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