27 June 2009

The Joy Formidable Answers 5

Working out of London, the Joy Formidable is quite busy these days with running a club and touring, this three piece (Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd, and Matt Thomas) are making big waves everywhere they go. With their album released earlier this year (“A Balloon Called Moaning” – 19 January 2009), the band has been playing extensively, both in clubs and festivals, including the Oxegen Festival in Ireland on 10 July. So when I reached out to the band, and Ritzy responded affirmatively that they would mull over my questions, I was ecstatic. Busy band, so of course it is an honor for me when one of my favorite current bands takes the time to Answer 5.

Photo by Toby Hudson

1. Who are your musical and nonmusical influences?

So many to mention, but I'll list a few: Arcade Fire, Van Morrison, Costello, The Flaming Lips, Tony Hancock, Guiseppe Arcimboldo, Dali, Sergio Leone, Charles Bukowski, Thomas Hardy.......

2. More so than here in the States, the UK seems to go label crazy (dream pop, dream indie, post punk revival, etc...) and I am sure your band has gotten all the labels at one time or another. But how do you define your own sound?

I don't think we're keen to surmise it in a phrase, not even in a full sentence. There's many layers to the band and that's why it's exciting, on the surface we're a loud guitar based 3 piece but that's only part of it.

3. You have given fans one of two options: to download the newest CD ("A Balloon Called Moaning") or to download it for free. Why? What have been the results?

That decision was all about embracing change and realizing that people invest in different ways. What's interesting is that most people who downloaded the record for free bought the physical format as well. I'm glad people got to hear the tracks directly from us whichever way.

Photo by Toby Hudson

4. How has "Club Joie de Vivre" impacted your own music and approach to music?

Joie de Vivre was always about supporting new bands and artists, of any genre...it was an extension of an ethic we've always held. It's vital as an artist to be inspired by a range of styles and have an open approach.

5. Considering you run your own club, any good (underground) music out there you would recommend to the blog readers?

Some of these aren't exactly underground, but Little Death are great, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, James Yuill and Dead Wolf Club.

Keep up with the Joy Formidable at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Remember “A Balloon Called Moaning” – which you can buy or download for free via the MySpace page.

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