Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ The Joy Formidable

The Joy FormidableThe Joy Formidable have recently released their second album Wolf’s Law. With loud guitars, driven basslines, lively drums, lovely vocals, and hook-laden choruses, The Joy Formidable have absolutely killed it with this album. AMBY wanted to learn more about Wolf’s Law, so the band graciously answered a few questions for us. So have a gander at our interview where The Joy Formidable talk about the album, bus parties, Princess Leia, and more!

AMBY: How would you explain your music to others who haven’t had the opportunity of hearing you?

The Joy Formidable: It’s sincere and it’s bold. We’re very lyrically driven and there’s a strong visual side to the band, like painting a musical picture. I grew up  listening to  songwriters like Dylan, Springsteen & Costello, Rhydian was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix and Matt listens to all sorts of crazy shit, from what we call “elevator jazz” to Frank Zappa. Together, we’re an interesting bunch, no genre off limits, there’s only good or bad music.

AMBY: Where did the name The Joy Formidable come from?

The Joy Formidable: Rhydian and I started the band in North Wales. We wrote a lot, demoed, found our groove if you like before worrying about giving ourselves a name. It came to us in the same way as a song lyric or a title, only it spoke to us differently, evoked more about the band we were becoming.

AMBY: Which three of your tracks must be on everyone’s player?

The Joy Formidable: We don’t have favourites, the others get jealous, but in terms of a high fidelity- esque mini playlist: The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade, Silent Treatment and This Ladder is Ours.

AMBY: You have been working on your next album, how has the sound of the band evolved?

The Joy Formidable: There’s a lot of breadth on the new album. Tracks like The Turnaround weave together a lot of string and choral sections, there’s harp, piano, as well as the core guitar, bass and drums enjoying a new sonic palette.

AMBY: You recently released your latest single Cholla, what is the story behind the song?

The Joy Formidable: It was written in the Joshua Tree National Park, inspired by the Cholla cactus and the Gardens that are there. It’s a very personal song; it talks about the breakdown of a relationship between a mother and a daughter, and the cactus as a symbol of something that gives life in a dry place, but also as something that pushes you away.

AMBY: The video for Wolf’s Law is visually stunning. Where did the concept come from?

The Joy Formidable: We always intended for that song to have a visual partner. It’s a song that talks about time, the cycles of life and life constantly moving. Carl Sagan sums it up perfectly when he says “Far better to look death in the eye and be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides”

AMBY: You have been supporting Muse on tour, how did it feel to be selected to play with them?

The Joy Formidable: The timing was great, we were excited to be back in the UK and we mixed up the arena tour with a couple of really great, intimate shows of our own to preview the new album.

AMBY: On that note, what is the craziest moment you have had while touring?

The Joy Formidable: The bus party we had outside the 9.30 club in Washington DC is pretty legendary. That’s where we cultivated our love of naked wrestling.

AMBY: If you could be any character in fiction, whom would it be?

The Joy Formidable: Princess Leia had good hair and a pretty good time with Hans Solo.

AMBY: What do you do outside of music for fun?

The Joy Formidable: I like to write and I’m big on walking. Roaming the cities, see what you chance upon. Matts a mad scientist, he’s just started building a robot.

AMBY: What was the best song of 2012?

The Joy Formidable: Matt says Pallbearer – Foreigner

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about The Joy Formidable that nobody knows yet?

The Joy Formidable: We’re all into vegetable carving, you should see what we’ve just made out of a giant marrow.


Thank you The Joy Formidable, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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