Sign Up for FILTER Newsletters


Q&A: The Joy Formidable at Music Midtown (09/24/11)

By Adam Valeiras on October 3, 2011


Q&A: The Joy Formidable at Music Midtown (09/24/11)

Last week, we gave the first half of our recap on Atanta's Music Midtown - a recently reborn day-fest that takes place in the beautiful and ideal Piedmont Park. The festival hosted an impressive lineup that included, but was not limited to: Manchester Orchestra, Coldplay, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, and The Joy Formidable. We got a chance to chat with the lovely members of The Joy Formidable after their show, which you can read in full below:

Have you guys been to Atlanta before?

Rhydian: Just the once I think it is. We played at The Earl...
Ritzy: May. It was a great show. It was our first show of the last US tour. In fact, it was our first time in Atlanta by then. It was a great show. Had a lovely, lovely crowd.

So how do you like the South?

Ritzy: I don't think we've done enough shows here to comment on it completely. We're going to Tampa, FL for the first time tomorrow; we're going to spend a day in Savannah, GA, and you know, I think we need a little bit more time here to kind of soak it all in.
Rhydian: But the tiny bit we have experienced has been great. To be honest with you, all the shows in the States have been so great, and so heartwarming right from the start. People are all coming out to shows. Have a great time. It's pretty straightforward.

Do you have day-festivals like this in the UK?

Ritzy: Yeah, there's a couple. But the sun doesn't shine quite as much as this.
Rhydian: We're lucky.. we feel lucky to get these experiences. We come from Northern Wales and it's always raining. It's a beautiful place, but it just really hurts the whole festival atmosphere, so yeah, very happy to be here.

Are the American crowds different than the audience that you'll get in the UK?

Rhydian: I think the key is if you set yourself up for relying on any kind of hype or anything like that, then maybe we're a little bit lucky because I don't think we've really had that serious hype, so it's been just show after show after show, and people coming back, talking to each other, word of mouth. And you know, we always say, that's where the truth lies for us. Playing the shows is where you really prove yourself as an artist. Okay, we put a lot of emphasis as well on writing and are very proud of the album, but once you get out there on the road... we want to get out everywhere, and that's the thing about the States, like we were saying about the South. We need to get out to more. It's such a vast country that we need to explore more of it. You know, if you set yourself up like that then I think the audiences tend to be the same. They are there because they want to be there, not because so-and-so has told them to be there. So you could say we are quite priveleged, but we paved that path. All the shows have been great.
Ritzy: There's so much variety from touring anyway. It's like you can kind of do a run - the second time, the same city is completely different from the first. I think touring throws out a lot of stereotypes. It throws out any kind of preconceived ideas that all get smashed into smithereens.
Rhydian: Yeah, cause sometimes you get people saying, "If you go there, they're really crazy. They look for it. They're always getting drunk." And that's not necessarily the case. A lot of other places are meant to be reserved, but actually they're not.

So you can't go in with expectations.

Rhydian: Yes. Variety. And that's what makes it exciting. It's spontaneous. It's there and then.

Out of today's lineup who were you most excited to see?

Ritzy: Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, and The Black Keys.

Have you and Coldplay gotten to bond over your United Kingdom roots?

Ritzy: It goes beyond that.
Rhydian: The guitarist is actually from to really close.
Ritzy: He went to the school next door to ours.
Rhydian: He's really good friends with one of my best friends and oddly enough, in a previous band, he was going to release a single for us, but that fell through, but yeah, we are good friends. In North Wales, there's not a hell of a lot happening. It's getting better, in terms of music, but it's quite a strange place to grow up, so it would be nice to feel part of some kind of movement that would put it right on the top, right on the top.

At your show have sort of an interesting stage set-up, with the drums facing inwards. Is there a communal band idea behind that?

Ritzy: Yeah, because I have to keep an eye on them.
Rhydian: Yeah, I'd say it's the other way around. If they mess up, I can keep them in check.
Ritzy: I'm keeping an eye on him; he's keeping an eye on us.
Matt: It all works either way.
Rhydian: It feels really weird when we play a really small show and Matt has to be in the back, because we gotta see each other and it kind of adds to the dynamic of the spontaneity and working off each other as a band.
Matt: We like to interact. There's band that are sort of just like [does monotonous drumming motion with his hands], well obviously if you're a guitarist, you're not gonna be going like this, you'll be going like that [switches to a monotonous guitar strum]. This isn't gonna translate well if this is only a recording [laughs].

I'll just put it in parentheses or something.

Matt: Yes! Parentheses is the right...
Rhydian: Word of the day. Parentheses.

To learn more about The Joy Formidable, visit their website.

Check out their online merch/music store, here.


<< Newer Post  Older Post >>