The Joy Formidable
Courtesy of Corona Capital
Exclusive: The Joy Formidable To Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of Debut EP With Welsh Version
It's been 10 years since Welsh alt-rock band The Joy Formidable released their first EP A Balloon Called Moaning. No small feat, the band is celebrating with a project unlike any other they've done before.
"Instead of re-releasing [the album,] we recorded it in Welsh," Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan told the Recording Academy. "We're excited, it sounds beautiful and it brings back a lot of memories."
The band, whose latest album is Aaarth, says their love of music and frienship is what has kept them strong this long.
"It's actual friendship, and caring about each other and also the music, absolutely the music," bassist/vocalist Rhydian Davies said. "I think when we get on stage and we're playing what we're playing, we forget about everything and enjoy the moment and it's not because of business."
The Recording Academy talked with the charming trio after their set at Corona Capital Guadalajara in Mexico about more details of their Welsh release, how important personal songwriting is to them, what's next for them and more.
Tell me, how does it feel to be in Mexico?
Ritzy: It's been a little while. I think we were here in 2012. It's been seven years and we had a really lovely time last time that we visited. So I think we've been just excited to come back and hoping and kind of, I feel a little bit torn, I wish we'd been back more but, no point in having regrets. Hopefully we can come back more regularly from now on.
Rhydian: There are so many things that get in the way unfortunately, you know? We'd like to go everywhere on every album cycle but, certain things come in the way; logistics or whatever it is, personal circumstances, but, It's just nice to be here we've not been to Guadalajara before.
You're celebrating 10 years together this year. What is the glue that keeps you together?
Ritzy: I think a lot of respect for each other, good communication and, I think, all of us have got quite different personalities, and just over time you learn how to I suppose just build, inspire each other, how to still have a sense of humor, how to still be really good friends but, we're all quite different people. Over time we've just created this dynamic that feels very intuitive and very, I don't want to say easy, 'cause we fight as well you know.
Rhydian: It's friendship and love isn't it?
Rhydian: Friendship, love and respect comes from that because you spend 24/7 with someone, you're bound to have some arguments and how'd you get over that? It's love isn't it? It's actual friendship, and caring about each other and also the music, absolutely the music. I think when we get on stage and we're playing what we're playing, we forget about everything and enjoy the moment and it's not because of business. We are not doing it just because we want to be famous or it's like I'm getting paid at the end of this so those are pretty major things I think. Don't do music if you doing it for those reasons, that's my opinion.
Matt: Rhydian Davies with his opinions (all laugh)
Where do you get your inspiration from? I mean you have made music for so long, where does it come from constantly?
Ritzy: It comes from the smallest little thing that happens, maybe. Just you see something that triggers or it makes you feel something and it can go from there, something as simple as nature or just a moment in time watching something through the window, walking down the street to something much more expansive, where you just feel like you need to get something out, you have a story to tell, or you feel like you need to share something that has happened to you good or bad. I think it could be—
Matt: Could be anything—
Rhydian: It could be very personal.
Ritzy: Yeah very.
Rhydian: Because it's been something cathartic for us as well, trying to get over things. You know, there's been things, traumas and fear and into sometimes, what would you call it, mental problems, mental issues, which is obviously something that affects so many people, and we don't like to talk about it but, I think whatever you talk about, you can't help but put your personal element on it because it is obviously how you see the world, isn't it? The personal is always, I think, a really big part of this band. It's not like trying to fit in lyrics to go "DA DA DA" so it sounds nice at the end. "In the air, we're gonna fly, I feel so high," and that's fine. There's a place for everything isn't it? But, I do feel like it's also been a benefit for us to also talk about something that actually means something personal you know?
Matt: We've also got a song about a cactus.
Corona Capital's mission is to bring more international music to Mexico, what does it feel, for you, to play in a new city? To get your music in a new place?
Ritzy: I don't think we ever get in a place all weary. It's not like we wake up in the morning and we're like, "Uh, Where are we? It's fucking ground hog day". That isn't what drives our band or us as individuals, we still are hungry to play music, we are still excited to wake up in a new city but—
Rhydian: You know, we love to play anywhere. New city, old city, we are always excited to go back.
Matt: The key thing is your message is in there, you ask about lyrics and I don't think it's just the lyrics as well as what your message [is], I think.