Posted On 21 Apr 2016
Tag: Alabama, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Artist, Artist Interview, Bambi, Band, band interview, Bastille, Beck, Benjamin Bailey, Blur, Brooklyn, California, Chumbawamba, Circuit City, Coachella, Coachella 2015, Coachella Music Festival, Cultco, Cultco Kool-Aid, Damon Albarn, Daniel Armbruster, Disney, dramamine, Duck Sauce, Empire Polo Fields, ESPN, Europe, Fantasia, Festival, Gulf Shores, Hangout Fest, Hangout Festival, Hollywood Records, How Do You Feel Now?, How Do You Feel?, Hype Machine, Indio, Jet Blue, Jock Jams, Joseph Morinelli, Joywave, Kanye, Kanye West, Keith Schofield, Kendrick Lamar, Limp Bizkit, Lolla, Lollapalooza, Media Play, Music, Music Festival, New York, Nicole DeRosa, NY, Palm Springs, Paul Brenner, Peaches, Peter Pan, Rochester, Sean Donnelly, Significant Other, Skrillex, Somebody New, Spotify, Stevie Wonder, SXSW, The Killers, The Presidents of The United States of America, UK
They’re smart. They’re funny. They’re in a band. Wait, there’s more. Joywave are five hardened criminals from Rochester, NY, making conceptual, humorously self-aware indie pop that’s both retro and cutting edge. To step inside a Joywave song is to lose yourself in a thoughtfully-curated, tech-savvy synthesis of emotions, genres and random noise, blended into an eminently danceable DIY sound smoothie. Add to that an energetic and seamless live performance (as Rolling Stone said of their 2014 Lollapalooza show, “Joywave brought the disco to the forest”) not to mention lead singer Daniel Armbruster’s unforgettable mustache, and the result is a buzz that won’t stop growing. The last 12 months have seen a flurry of activity for the quintet—they released the How Do You Feel? EP, played a packed SXSW showcase, opened for the Killers, made waves at Lollapalooza and toured the US, Europe and UK for the first time. They’ve already had two tracks hit #1 on Hype Machine, released their debut album, How Do You Feel Now? and have a new release out called SWISH. They just played to a packed tent at Coachella (their second year) this year as one of THE most buzzed about bands to not miss at the festival this year!
The five band members, vocalist Daniel Armbruster, guitarist Joseph Morinelli, bassist Sean Donnelly, keyboardist Benjamin Bailey, and drummer Paul Brenner—met at school in the economically-depressed blue collar town of Rochester, in western New York state. Daniel and Sean initially teamed up because “Sean had some software I wanted,” says Daniel, and the band went through various incarnations, including a joke band whose songs satirized contemporary pop hits. “Within a couple months of starting this fake band we did a showcase for a major label,” says Daniel. “We were like ‘guys, this is a joke, thank you for the pizza’.” The next endeavor was more traditional guitar rock. “We learned opposite things from those two bands,” says Sean. “Basically that the whole music industry is a giant shit storm, so we should do whatever makes us happy. That is what led to the genre-hopping and experimentation of our current sound.” The band signed with Hollywood Records in 2013.
“The entire album is a tapestry of field recordings and app-mutated sounds: noises from a Jet Blue flight, hallelujahs of a choir in Brooklyn, and samples from Fantasia, Peter Pan, and Bambi. In fact, Joywave is the first band Disney has allowed to sample its classic cartoons.”
“Somebody New,” the first single off How Do You Feel Now? is a “lazy love song” that was born after Armbruster had a dream in which Skrillex was DJ’ing “this hilarious song, with this ‘woop woop’ dubstep riff. When I woke up I thought it would be funny to build a song around that.” The “Somebody New” video was directed by Keith Schofield (Duck Sauce, Beck, Bastille.)
Obsessed with the processes and concepts behind music making, they cite pop’s great explorers—Damon Albarn and Kanye West, for example—as inspirations. Not that they sound like them, necessarily—for Joywave, what’s inspiring, more so than a specific song or artist, is a dedication to reinvention.
“We tip our hat to people who do want they want to do and constantly reinvent themselves,” says Daniel. “People who say ‘I am going to do exactly what I want to do right now, and not worry about what I did before or what the last track sounded like.’ That level of reckless creativity is what we continually aspire to.”
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with bassist, Sean Donnelly between festivals. Read more in their interview below!
Hi Ben! Where does this interview find you? What’s on the agenda today
Today consists of staring at screens in a rocky van, abusing Dramamine to avoid motion sickness. Perhaps we’ll eat at a chain restaurant and stop at a few gas stations along the way for socialization’s sake.
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you?
Flute, percussion, clarinet, saxophone, piano, respectively. We all played in our school’s symphonic band on those instruments, which we all look back upon fondly, but I remember it being kind of a drag having to fill out a practice card every week and getting my mom to sign it.
You released your latest EP, How Do You Feel? in March this past year. What did you learn between albums that you felt you wanted to infuse into How Do You Feel Now?
Well, HDYFN? includes all four songs from the HDYF? EP, but there were definitely lessons learned between the two. HDYF? was basically just a way to get songs out into the world without waiting for a big record rollout process. We finished four tunes and just packaged them together without any deep regard for sequencing or flow. That’s something we actively sought to improve upon for the full-length, paying special attention to the flow between songs, inserting transitions where necessary and stuff like that. A lot of our favorite albums are these seamless and smooth experiences, so that was something we tried to capture on our record.
Can you share with me what your inspiration was for your single, “Now”?
Daniel Armbruster: It’s probably the most straight forward song on HDYFN?. It’s not really a song I like to discuss at length. I think the lyrics tell the listener what they need to know. Musically we had a chance to make a giant arena sized song for the first time in our lives. We had a studio and a budget at our disposal, and it would have been a mistake to not capture that side of the band on the LP.
Who are your musical influences?
We don’t have a lot of explicit musical influences, not to say we’re not influenced by music. I think we’re creatively inspired by artists who aren’t afraid to transform, evolve and reinvent themselves, even at the risk of alienating their fans. Kanye West and Damon Albarn always spring to mind as two guys who have constantly evolved throughout their careers, but have always done so with great taste.
Do you remember the first album you bought for yourself?
Mine was Limp Bizkit “Significant Other”. I don’t know what bullshit chores I did to earn that money, but I don’t remember doing any at all. Usually my Dad bought me random records to pressure me into a music obsession. Daniel’s first was Jock Jams, ESPN-released arena jams. Picturing him checking out with that record at Media Play or Circuit City or whatever is hilarious.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
Mine was “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America, but it was more of a fling. I could probably do without that song now.
Who would your dream collaboration be with, living or dead?
This is where we always say Kendrick Lamar and hope that someone tells him…
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
We have a playlist on Spotify that we constantly update for fans called “Cultco Kool-Aid“. On it, you will find Kanye, Chumbawamba, a lot of this Berlin-based producer, Clark, Stevie Wonder, random film scores, all sorts of stuff. Given that we all came up with the Internet, it’s inherently eclectic, but not too out there.
What’s on tap next for you guys? What are you most excited about for this year?
We’re pumped to see new parts of the world that we haven’t seen outside of America. Hopefully we get to try a different mode of tour transportation at some point, a cooler van, an 18-wheeler, a yacht, we’ll see.
To learn more about JOYWAVE , visit them HERE .
Be sure to also check out the bands hilarious You Tube Channel called Coffee with Joywave HERE .