It was pouring rain and freezing cold on the night of The Joy Formidable's recent New York show. But in the jam-packed venue, you'd never know there was a severe weather warning outside, because the Wales trio had created the type of high-octane dance party usually reserved for weekend ragers.
Within the past couple of years, the group has already won a major following thanks to their fiery, punk-inflected singles like "Whirring" and "I Don't Want to See You Like This." And there's more where that came from on their debut album, The Big Roar, which drops early next year. We chatted with lead singer Ritzy Bryan about their new album, their fans, and how they stay so energetic on stage.
Your U.S. tour has just wrapped up. What was your favorite city?
It's always nice to go back to New York, since we've already played Pianos, Mercury Lounge, and now Bowery; there's kind of a retrospective aspect to it all. You can see which people have come back and you begin to recognize fans.
Had you always planned on releasing multiple EPs before your debut album?
Well, it all started because we had an offer from a Japanese label to put out 5 tracks; after that came out, everyone in the UK was like, "Hey, where's our version?" Everything has been kind of spontaneous in the way that we do things, and we enjoy that. On the other side, we're excited to write a conscious, full-bodied album. We've always had a goal to keep on writing until we've captured all the different elements of us as a band.
How do you guys stay so energized on stage?
Before shows, we like being together; we throw everyone out of our dressing room before we go on. We've also got some pretty funny exercises that we do together. I won't go into those, save us from the humiliation [laughing].
Do your fans differ city to city?
It's really difficult to pin down our fans. Maybe it's because the way things moved in the UK especially, for a long time we were with lots of indie labels and putting stuff out there ourselves. In that sense, they're not there because they've read a whole pile about us or what we're the next "hyped thing." They've either found us themselves or heard about us from someone who they trust.
Who's been your favorite touring partner so far?
I have to say, Grouplove and The Dig have been great. We all got on really well. We actually shared a van with The Dig on the road. It was me and...how many boys? Too many boys!
Hear more from The Joy Formidable here.