Joywave Talk Collaborating With Kendrick Lamar & Why They'll Never Make A Coldplay Album
S/O to Skrillex, too...
Rochester five-piece Joywave are one of those bands that are as interesting in person as they are in song. Offering the perfect mix of banter and serious conversation - much like their debut album, How Do You Feel Now? - Daniel Armbruster, Benjamin Bailey, Paul Brenner, Sean Donnelly and Joseph Morinelli, are a journo's dream.
Image: David O'Donohue
Despite the fact we're still not sure if they were joking about the whole not skateboarding thing, we're certain that latest single 'Somebody New' is going to be stuck in our heads all summer, not least after checking out their supporting gig with Brandon Flowers this Friday 22nd May. Here they talk MTV icons, inconveniencing The Killers' fans and dreaming of Skrillex.
MTV UK: You guys spent the weekend at HangOut Festival; when did you get here?
Daniel Armbruster: Sunday morning. We met Sway!
MTV UK: You met Sway, how was that?
Sean Donnelly: Usually we do this humble, upstate New York thing, where we walk by celebrities. But then one of these guys pointed out Sway and I was like, ‘SWAY! SWAY!’ Eventually later we did it again and he hung out, and took a picture with us.
Daniel: We did a live interview thing at HangOut with MTV, with a girl I hadn’t seen before, though she was very nice and awesome and fantastic. Sway was like, ‘Who interviewed you guys?’ And I told him, then added, ‘But when you’re watching MTV you want your interview to be with Sway!’ He said next time we can request him.
MTV UK: How was HangOut in general and how was your set?
Daniel: Yeah, we watched Jack Ü’s set, Paul watched Foo Fighters. It was really great. We played at 12.30 and we were the first band on our stage. We weren’t sure how it would go down, because it was our first festival since we played Lollapalooza last year, and it was really, really good.
MTV UK: Your new single 'Somebody New' dropped this week – what’s the story behind the song?
Daniel: I guess the song started with the bass riff. I had a dream that Skrillex was DJing and the bass riff was happening like a ‘wub wub’ dubstep thing. Then I woke up and thought it was funny, but I played it on my bass, and thought it was actually a cool riff. The song kind of got built around that.
MTV UK: The video sees all you guys hop on skateboards – are you boarders IRL?
Daniel: I was riding a scooter the whole time. I can’t even stand on a skateboard.
MTV UK: Are you kidding?
Daniel: [laughs] No! No!
MTV UK: So there was a lot of CGI involved?
Paul Brenner: Yeah. The scenes where Dan’s on a skateboard and it shows his feet, I put his boots on. I mean, Joe, myself, Sean and Ben all skated when we were teenagers, but nothing more than that.
MTV UK: Why did you decide to make it the theme of the video?
Daniel: Well, the director of the video, Keith Schofield, has done this Duck Sauce video for a song called 'The Big Bad Wolf'. It’s awesome, it’s one of our favourite videos of the past few years. We really liked his ideas, because we all played Tony Hawk growing up, so we enjoyed the tie-in there. Also, Tony Hawk tweeted the video when he saw it, which was a good moment.
MTV UK: Your debut album How Do You Feel Now? is super varied, but was that something you were conscious of when writing it?
Daniel: We’re very conscious of it. We grew up listening to all kinds of music. Everything after Napster was available. Now when you’re making a record and you’re trying to represent something, you could use any genre, any influence that you’ve heard ever to create a song. I just don’t think there’s a need to make a Coldplay record, where it’s the same thing 11 times.
The whole record is really about growing up and the post-college era. In the US, since the recession, you don’t graduate college and get a job. You graduate college and nothing. I’m still living at home right now, but I lived at home the whole time I was at college, DJing occasionally to pay my phone bill. The record deals with that and life experiences of that time, where we’re from, but varying the musical bed allowed us to say different things.
Image: Paley Fairman
MTV UK: We read you like the way Kanye mixes things up, but is he someone you would namecheck as an influence?
Daniel: Yeah, him, Damon Albarn, people who just do whatever they want to do.
MTV UK: How does it feel to be touring the UK with Brandon Flowers this week and next?
Daniel: We did a couple shows with The Killers in the US around this time last year. We don’t agree on a lot of music as five people, but all of us were in to The Killers growing up.
Benjamin Bailey: That was like a dream come true.
Daniel: Yeah. That was awesome, and this is also going to be awesome; his new singles are so cool.
MTV UK: When you’re supporting someone that big, do you feel the need to prove yourself to their fans, because ultimately they could become your fans?
Daniel: Sort of. When you’re opening for The Killers, they are so big that you’re inconveniencing people. People bought $75 tickets to see the show and they’re like, ‘Wait a second, this isn’t The Killers, get off the stage!’
The first night we played with them, I was so excited and had so much adrenaline that I didn’t realise we were inconveniencing the audience.
The second night, we get on stage and hear this guy go, ‘I’d give them $100 to get off the stage right now.’ We hadn’t even played a note!
With a lot of the mid-tier bands we’ve been on the road with, like The Kooks and Bleachers, it’s a little bit smaller and it’s been great. The people at those shows aren’t necessarily cult fans, they’re fans of music, and they want to hear something new.
MTV UK: You have some headline shows too; is that a different vibe altogether?
Daniel: Well it’s great, because if people don’t like it, they can leave. Even if there are 10 people there it’s really exciting, like these 10 people want to be here, we’re not holding them hostage or anything. It’s always good when you’re the central focus of the bill.
MTV UK: Is there anyone on your hit list that you’d like to collaborate with, maybe a producer or a solo artist?
Daniel: Yeah, with this record Sean and I produced the whole thing at our studio in Rochester, but we definitely want to collaborate with people. We always name Kendrick as our dream collaboration. We figure one day he’ll hear it.
Joywave's new single, 'Somebody New', is out now.