The Joy Formidable is part of the main stage lineup on Saturday at DeLuna Fest. / Special to GoPensacola.com
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ďItís not every day that we get to party on a beach in the sunshine, especially in September,Ē the Joy Formidable vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan said during a phone interview ahead of the bandís DeLuna Fest appearance. ďItís going to be a great weekend of live music. Iím so excited.Ē
Can the Welsh trio of Bryan, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matt Thomas help the save the rock íní roll world? Fans and fellow artists are answering with a very loud ďyes,Ē as the band has earned praise from musicians like Dave Grohl and Shirley Manson.
As the band finished recording the follow-up to their debut album ďThe Big Roar,Ē Bryan discussed the new album, the ďold violinĒ and the special dynamic that is the Joy Formidable.
Q: What does the new album mean for you as an artist?
A: Weíre very proud of it. Itís very intricate. Itís very bold. It feels exactly like where we are creatively. Iím excited to share it. Thatís a huge a question. Itís an ambitious from the conception right on through the actual writing.
Q: The anticipation is huge. How do you follow the success of ďThe Big RoarĒ and create something as unique?
A: If youíre an original artist and you have a voice thatís your own and your songwriting comes from a very honest place, I donít think you have to overthink it, you donít have to try too hard. We almost couldnít record all the craftiness; we recorded the album in the middle of nowhere. We almost couldnít record fast enough and thatís how fruitful and inspired we were feeling, so it hasnít been difficult at all. Originality is not something that weíve ever had to try for. It comes from having a voice that knows, weíre never looking to anybody else to write our songs.
Q: What is the coolest, most amazing aspect of the entire the Joy Formidable experience for you?
A: Itís almost difficult to say. Weíve been given a job, itís not about releasing anything or trying to fit in and successful tours, itís about staying very true to the art. The music means everything to this band. Thatís the crux of everything and thatís the most wonderful thing. Weíre very inspired, weíre very creative, the output always is strong. As a band we have a good dynamic that challenges each of us, but at the same time, there is a lot of mutual respect. Itís simple really; itís how a band should be. Itís all about the music, all about the art and being brave within that, being confident enough to (do) whatever you want to do and never ever feel restricted.
Q: What goes through your mind when youíre playing your music, especially for these large festivals?
A: Ultimately, it all boils down to the songs and the background to writing the songs. If youíve written a song that is conceived and really true and honest knowing ó and all our songs have really deep background to them; they arenít just a collection of words that just sound nice together. Theyíre loaded with meaning and memories. We never lose that emotional charge, that emotional connection to those songs, so realizing them live and getting up on stage and seeing them connect with an audience, you almost learn something new about a song every time you play if it comes from a place thatís peaceful and meaningful.
Q: What is the craziest thing youíve ever seen at one of your shows?
A: We have a great fan base; theyíre very loyal, very passionate about music. We had a very eccentric bunch in front of our show at Wales and they actually made masks; masks of Ritzy, Rhydian and Matthew masks and several rows were wearing these masks. I think thatís probably the scariest thing Iíve ever seen actually was kind of yourself mortified. That sight, I wonít ever forget. They were almost caricature without trying to be. I love that, thatís more of an eccentric or comical example, but people put a lot of effort and thatís very touching when people spend time to make something like that.
Q: What would a Ritzy of today tell a younger Ritzy just starting out?
A: (Laughs) Oh, man. I wouldnít want her to change anything; never regret whatsoever. I rarely give advice to anybody, especially when it comes to music and this industry. I probably would have sent her to Canada and the violin lessons. I love my instrument, I love the guitar. I kind of wish I had kept up with the old violin as well. Itís never too late. Iím looking at it now, thinking, ďThatís manageable.Ē Iíll probably take it out and play it now, but not the flute (laughs).
'It's not every day that we get to party on a beach in the sunshine, especially in September,' the Joy Formidable vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan said during a phone interview ahead of the band's
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