Although their debut dropped in 2009, it wasn’t until the release of 2011’s The Big Roar that Welsh trio The Joy Formidable really broke through. That album boasted towering singles like “Whirring” and “A Heavy Abacus,” and earned them an opening slot on Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light arena tour later that year. Ten years later, the band is still going strong, with a new album called Into The Blue due a bit later this month. The album certainly doesn’t lack in big guitars, pummeling percussion, and Ritzy Bryan’s entrancing, ethereal vocals.
To celebrate the new album, the band sat down to talk disintegrating dresses, Jimi Hendrix, and Indian food in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A, with the first ten questions answered by Bryan and the second ten answered by bassist Rhydian Dafydd.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Swirling, whirling, surging, churning. Although I might just like the way that rhymes!
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
Gotta hope that I’ll still be making music in 2050.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Every visit is different so it’s hard to be conclusive but I loved our time in Lima, Peru.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
I’d say my bandmate Rhydian, he unconsciously challenges me every day to be a better writer.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
I do love food. I had a fantastic meal in Agra India when we played there. It was Tikka Paneer cooked on coals, that’s been a hard one to beat.
What album do you know every word to?
Probably King Of America by Elvis Costello. I used to sing it all the time as a kid.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Björk at Manchester Apollo. It was a stunning show.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Something that doesn’t disintegrate mid-set, I’ve had that happen with a vintage dress before. Pass the gaffa!
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
I follow @jacksonsanimalrescue on Instagram. They are an animal rescue in Wales & the North West of England. They word relentlessly to help the animals & be a resource for the community. I really admire the work they do. @ronsexsmith is pretty active on Twitter which I never would have expected. He’s posting some pretty good Dad jokes today.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
A lot of Zappa from Matt! And we usually have Withnail & I playing.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
How do you play bass properly?
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold As Love
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
As indicated above, my obsession with Hendrix growing up led to ‘JH’ being scribbled on my butt of course. My one and only tattoo and no regrets!
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Ooo many! To name a few…Dylan, Kate Bush, Cohen, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, PJ Harvey, Bjork, NIN, Mclusky, Battles, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Michael Kiwanuka, Tori Amos, Sade…..
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
I prefer to see this as a wider picture of those that have shown love, support and honesty. Not just a one off gesture. You know who you are! Diolch x
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Freedom is found within discipline.
What’s the last show you went to?
physically….The Cure, online….Melissa Etheridge.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
Some Welsh cawl of course!
Into The Blue is out August 20. Pre-order it here.