INTERVIEW: Joywave talks touring, Tony Hawk and what they’re listening to

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By Zev Citron. Joywave, the Rochester-based indie electronic rock band headed by frontman Daniel Armbruster of Big Data fame came through Toronto this week along with The Kooks in support of their debut LP, How Do You Feel Now?. I had the privilege of sitting down with the band before their sold-out show at the Phoenix to ask them a few questions about celebrity encounters, touring around the world, and the artists that they’re currently listening to.

You guys just played at the X-Games in Austin, Texas this month. What was it like having Tony Hawk introduce you?
Sean Donnelly: It was pretty surreal, actually. I saw a video that someone who interviewed us that day posted and we’re all on stage with the widest smiles ever. It was amazing. He’s like the coolest, nicest, down to earth guy.
Paul Brenner: He’s an awesome celebrity to meet because he’s very nice and very genuine.
SD: We were asking him the worst questions ever though. We gave him an impromptu interview and he was indulging us the entire time. I was like, “do you fall?”
PB: “What’s your favourite level in Tony Hawk?”

He probably plays his games, I mean they’re too much fun to avoid.
SD: Downhill jam is his favourite level, just for the record.

You have a really long summer ahead of you, touring all over the place and performing at some big festivals. Is there one that you’re most excited to play at?
Daniel Armbruster: We’re playing Lollapalooza Berlin. [****** Festival] is on Halloween, which is gonna be sick.
PB: It’s on Halloween and Ozzy Osbourne is headlining the night along with Tom Morello and Giorgio Moroder. But they’re just rumoured. None of that is public knowledge.
DA: Redacted!
PB: None of that is true.

Being on the road together, I imagine that you get to know each other really well and become closer as the tour goes on. Is there any pre or post show ritual that you guys do?
PB: There’s a great stretch. Ben [the drummer] used to be a swimmer in high school, so he does this thing where he pulls my arms back and it feels amazing.
SD: So there’s a moment where Paul’s just moaning after he stretches.

Which artists are you currently listening to for either inspiration or casual listening?
Joseph Morinelli: I listened to the new Jamie XX album today and it’s amazing.
SD: And those four Tame Impala singles are on repeat for me.

As for the show, Joywave put on a bumping 45 minute set as the opening act for The Kooks, consisting of singles “Somebody New” and “Tongues,” along with the band’s personal favourite “Destruction,” which opened up their set. Twice. It was their way of making sure the crowd was getting into their music, and it worked. The whole room was shaking from Armbruster’s leading of the crowd, telling them to either get down low or simply jump and go nuts. But it wasn’t only Armbruster giving off immense amounts of energy. Every member of the band had their own aura of wild intensity, but the standout was bassist Sean Donnelly, who danced and moved to the likes of the legendary Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and did not stop until the end of the show. Joywave also showed their strong appreciation for the Great White North with Armbruster ripping off his Adidas tracksuit revealing a Canadian flag brotank which only got the crowd even more rowdy, and then concluding their set with a beautiful rendition of O Canada. Joywaves genre bending music is a unique and experimental soundscape that will leave you with a sense of hope for the future of music.

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