Guest contributor Ryan Quint [ @ryan_quint ] of Universal Music Group sat down with Joywave — an indie rock band from Rochester, NY – best known for “Dangerous,” a collaboration with Big Data, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Their current single, “Tongues” featuring KOPPS currently has over 300,000 views on Youtube and is featured on the FIFA15 Soundtrack. Joywave is currently on tour opening for Betty Who on the High Society Tour.
Conversation with Joywave — Oct 11, 2014 — Philly
Ryan Quint: Joywave formed in 2010 and has been releasing music since 2011, but your first huge success came in 2013 with Big Data’s “Dangerous,” did you have any idea when you were recording it that it would be a hit or even eventually reach #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart?
Dan: These are all very good facts that you’ve presented us with right now. Big Data was a band that me and Alan (from Big Data) started for a couple years and we just recorded 4 songs together in Brooklyn on 8 random dates over that period of time. And no, it was a total surprise. Alan had a full-time job, and I was doing Joywave full-time and then Sirius XM started playing the song and KROQ in LA started playing the song and everything really started happening. It was organic, people just liked the song. Definitely caught us off-guard.
RQ: Speaking of radio and success, I was driving the other day and “Tongues” came on the radio. What was your reaction the first time you heard your own single Dangerous on the radio?
Sean: We have about 20 videos of us listening to “Tongues” on the radio and each time someone will focus the camera on the radio station and then pan up to the person driving the car and they just have to act like they do not care.
Dan: I don’t remember the first time we heard it but I think it was on Sirius XM. I have a video of my mom listening to it, which is pretty awesome. She started screaming and doing an awesome mom dance. I think its on Instagram somewhere.
Paul: Hearing it on KROQ in LA was the best one because we were on the road in LA driving when we heard it.
RQ: Let’s talk about the video for “Tongues.” It has over 300,000 views on Youtube. It’s very unique. For anyone that hasn’t seen it, there is a lot of nudity, guns shooting clothes at people and an underlying love story. Who’s idea was it, how did it all come about?
Paul: The director, The Daniels, they came up with the treatment and the idea, all of it and we instantly fell in love. How could you not?
[There is a warning due to some minor nudity - Agree to terms to watch]
RQ: There was also an underlying love story within the video.
Dan: Yea, like a Pocohantas thing.
Sean: So many layers.
Paul: You kinda have to watch twice because theres a lot going on.
RQ: Dan you described Joywave’s sound as “2080’s” (a mix that include 80’s new wave & orchestral music). Based on that, who would you say are Joywave’s musical influences, if any?
Dan: We don’t like genres. We’ve done everything we can to avoid them but still weave together something artistically and culturally with the band. I think the future of music is genre less. I still love records where its 1 sound all the way through but I’m more impressed when its awesome all the way without being the same song 11 times.
RQ: How did the High Society tour with Betty Who come about? Did she contact you guys specifically or was it more of a label decision
Dan: We met Betty at CMJ last year and she asked Sean to do a remix of “Somebody Loves You” and then from there she asked us to join the tour.
RQ: You’ve had a few shows already, how has it been going so far? You were sold out in NYC…
Dan: Yea it’s been awesome.
RQ: How Do You Feel? the EP is actually exactly 7 months old today so I want to do a little game where I ask you how you feel about something.
Dan: Happy Birthday EP!!
RQ: How did you find out about being on the FIFA15 Soundtrack along with Avicii, and Foster the People to name a few.
Sean: We just got copies of FIFA a couple days ago and we were playing it in the van just starting games and then starting over waiting to hear “Tongues” but never heard. So I’m taking your word for it that its in there.
RQ: That’s just what I’ve heard. I haven’t played it yet but maybe they’re lying to us.
Dan: We played a show in Columbus recently and the radio station there gave us a goodie bag and they gave us Columbus Crew scarves so I think thats our team now.
RQ: Would you call yourselves soccer fans?
Dan: No! But we’re Columbus Crew fans now. Whatever they’re doing, we’re fans of it.
RQ: How did you feel out about being named best “All Ages Dance Party” by Rolling Stone at Lollapalooza?
Dan: It was awesome. It was a really, really good surprise. None of us expected that.
RQ: They also named you an Emerging Artist as well.
Dan: Yea that was really good. I didn’t realize there were that many people from Rolling Stone watching our set.
RQ: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Sean: [Laughs]. You’re looking at it. This is it.
Dan & Paul: Consume liquids.
Dan: Consume wifi. Paul stretches.
Paul: Yea, gotta do the Paul stretch.
RQ: Have you had a cheesesteak in Philly?
Dan: We’ve been to Tony Lukes!
RQ: Your last project, How Do You Feel, is now exactly 7 months old, your new album is due out in 2015, what is the current status of your upcoming LP?
Dan: The album is done. It’s getting mastered right now. I think we’ll have tracks trickle out throughout the Fall and Spring from it and then the full-length should be out in the first quarter of next year. I would guess by SXSW but there’s no official date.
RQ: Do you have a single that you’re ready to release from it?
Dan: Yea, I think “Somebody New” is going to be the next single. We’re gonna shoot a video for that.
RQ: Awesome, thanks guys!