Joywave has been around a lot longer than their feature on Big Data’s “Dangerous”, and consequential releases have proven they’re not going anywhere but up.
After two spectacular mixtapes and an EP, they released their first full length How Do You Feel Now? in 2015. That was followed by the joke album SWISH, a title parodied after one of the many Kanye West record titles before we got The Life of Pablo. In July of this year, their second album, Content, was released. It features a similar sound to their past material, but deals with more personal, raw lyrical moments. All of this comes together best in songs like “Little Lies You’re Told” and “Rumors”.
Currently on the Home of the Strange tour with Young the Giant and Cold War Kids, Joywave came through Columbus earlier this week and I got a chance to sit down with them and catch up.
TIS: How’s the tour with Young the Giant going so far?
Daniel Armbruster: Good!
Paul Brenner: Great.
TIS: Before we get into the new album, can you tell me a little bit more about SWISH, with how that idea came about and why?
DA: There’s this idea where it’s supposedly pretty difficult to have four singles from a record, so “Destruction” was our fourth single from How Do You Feel Now? A lot of people have low expectations on the fourth single, so we decided to make it the first single from a new Joywave record called SWISH.
It just had “Destruction” on there 10 times.
TIS: That’s so great. So Content deals with success and all the things that come out of it. How did all those ideas come together?
DA: It’s actually called “con-TENT”, but the idea is that people would call it “CON-tent”. You have fallen successfully into the trap and I’m happy about it! It’s kinda the product of being on tour and experiencing a lot of things for the first time, it being as expected but also different.
TIS: It probably has my favorite album art of the year, so how did the artwork come about?
DA: We worked with a designer named Alex Trochut from New York. I would say it probably took the same amount of time to make the artwork as it took to make the album. How many times did we go back and forth with him? It took months.
PB: But what came out it was incredible, and I’m so happy we stuck it out like that.
DA: I think he was getting frustrated with us at the end there. It was a little more organized before but with that same idea of the digital text. In the eleventh hour he sent over the cover as it is and it looked awesome.
I tweeted that we were never coming to Columbus ever again, and everyone was protesting. We gave you one more chance and if it didn’t sell out we said we’d never come back again, but IT DID. So here we are again, and we’re coming back through for our own show in November.
TIS: What current artists are you listening to and maybe even getting inspired by?
PB: I haven’t listened to new music in weeks…
DA: My headphones have been broken! I don’t listen to a lot of music because we’re around it constantly. At the end of the night on this tour, the last thing I want to do is listen to music. I did listen to the new LCD Soundsystem record though; I felt like it was my duty as an American. It was good.
PB: I guess the most recent thing I listened to was the new Nine Inch Nails EP. That was good, too.
TIS: What can Columbus expect from your set tonight?
*DA/PB in unison: Columbus can expect a half hour set tonight.
DA: Are you aware of our threats to never come back to Columbus? Usually we threaten “farewell Columbus” every time we play here. Two years ago we played A&R Music Bar and it was horribly attended. I tweeted that we were never coming to Columbus ever again, and everyone was protesting. We gave you one more chance and if it didn’t sell out we said we’d never come back again, but IT DID. So here we are again, and we’re coming back through for our own show in November.
*Editor’s Note: this wasn’t actually in unison, but we all agreed it would have a better effect if it was.
Featured Image: Mary Ellen Matthews // Billboard