Written by Linette Ray
Hailing from Chicago, IL is the talented rock trio Joyful. Though they only formed in 2019, Joyful. had an eventful 2020, gaining over 100,00 streams on Spotify, being played on Chicago's 101 WKQX Radio and being featured in Alt Press and started 2021 off with a band through the release of their new single "Alive." We had the pleasure of reaching out to them and chatting about everything from the formation of the band to plans after the pandemic!
What inspired you to get into music? Did you want to be in a band when you were young or is it something you thought of only when you got older?
Yeah I think all three of us picked up instruments with the intention of being in a band at some point. I honestly think the bands we listened to when we were younger (Motion City Soundtrack, The Offspring, The Academy Is) we’re driving forces in us gravitating towards music! You’re in awe of these bands, the songs they write, the shows they play and you think “wow that’s what I would love to do.”
How did you come up with the band name? Why did you choose to put a period after joyful?
When we were trying to settle on a name, I think we had a list of about 100 or so potential band names that we had all thought of. At first the name we went with was “Joyful. The Band”, which was definitely inspired by Portugal. The Man and The Band Camino. After a while we decided to drop “The Band” just to make it simpler. As for the phrase “joyful” itself, it seemed ironic to have a name that was opposite to what the subject matter of our songs and we liked it. Honestly, we put the period at the end just because we thought it looked cool!
If you could describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music before, how would you describe it?
That’s a tough one! Hmm, I guess acoustic nu metal? Or maybe just high octane rock and roll? Ok I’m totally joking. I would say very dynamic alternative rock music with pop punk elements and insightful, honest lyricism.
What’s your writing process like? Do you collaborate as a group or do you write separately and then come together to share ideas?
It definitely varies from song to song. Sometimes Andy might come in with an entire song pretty much written out on guitar and will have a melody ready to go (which was the case with “Alive”). In other cases songs have developed out of improvisations at practices. At this moment with Covid going on and not being able to get together in person, we’ve been doing a lot of writing separately. We’ve all been recording our own ideas and emailing back and forth. So far, it’s been going quite well, but we definitely can’t wait to be back in the same room playing together!
How would you describe your upcoming song “Alive?”
I would say it’s definitely a step in a rockier direction. It’s a song heavily inspired by bands of the late 90s’ and early 2000s’ (Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind). I think it’s probably the best song we’ve written so far as a band and I can’t wait for people to hear it!
According to your Spotify, you have listeners reaching all the way to Australia. Did you ever think your music would stretch continents?
It’s crazy! We never would have expected people from around the world to listen to us. We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve gotten so far. To have listeners from around the globe after only being a band for a year is amazing.
If you could collaborate with any artist or band, who would it be and why?
Honestly, we’ve talked about how much of a blast it would be to collaborate with a total wildcard artist. Someone not associated with rock or punk at all. Maybe like Snoop Dogg or 100 Gecs. I feel like we would make some insanely weird stuff together and it would be great. And awkward. But mostly great. But definitely really awkward.
How do you think the live music scene is going to change after the pandemic?
I’ve heard that venues are most likely going to require concert goers to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated, essentially another form of identification. It’s a weird thought but it’s definitely for the best! However, I do think when shows finally start up again, the demand for live music could potentially be greater than ever. After a year without shows, I think people will just be excited to get out to as many gigs as possible. The one big downside is closure of venues. So many independent venues are shutting their doors for good as a result of the pandemic. There’s already been a few that have gone under in Chicago. It’s heartbreaking.
Anything else you’d like to add to the interview?
Be sure to check out our new single “Alive” wherever you stream music! Thank you again for having us!