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The Road To SXSW: The Joy Formidable

The Road To SXSW: The Joy FormidableThe Joy Formidable may be playing South By Southwest for the first time this year, but they’re no strangers to the road. In fact the North Wales-based rock trio have spent most of the past year-and-a-half converting audiences with their raucous and melody-fueled live performances. The band’s debut full-length The Big Roar is slated for a U.S. release on March 15 and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than for the band to take over Austin, Texas, for a few days. We spoke to vocalist and guitarist, Ritzy Bryan...

This is your first time playing South By Southwest. Are you excited?
Yeah, we're really excited. We are playing six shows, about two a day. It's quite funny because I think we were advertised to play it last year even though we had a tour in the U.K. at the time! We've wanted to play SXSW it for a while and the aim has always been to do it while our album is out so I think this is going to be great. The festival actually occurs the same weekend the album drops in the States so it's going to be party time.

Will these be your first big shows in the U.S. with the album out over here?
Oh, absolutely. I think the album comes out on the 15th of March and our first SXSW show is the 16th so it's our first US show of the year—and we're really looking forward to this tour, because it’s longest tour we've done to date in the States. We've been itching to dig in a little bit because we've seen a bit of the East and West coasts but we've been feeling guilty that we haven't had the opportunity to cross that big huge bulk in the middle, so these shows will take us to a lot of places we haven't been before.

What have you heard about SXSW from your peers?
I've heard that it's pretty chaotic, which we like. The sheer amount of bands that are playing and the variety of how eclectic it is as a festival is amazing, so I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of bands in addition to playing it. We’re actually traveling down on the 13th and spending a week in Austin, which is the longest we’ve been in one place for the past 18 months. I might actually unpack my suitcase! [Laughs.]

Are you planning on performing a lot of material from The Big Roar during your SXSW sets?
Yeah, definitely. We've been doing them live in Europe and the U.K. and it's gone really well. We're also planning on playing some older songs as well as some material that hasn't been on the EP or the album. We like to keep some of those songs in the live set but we're definitely going to be showcasing quite a bit of the new album.

Is it difficult for you to stay fresh when you have to play so many shows over such a short span of time?
Oh no, we've been touring incessantly for 18 months and still feeling as fresh as a daisy so no worries with that. [Laughs.] I think life on the road suits us really well. It seems like things are simpler for us on the road than they are anywhere else.

Pre-order the new album by The Joy Formidable, The Big Roar, here and catch them down at SXSW at the following places:
THURSDAY, MARCH 17th
2PM - NPR PARTY @ THE PARISH
6PM -KEXP PARTY @ MELLOW JOHNNY'S

FRIDAY, MARCH 18th
2PM - WATERLOO RECORDS
10PM - BUFFALO BILLIARDS OFFICIAL SHOWCASE

SATURDAY, MARCH 19th
3PM - ROLLING STONE PARTY @ LA ZONA ROS
6PM - ATLANTIC/CHOP CHOP PARTY @OUTDOOR SPACE


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Tags: SXSW 2011, Canvasback Music

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