The Joy Formidable's Ritzy Bryan says their delivery is still sincere

Joy Formidable small.jpg
Those of us who were lucky enough to witness the Joy Formidable's incendiary show at the Entry last April agree that the North Wales trio's raucous performance was clearly one of the best live shows of 2011. Thankfully, the band didn't make Twin Cities music fans wait too long for a return engagement, and scheduled a stop at the Fine Line tonight in the early stages of their current U.S. tour. They have brought along two stellar Brooklyn bands in support, A Place To Bury Strangers and Exitmusic, who both are well worth showing up early for.

We were fortunate enough to be able to ask the Joy Formidable's energetic frontwoman Ritzy Bryan a few quick questions in advance of their big gig in Minneapolis this evening, in which she reveals a bit about when we can expect to hear their sophomore album and if they are planning on playing any new songs on this tour.

Gimme Noise: How was your approach to your second record different from The Big Roar, and are there any significant stylistic changes in your sound and songwriting on the new record?

Ritzy Bryan: We recorded the new album in the woods of Maine, just north of Sebago Lake. We've made a beautiful record, we've grown as a band, as people, the story has changed, but the delivery is as intense and sincere as its always been.

I see that you are touring with an extra member on this current U.S. tour. Can you tell us what role Stephanie will have in filling out your live sound?

 Stephanie plays harp, it's a beautiful instrument, traditionally dear to Welsh people, so it's been a pleasure to include it in our completely non-traditional set.

My friends and I agreed that your first time through Minneapolis (at the 7th Street Entry) was one of the best concerts of all of last year, and part of the reason was that you didn't even try to attempt an encore after "Whirring." Did you realize early on that you had a track that was so incendiary (and awesome) that if you ended your shows with "Whirring," it was best to just call it a night at that point?

 It depends on the show, it's about intuition. There isn't a formula and that's what makes the live experience exciting.

"Whirring" also went through a few different configurations initially. How did you decide on the finished version that made it onto The Big Roar?

It was the place in the album where we wanted to celebrate the raw, live aesthetic of the band. "Whirring" had already grown into that beast.

How did opening for Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, and other big, established bands inform your own approach to music going forward? And how much of an absolute thrill were those shows for you?

We've enjoyed those experiences and we've met some extremely talented people but we've always done things our own way, we write in a bubble, we're very clear on who we are and what we want to be.

You're touring the U.S. with the fantastic A Place To Bury Strangers--Is it your goal to lay waste to the hearing of all your fans in one swift, raucous tour?

I might need to bring two sets of earplugs for this boisterous gig. They're fantastic aren't they? Very happy to have APTBS and Exit Music and Big Black Delta join us, it's an eclectic and complimentary bill. I noticed that SXSW wasn't on your tour itinerary this year.

 Did you enjoy your past experience in Austin, or did the chaos and constant gigs wear you out so much that you decided to do a proper tour this time that didn't involve SXSW?

We loved it, thrived on the chaos, but we played a lot of shows last year. We hope to see it again in 2013.

Are you playing any of your new songs on this current tour? And when can we expect to hear the new album?

The album will be out later this year and yes, we have debuted one track as a treat on this tour.

The Joy Formidable play the Fine Line in Minneapolis tonight, along with A Place To Bury Strangers and Exitmusic. Tickets are $15. Doors are at 7:00 p.m., with music starting at 8:00.

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