The Joy Formidable rocked out Chicago this year at Riot Fest Chicago. After taking a 12 month break working on their upcoming album, and project Aruthrol, promoting Welsh artists and music. By way of North Wales, Rhydian Dafydd, Rhiannon ” Rity” Bryan, and Matthew Thomas took to the Riot Stage with a vengeance! And rightfully so… igniting the stage with a massive performance. This show was my introduction to The Joy Formidable, and what an introduction indeed! Caught a moment with them for an interview… get to know the latest on The Joy Formidable below!
B Roc – What do you hope your fans get from your music?
Rhiannon Bryan – I just hope they feel something! Whether it makes you happy or sad, or find some escape to it. I hope that it triggers something, open up and connect in some sort of way. I hope it touches them somehow.
B Roc – You guys definitely have a sound that’s all your own. What is something that you love about your music?
Rhydian Dafydd – As an artist, you have to look within… you know? And we are all individuals, so those unique qualities that make your music yours, that can only come from you, will come through. We just try to make the kind of music that moves us.. and hope it will move you. And that’s the connection.
B Roc – What’s something you have to do before you leave Chicago? Can’t leave Chicago without….?
Rhydian Dafydd –Taking a tour along the river… checking out the architecture!… That’s always been my thing!
Rhiannon Bryan – I know it sounds a bit cliche but… I think I have to have some good pie, deep dish pizza! Some good ol pie! Gotta have some pie! You guys make a great pie here!
Rhydian Dafydd – Yeah, that’s definitely proper comfort food there!
Matthew Thomas – Last time we were here, I did enjoy a bit of vintage shopping. But then again I have ended up eating crab legs in a basement somewhere. (Laughs and jokes) But yeah, vintage shopping is always a great time here.
B Roc – How did the band get started?
Rhiannon Bryan – Well Rhydian and I grew up together in North Wales and were school mates. And there was a previous band, but that didn’t work out. And then our drummer Thomas came along… he’s a great drummer! When you come together and the energy is there… it makes you appreciate it more! You treasure it, when you find it! We’ve been in the studio for the past 12 months, creating the album. Doing Riot is a great way to come back, hitting the road, getting to the fans. This is where the honesty is! Seeing their faces, looking them eye to eye, and watching how they react. Riot is great!
B Roc – Do you have any ventures going on outside of music? (this is the question where I needed clean up on aisle 5… ha!)
Rhydian Dafydd – The creativity doesn’t just stop with the music. We create our own videos and cover art for the album. But the band encompasses a massive amount of time… and rightfully so, creating music. We aren’t so crazily bothered about being entrepreneurs or capitalists. For us, the message of effin music is a really effin important thing!! If anything I want to get away from the effin idea of “getting money here, and getting money there!” There’s actually not a lot of money in music! Music is such a effin important and powerful tool! Where is the real music, that has a message?! That’s saying something? Educating the people! Not just “hey this is a really cool and new effin sound”, playing in the back of some bar in the background! We want to actually effin move people! That’s all we’re really bothered about!
B Roc – You just finished your show here in Chicago, and now on your way to Toronto. How do you feel about Riot Fest?
Matthew Thomas – Riot is great, and just good vibes… we were in Denver, here in Chicago, and later Toronto. We love it here and looking forward to Toronto… to SMASH OUT THE HITS!! Yeah, Riot’s great and it feel good to be on the road again… see what the people say.
Rhiannon Bryan – It’s a great festival! The billing, all the acts they have lined up here! Not afraid of putting on all sorts of music. Any genre, new or old, classic, eclectic… and it’s all quality! We’ve always wanted to do Riot years back even. Can’t think of a better way to kick off being back on the road. Can’t think of a better festival for THE COMEBACK OF THE JOY FORMIDABLES!