Close Up: Interview with Ritzy of The Joy Formidable

Posted on 29 March 2010
By Will Weir
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The Joy Formidable are gaining considerable popularity and momentum on their current UK tour; Purple Revolver caught up with the group’s vocalist/guitarist Ritzy before she and the band hop over the pond to rock out stateside…

Hailing from North Wales and following a move to London, setting up a club night (“Joie de Vivre”), remix label, and involving themselves in every creative aspect of the band, The Joy Formidable describe themselves as a uniquely homegrown affair; a trait which seems has paid off as they begin to break though into the mainstream and their new single Popinjay hits the airwaves.

So how’s the tour going?
“Well I think we’re just coming up to half way now. Heading to Bristol this evening. We really like being on the road it’s a really comfortable place.”

Would you say you prefer live shows to the studio environment?
“It’s a matter of balance to be honest. That’s really important. It can become quite a hermited life in the studio.
We actually write on the road quite a lot, it’s a really inspiring place. So it’s a kind of cycle.”

Whilst checking out your twitter page we noticed a number of references to food; HP sauce, biscuits, roast dinners, artichoke hearts…Is this something you’re heavily into?
“Ha ha ha on the road when an opportunity arises we just take it.”

So is there any staple survival food you carry with you in case of emergencies?
“Not really, our rider consists of apples and bananas – We get followed by a full van of apples, bananas and carrot sticks – brain food, which is always helpful.”

The homepage of your website hosts the video to the new single Popinjay. This has a lovely visual texture to it – is the visual side something you like to be involved in?
“Oh yeah absolutely. We don’t really see them as anything different. The connection between the two is incredibly important.

We like to put as much thought into art and visual as the music. Until Popinjay we made all our own videos.
Adam is the fantastic animator behind the Popinjay video which is all made using paper. ”

Really? I thought it must be some kind of special effect?
“Yeah it’s all made with paper which gives it a really nice feel.”

What’s next for Joy Formidable?
Well we’re finishing the UK tour, heading to Europe then the States and Canada then back to Europe again and then that should be about the time the new album drops.

Speaking of tours, if you could tour with anyone say two or three artists, who would it be?
“Hmmm that is a tough one . . . Springsteen”

Interesting answer – so you’re an old school fan of the Boss?
“I grew up on a diet of Springsteen, Elvis Costello and other solid songwriters.
In terms of his energy (Springsteen) – to be able to perform like that for this many years…and the energy has never ceased. That’s really impressive.
Oh and the Flaming lips – that could be a really interesting show.”

It’s genuinely nice to meet a true touring band that actually puts the time in.
“There’s nothing to moan about, sure it brings challenges, but it’s incredible. It’s a really good life with the right people.”

The Joy Formidable’s new single Popinjay is out now and the band are currently on tour through the UK (dates below).

For more info and video check out their

Wed 24 London Electric Ballroom
Thurs 25 Southampton Joiners – SOLD OUT
Fri 26 Bristol Start the Bus
Sat 27 Cardiff Barfly
Mon 29 Northampton Roadmender
Tues 30 Sheffield Academy 2
Wed 31 Newcastle Academy 2

April 2010
Thurs 1 Wrexham Central Station
Sat 3 Glasgow Kings Tuts
Sun 4 Inverness Madhatters
Mon 5 Aberdeen Snafu
Tue 6 Dundee Fat Sams