I'm With the Band: Joyce Manor
FYF Festival may have been hectic this past weekend, but I managed to meet up with Los Angeles natives Joyce Manor for a quick interview before their set at the Main Stage on Saturday at the fest. They say their new record, Never Hungover Again, took them a few tries to get right, but once things got on track, it was all golden from there. Never Hungover Again is a more dramatic turn for the band but one that's in a totally right direction. Read what the band (Barry Johnson, Chase Knobbe, Matt Ebert, and Kurt Walcher) had to say just before I took their portrait in front of John F. Kennedy. —Maddie
How are you guys? Are you happy about how the record has been received so far?
Barry: We're very excited to be at FYF, extremely excited about how our record's been received. I felt like it was pretty different and no one's really acted that way. Like there was no "What happened to this band? They used to have something and they lost it."
A departure from your sound.
Barry: I felt like it was more so than people have been acting. People have been like, you know, it's cool, they did what they did but made it different. People seem happy with it.
So tell me a bit about how you guys got things started for Never Hungover Again and the recording process for the record.
Barry: There was an entire first chunk of songs that we wrote and scrapped because they weren't up to scratch.
Chase: We recorded them, too.
Barry: We recorded them, and we were writing songs, and I think we were kinda stuck. We started writing songs that sounded like songs we had already written. I think we got a little set in our ways, a little comfortable, and then Chase came to practice and was like “Hey, I have this riff,” and I was like I kind of have a song, so we went “Do you want to try playing at the same time?” And then we did and it was like, that’s how the new record needs to sound. As soon as that happened, all six or seven songs we had were just scrapped.
How do you feel about playing FYF this year with such incredible bands on the lineup?
Chase: We’ve played the past three years, but today’s the first time we’ve played the main stage. We’re officially small fish in the big pond. We’re in the big pond now, so now we just have to eat a bunch of other fish.
Do you have an ultimate goal as a band?
Barry: We’ve already surpassed it. Our goal was to press vinyl and have a piece of vinyl that we made, and tour Japan, and we did them both. So, this is all fully bonus right now. As bonus as it wants to get is great, but we’ve already done everything we’ve set out to do.
Tell me three bands you’d like to have headline your dream festival.
Kurt: Guided By Voices.
Barry: Who else would we get on that?
Chase: Toys That Kill.
Barry: Guided By Voices, Toys That Kill headlining…
Chase: Weird Al.
What have you been listening to lately?
Barry: My friend Tony Molina sent me demos for his new record and I can’t stop listening to them.
All: Spirit of the Beehive, from Philly.