Joie De Vivre recently answered some questions about their tour in Europe, read it here. Make sure to pick up their latest vinyl efforts in our store, some are in short supply!
Interview : Joie De Vivre
Joie De Vivre released their sophomore LP We’re All Better Than This last month, and recently wrapped a tour across Europe. Bassist and vocalist Brandon Lutmer was kind enough to catch up with me to answer a few questions!
- How was the tour?
The tour was pretty fantastic. I got a bit stressful at points, but that tends to happen when you ride in a van with the same 5 dudes every day for a month.
- What was your favourite show?
I think i can say the London show was our collective favorite. All day fests can be a bit unorganized and stressful but the dudes that ran the show were super on top of everything and really nice guys.
- Did you realize how much of a big deal Joie De Vivre are over here? Especially in the UK..
Not really, the response we got in the UK was pretty unreal. It was a bizarre feeling seeing people singing along so far away from the midwest.
- Best memories/crazy ridiculous tour stories?
The best memories, besides the ton of great shows we had was definitely seeing our friend and former band mate Paul. him and his wife moved to Prague about a year ago.
- Seeing as your new record, We’re All Better Than This, has only just been available from your label(s), what was the reception of the new tracks like? (and how important was the Alt Press stream that went online before the tour?)
It seems as though the reception has been really good so far. We’ve gotten a lot of very flattering reviews and a few not so good ones. We’ve definitively haven’t stayed the same over the past couple years and we can’t keep everyone happy. A lot of people really wish we would have just written Summer Months over and over again, but it’s impossible. We’ve all changed and it would be dis-honest to not reflect that in our writing.
- WABTT has received nothing but fantastic reviews, was there a real effort when you reunited to put out what’s been universally acclaimed as your best release to date?
No, the record was started before we broke up and then finished almost 8 months after that. I feel like we were all just in a similar state of mind when writing and recording. I didn’t end up doing vocals until the very end and by that time I had scratched most of the lyrics and replaced and re-worked them. We didn’t go into it with a clear vision of what we wanted. We just knew that we wanted it to be be a little faster and a little more raw as far as the recording went and I think we accomplished that without sacrificing the quality of the sound.
- With solid roots in the Midwest, how important is this ‘revival’ movement that’s been going on to you guys as a band? Do you consider yourselves at the forefront of it?
When we started Joie we had no idea that there was even a revival building. We were just some 21 year old kids who wanted to make records that sounded more like Mineral and less like Samiam. We were a bit shell shocked by how big the whole scene was getting by the time we got picked up by Count Your Lucky Stars, and even after that it took us a long time to be accepted into the whole revival/DIY scene. We can thank all of our friends from the early days (The Please & Thank Yous in particular) for convincing people that we were worth it. In short, yes the movement has been very import to us as a band. We were in the right place at the right time when this whole thing started. It’s hard to answer whether or not we’re at the forefront of it. People seem to care and are still listening… that’s what’s important I suppose
- One review of WABTT I read commented on the theme of “seemingly unattainable happiness”, but you all seem like pretty happy dudes, where does the content of the songs stem from?
It’s a weird dynamic to be in an emo band with my best friends. I write about things that really fucking suck that I think about way too much but at the same time I’m playing music with my friends and that’s rad as hell so I can see how it seems a bit odd. I think most people get that though. We’d be a real buzzkill if we were legitimately sad ALL the time and even though we may be laughing and joking with each other on stage there are still songs that I don’t like playing because they remind me of shit I don’t like to think about (which begs the question: Why did I write them in the first place then?..)
- The new record comes across as extremely personal, can you let us in on a few stories/situations that some of the songs are written about?
Ha… a big chunk of this record is about me growing older and disappointed in myself, Some of it is about girls that I dated or girls that I wish I dated, and then a small but very important part of the album is about people that I like spending time with but hate their ideals (or actions). That seems a bit backwards, I know. It’s kind of hard to explain unless you want me to start naming names of who I don’t respect and why… and that would give me a stomach ache. The next time we meet we can have a few pints and I’ll spill my guts.
- Was shorter track length a conscious decision, or did the songs just turn out like that?
We didn’t realize how short the songs really were until we looked at the record as a whole, but I don’t think that’s an awful thing, I think they carry the weight of what needs to come across and if they can do it with some brevity, then maybe that’s for the best.
- How important are blogging sites, forums, and sharing music (illegally)? Do you guys condone that?
I cannot speak for the rest of the band, but I do support illegal downloading. I just want people to hear it. If they like the albums enough then they’ll buy it on vinyl, and if not then maybe they’ll put a song on a mixtape for a girl or something. that would rule.
- What bands are you currently digging?
I can’t stop listening to My Roaring 20’s by Cheap Girls, the first two Randy Newman records, everything The Sundays ever did and Knock Knock and Red Apple Falls by Smog.
- Penfold or Benton Falls?
Penfold is really great but can be kind of boring. Benton Falls is really great too but his voice kind of sounds lame sometimes. Guilt Beats Hate rules so Benton Falls wins.
- Musical hero(s)?
Morrissey, Ben Barnett, Will Oldham, Mark Kozelek, & Bill Callahan… my favorite bands are The Smiths, The Smoking Popes, The Promise Ring, and Karate
- Favourite song to play live?
i’ve really been enjoying playing our new songs because I haven’t played them 100 million times like all the songs from Summer Months.
- Favourite song off WABTT?
Maybe people do change… by far
- Will you guys come to Europe again?
Yes we’re planning on coming back (probably for just the UK and Germany) in 8 months to a year from now. Don’t hold me to this.
- What does the future hold for JDV?
I have no idea. We’re all trying to figure out everything right now. Some of us are going back to school, some of us are moving in with our significant others, I think I’m going to ask my girlfriend to marry me soon [ED: is this an exclusive?!?], and we’re all figuring out when and how we can practice and write at this point right now. We’ll get it all worked out. I Promise. We have a split with The World Is… coming out later this year, we’re going to figure some shit out and start playing some more shows in the states, and we’re going to start writing for a 7” soon as well.
What a champ! Thanks and hugs to Brandon for his time, and all the guys in JDV for genuinely being the nicest dudes in a band ever.
Grab a copy of We’re All Better Than This over at Count Your Lucky Stars, as well as many, many other tremendous releases!
Here is the source, for many other great reads! http://thispicturepostcardmodernity.tumblr.com/post/27918368382/interview-joie-de-vivre-joie-de-vivre-released