DATE: Friday, May 15, 12:30 p.m.
STAGE: Palladia Stage
Joywave may be one of the most versatile bands to hit the beach in this weekend’s Hangout Fest lineup. Their versatility is obvious in the new release, “How Do You Feel Now.” Recently, they’ve appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz Live.” But front man Daniel Armbruster will be the first to admit their TV performances pale in comparison to the electricity of a live performance.
“It’s like being a lion in the jungle versus a lion in the zoo,” Armbruster said. “It’s a very controlled environment. The TV environments are always pretty strange. It’s enjoyable, but no one is there because they want to be there or love your band. They either got a ticket for a show that they like, or they just work there. It’s like they’re watching your band practice.”
“How Do You Feel Now” is the full-length companion to Joywave’s debut EP, “How Do You Feel,” released in 2014. Armbruster explained the songs on these two albums began as one big project, but the need for touring material led the band to release several tracks in advance. The group considers “How Do You Feel Now” as the culmination of the project.
While the tracks maintain cohesion, Joywave successfully pulls inspiration from a variety of places. “Somebody New” brings a heavy edge with its crunchy guitars, while the pop-infused track “Carry Me” follows. “Tongues” is a synth-filled cut with heavy EDM influences. “Bad Dreams” delves into the world of hip-hop with guest appearances by rappers Lil Sims and Mick Jenkins.
Armbruster credits the “post-Napster era,” where everything from the creation of music to its distribution can be controlled by the artist, as the reason for the band’s chameleon-like approach to recording. Keeping things new and different on all levels is what drives Joywave forward.
“It’s pretty easy,” Armbruster said. “We’re all very creative people. Even when we’re driving the van, people are like, ‘What if we did this’ in everything in life, from the live show to making something beyond music that we want to get involved with. We’re coming out with a guitar pedal in a few weeks. It’s like expanding on the band.”
Joywave’s live shows are just as unpredictable as their records. Armbruster described it as a “volatile” experience that can take “many extreme directions.” The front man referred to a recent show in Houston, where they played their opening song three times until the “stiff” crowd gave them the reaction they sought. Ultimately, Joywave is coming to Hangout Fest with the same goal as thousands of others who will be on the beach. They want to enjoy experiencing a number of bands that they rarely get a chance to see, especially Foo Fighters.
“Paul (Brenner), our drummer, is a massive Foo Fighters fan,” Armbruster said. “So we’re pretty excited for that. He got to meet Dave Grohl a year ago in New York. I think he’s gonna try to reconnect with him and talk drums.”