The Joy Formidable, from North Wales, released The Big Roar, its first full-length, in January. Bassist and singer Rhydian Dafydd spoke with City Paper via telephone. A longer version of this interview is available on our FFW>> music blog.
The Big Roar has a very big sound. How do you approach rendering it live as a three-piece?
We don't worry necessarily about replicating the record. It's more about what you're trying to convey -- are the songs coming across?
You have some songs that are quiet, and some that are huge and almost have a punk backbeat. What are the elements that tie everything together?
The soul, the story, the voice, the theme of the album. That's the thread. The style, the genre is completely separate; it depends on what you're trying to get across.
Would you call it a concept album?
I certainly wouldn't say it's a concept album, no. But it's about difficulties, past and present, and the great stories -- difficulties with love, mental illness, the quest for optimism in difficult circumstances.
What's the origin of the band name?
Some words, some symbolism, some imagery that was ultimately really a gut instinct. On paper, it doesn't really make sense, but it kind of does -- those are the things that we enjoy.
How do you describe your music to someone who's never heard you?
If it's putting it down to genres, I do feel like it's difficult. It's kind of secondary; the song is the most important thing, and what you're singing about. I guess I'd say, come and see the band.
THE JOY FORMIDABLE with THE LONELY FOREST 8 p.m. Wed., April 27. The Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $12-14. 412-431-4668 or www.smiling-moose.com