I recently had the great opportunity to meet Joywave, a Rochester band, on July 12th at their spectacular performance with Big Data at the Brooklyn Bowl. The venue is, for those who have never been, one of the coolest bowling alleys in the entire world. I was expecting an outdoor venue, since I had never been to the Brooklyn Bowl before but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a discreet dark grey building with a lot of young twenty somethings hanging outside smoking and conversing. As soon as a I walked inside I felt as if I had went into a club in Paris or Munich, for I thought to myself, only Europe could have such an interesting venue. Once again, Brooklyn proves it has much to offer.
The outside of the Bowl was completely misleading as the inside of the building was huge and impressive. The Bowl has a speakeasy-on-steroids feel and is a lot larger than the outside had made it seem. The right side of the main hall in the Brooklyn Bowl is dedicated to an expansive bowling alley with multiple awe-inspiring projection screens showcasing contemporary artsy music videos with LCD lights blaring above each individual alley. The left side of the hall was dedicated to a large performance area with a vast stage which gave the audience an up-close feel with the performers no matter the position within the crowd. The drinks were priced decently and the acoustics were pretty awesome, although there was one minor mic problem in the beginning of Joywave’s set (which the lead singer dealt with smoothly). The rest of the show blew my mind.
The beginning of the set was great. Joywave’s main singer, Daniel Armbruster, was very personal with the audience and he went on to say “How many of you guys have seen us before?” a modest but good amount of hands went up as he continued “yeah (laughs) right now is the moment when shit just starting going right for us”. I felt as if I was in a unique moment. I knew they were going to be famous as soon as I heard their song “Tongues” but as he continued to thank the audience for support, I felt that one day this night would be a night I spoke about to my grandchildren; for the night at the Brooklyn Bowl was the night Joywave made a fan of me. When the beat dropped with “Somebody New” I almost had a heart attack. Did I mention that Daniel Armbruster looks like an indie version of Russell Brand without the beard? I mean I wondered why I was so attracted to him and then it made sense once I saw the main singer without his moustache.
Anyway, back to business. The entire set was totally innovative, original, complex, variant, and full of life. The first song was “Somebody New”. Next on the set-list was an undisclosed new song but it was really dope, followed by “True Grit”, “Traveling at the Speed of Light” ( a cosmic awesome saga of a song which has a story melded in the instrumentals) , “Anemone”, “Now”, “In Clover” ( a very bright and fun electro song you would hear in a fancy club in London) and last but my favorite “Tongues”.
Tongues I will say, sounds even better live, which is a surprise because of the sound design of the song. It’s a song that can be played acoustic or with a large string of instruments, it is just that great of a song. I was not the only one feeling the groove either, the entire room was dancing, all of the women in a lotus like dream state. Dancing as if the Beatles were playing. I remember in particular two stout older women and a Lady Gaga look alike which danced in ecstatic convulsions around me (and on me), like we were in a Bollywood movie when Traveling at the Speed of Light came on. The lyrics were so enticing I would like to share them: “I want to hear about the savannah. The riverbeds and all of the legends. I want to feel the wind at my shoulders. Want to touch the face of a five foot boulder. I want to feel the warmth of the summer. I want to know just why I love her. I can just erase a whole number. Lay your head to sleep, breathe deeper while I . Burn it out, burn it out faster. Take your time, make it up after. Burn it out, burn it out faster. Burn it out, cuz I’m not giving up.”
I felt like the music was making love to me, it was so 70s in the room that I felt all we needed were shag rugs and more smoke. The bassist, Sean Donnelly, was very dope, he made the bass sing and it was epic how the band worked so in harmony with each other, with Travis Johansen on Keys/Percussion/Guitar, Paul Brenner on Drums, and Joseph Morinelli ripping on the Guitar. Joywave definitely have everything needed for a long lasting music group and I see them doing great things. And for a encore they performed with Big Data after their show which was amazing to say the least . They are currently on tour, you may find the dates and locations on their facebook homepage Their newest EP “How Do You Feel?” is now available.
For those who are interested in learning more about Joywave I would say to check out their video “Tongues“.
I recently had the chance to interview one of the members who directed the Tongues video, from the duo “DANIELS” Daniel Scheinert, and here it is for you lucky readers:
When did you know you were meant to direct for a living?
I still don’t know for sure if I want to do it for a living. We always joke about how we’re going to burn out real fast and real young and move onto something else. We are very ADD little boys but we don’t take medication so I suppose that’s an insensitive things to say. Anyway we direct because we love it for now and we love a lot of other junk too so who knows what’s next.
When did you get your start?
As DANIELS we got our first paid gig when Warp records let us make a video for their band Hundred in the Hands about a girl barfing fireworks. After that, we signed with a production company and slowly but surely made more miscellaneous videos for modest moneys.
When did you meet Joywave, How did this collaboration begin?
The guys reached out and asked us to pitch them an idea and then we took forever to get back to them with one, but they waited and then they said yes. They’re the most patient sweet and enthusiastic guys around. We’re big fans of them as people and also the music is really good too.
How did you come up for the idea for Tongues?
A little while ago, we had an idea of guns that shoot clothes so that was floating around the back of our heads. When we heard lyrics like “they’re all just speaking tongues” we started joking about the idea of a period piece with a wild tribe of some sort. So we added in nudists, 70s style documentary stylings, the guns, and felt like it was a fun playful fit.
Were you afraid of any controversy about the nudity?
We were honestly hoping for more controversy. I guess what we learned from this video is that we’re in the 21st century bro and naked bits aint such a big thing any more. There’s so much nudity and sexuality in online music videos these days, the concept was to provoke people with the naked folks, then the real twist would be that it gets so ridiculous and unsexy all of a sudden. And ultimately we’re just making fun of that controversy itself.
What was the meaning behind the video for you?
If you think our music video means something that’s just a side effect of us ripping off great stories like Akira, Princess Mononoke, Pocahontas, Deliverance, Children of Men, Schindlers List, I’m just listing off movies now aren’t I? Did I answer the question?
Are you a part of a production company?
We’re signed in a wonderful place full of lots of wonderful folks called Prettybird. Both the UK and US offices are basically run by a bunch of the most inspiring talented ladies you’ll ever meet. And theres some cool dudes too.
Article by: Marissa Mireles