Conversations with Joy Again

L: Lia (interviewer) S: Sachi W: Will B: Blaise

L: okay so my first question is spotify wrapped just came out and joy again was actually one of my top artists for 2021. so what were your guys's number one top artists or songs and was there anything surprising or unexpected about your wrapped?


B: i know that my top song, kind of depressing my top song, was fuckin deja vu by olivia rodrigo. i use, i'm like more of apple music for like listening to like albums or like songs or whatever but i like spotify for making playlists and i feel like i put deja vu in quite a few playlists. okay, my top artist was the 1975 my top song was deja vu by olivia rodrigo.


L: okay very nice


B: so i'm very cool...yeah


S: my top song was jon jones by van dyke parks


B: i don't even know what that sounds like. okay, will?


W: i'm sure it was something really cool


B: no it's totally dude


W: joy again was my top—jesus christ—practicing yeah


W: oh dude come on but i think number two blackpink which is also...i gotta defend that one but not really. it's cool, i love it.


L: no it is cool


B: you can totally tell that i went through a breakup this year because my my top song on spotify was deja vu, my top song on apple music was hard feelings by the lorde, and then very close after that is fuckin silk chiffon.


L: with this being the band's first release in a little over two years was there anything like new or unique about the musical process for creating what lovers do compared to your previous work?


S: i mean i started using a lot of new gear and that really helped me produce out the record but as far as writing went it was pretty much the same as always. it just went through a lot of different phases which is kind of unusual. like there's like three different versions of the song so that that's the only thing that's different.


L: do you feel like the song exhibits your growth as a band since you've been playing together for so many years?


S: not really, i mean it's the first it's the first dragon song that i've produced by myself, so that's new and shows growth. But um, no not really; i feel like the next release we do is going to be kind of more akin to the rest of our style.


B: i think for this one i feel like i've felt growth because i feel like it's like one of the more more interesting things that i've played on a song. i don't know if there's a better way to like articulate that but i'm proud of the parts i wrote on this song and i was like 'huh, i'm getting somewhere' but yeah, will?


W: um, i grew up yeah, yeah


B: will's a year older


L: and a year wiser


B: yes


W: yeah



L: the song itself kind of describes the twisted moments in a relationship that are interpreted as endearing instead of messy. is this like is this tendency to romanticize something that comes along with being like a songwriter or creative person?


B: i like the way you described it as endearing instead of messy. yeah, that's how i listen to this song. i was thinking i've definitely done this before where in the moment i'm like 'oh this this is so sweet that they're doing this' but then i come back and think about it later and i'm like 'oh this is not good' but in the moment it feels super romantic.


S: i feel like just being you know a person who writes music or like a creative person i have a tendency to just look at things from different angles instead of expressing it in a normal way by just being like 'oh this relationship is like not good or it's not like normal'


L: so next question is what was the inspiration behind the burden of cage motif that was in the music video and also in the album cover (which is really cool by the way i really like that)


S:my girlfriend did that! the burden of cage thing came from our friend rich who made the music video and i guess that that was his way of interpreting the song kind of like being trapped in something or stuck. that was all his idea, the bird motif, but then it kind of took on you know it

kind of just became the mascot for the song


B: what was the bird's name


S: i have no idea


B: okay, well name's up for interpretation. will do you want to come up with a name for the bird that will be said in the interview?


W: um, the bird’s name was clarence.


L: he looks like a clarence


B: yeah, i think so too


S: yeah, rich is the is a genius for that one. i like that one a lot, all the birds in the video.


L: speaking of the music video, the cinematography was really stunning. what was the shooting

process like and was there always a sort of a creative vision for it? did it end up matching that sort of vision you had for it?


B: i think that it definitely matched up with the creative vision because i feel like it has a nice surreal sense to it. the beginning when we shot on the boardwalk in atlantic city, the end of the video was supposed to be like a dream sequence with all of us kind of falling from the sky. it's funny because that's considered to be a dream sequence but the beginning still feels like that in a way just because atlantic city is so fuckin insane and everybody there is just like a fuckin nuts.


W: yeah, like the vibe of the song. i thought it was a lot of fun to film. i mean, i don't think sachi got to have as much fun because he was actually being filmed but the rest of us got to go on some carnival rides—


B: will started a flash mob and it was just a fun day


L: how big was this flash mob?


B: it was like, at most like nine people but it's been a lifelong dream of will’s and i'm happy [he] finally got to pull it off in such an impactful way.


L: yeah it's a really big accomplishment


B: yeah yeah he fuckin killed it


[Applause]


L: okay so going through the pandemic there's obviously not any opportunities to do live shows, so how has it felt like getting back into it? i know you guys have the 3 day residency at baby’s all right coming up and you also have the tour with snail mail and so i actually wanted to hear your thoughts on that.


B: practicing for these shows at baby’s has felt really funny because the past three months-ish we haven't played a single joy again song. we've just been learning fuckin covers so then getting back and playing our music that we know and we wrote feels like we ran through the set the actual first time. i was like, this feels really fuckin weird to like play like our songs instead of playing like fuckin a spice girl song. those shows are gonna be really fun though, i love any excuse to dress up.


L: what are the themes?


B: there's one that's prom themed, one that's 80s themed, and there's one that's like y2k new year's themed. the costumes are up for interpretation where you do covers and stuff relating to the nights. then the snail mail tour is just gonna be so fuckin fun because we're all just such menaces, everybody in both bands, they're just like the fuckin funnest people in the world. it's gonna be a real messy two weeks i love them to death and i'm super excited for it.


L: which theme are you most excited for?


B: probably prom night because i love wearing a suit. will, sachi?


W: i think prom night for the night, 80s for the covers, and then y2k for the singing.


B: it's funny, if we play long enough, i was thinking about it on y2k new year's we can do a new year's countdown and ball drop


S: yeah, i feel like baby’s will probably kick us out before then. honestly, i guess i'm most excited for y2k night just for the pop punk songs.


W: this is kind of a different group to go out with and we had three shows in the summer but it'll be fun with this snail mail stuff to actually go out with everybody i don’t know.


B: kieran’s a road dog. he’s fun in the car, i love it. it’s really exciting having kieran in the band. we've known kieran for forever but he's like the greatest bass player. it's nice to have six [members], it's funny and it's probably gonna be harder to book hotel rooms now but i'm really

happy that kieran is in here.


L: earlier you mentioned that you're getting back into doing your own sets and you said the experience is a little bit weird. is it also kind of gratifying in a way to get to perform your own music and not just covers?


W: i think so, no relative ever understands that we're not playing covers; like when i say i’m going to play shows like—


B: oh like, “you're good, you play originals”


W: uh and then they're like baffled that anyone would want to pay to see us play our own songs.


S: “how’s the little music thing going??”


B: “oh, you finally come out of your room, how's your little music thing going” so first they’re a little impressed you play music and write songs but then you don't play anything that people know. to play our own songs and then have that i don't think anyone is expecting to pay to see us play spice girls on monday.


B: yeah we're playing spice girls on wednesday!


L: oh yeah


B: i can't wait to start playing some new [songs] once we get a place where i feel like i can you know play them in front of people. it’s just gonna take a little more time to get some of the new ones ready to play but it is nice to not just be like a cover band.


Photo Credit: Xavier Codie


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