Hailing from the Netherlands, and recently signed for worldwide distribution via Long Branch Records, Birth of Joy are a band that we are finding ourselves very excited about.
Pulling from a list of underground influences as diverse as The Gestures, Mind Garage, Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones, Birth of Joy’s sound is a throw-back to a more experimental era when rock artists traversed the sonic landscape and pushed the limits of our musical imaginations. It’s “Sixties On Steroids” as their bio so accurately states…and we certainly dig it! It’s catchy, it’s gritty, and it’s authentic. There’s something for everyone in their latest record The Prisoner and if you’re looking for pure classic rock and roll, then look no further!
We recently reached out to the band prior to their SXSW performance in an effort to find out more about them. Here’s what they had to say:
AltWire [Derek]: Congratulations on your recent worldwide deal with Long Branch Records. For those who may be hearing Birth of Joy for the first time, could you please tell us a little bit about your latest record Prisoner? (it’s a fantastic record by the way!)
Birth Of Joy: Well first of all thank you for the congratulations! Prisoner is our third album that we have released after a long run of touring throughout Europe, UK and the USA. We didn’t have much time to write the songs, but fortunately we had two full weeks to record the album with Joris Wolf. There was an intense combination of the experience from so many shows, the process of experimenting with the sounds and playing with the possibilities of the studio itself. We have never went so far before. This resulted in a rough rock and roll rollercoaster ride!
AW: Tell me a little more about how Birth of Joy was formed. I’ve read that you came together at the Herman Brood Academy in Utrecht, Netherlands. Did you know each other before hand, or did you meet for the first time when studying there?
BOJ: We met during the first introduction of the Herman Brood Academy itself. We had the assignment to form bands and to rehearse two songs and perform them on the second day. The moment we gathered together as complete strangers in the rehearsal room it was clear there was an immediate connection between us, and we became friends. Two years later Bob came up with the idea to start as a band for real and there it happened; Birth of Joy was born.
AW: Given the influence that 60’s and 70’s psychedelic rock has had on your sound, what artists and records from those decades influenced your music the most?
BOJ: There are so many cool bands from that era which we were inspired by like Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Sonics, Fela Kuti, MC5, Velvet Underground, Cream and The Rolling Stones. If you dig deeper into the music of that time you will discover a lot of unknown bands like The Groupies, The Gestures and Mind Garage (asphalt mother). You can find these unknown bands while searching `Nuggets sixties` on YouTube or Google.
AW: Rock music has clearly changed a lot from that time period. What would you say was present in the rock music of the 60s and 70s that is lacking from the rock music of today?
BOJ: The time, spirit, the sound of elder equipment and the approach of expression.
AW: From what I’ve seen, your band name is inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘The Birth of Tragedy’. One of Nietzsche’s main viewpoints in his work, is how life finds its own meaning not through the pursuit of knowledge but through our own artistic experiences. Do you agree with that, and how would you say putting your music out to the world and connecting with fans has affected each of you?
BOJ: Well Birth of Joy is not only inspired by Nietzsche’s ‘Birth of Tragedy’. It was also Kevin’s personal quest for redefining joy and the outcome is losing oneself in making or experiencing music. That is the connection. Our goal is to lose ourselves in making music and let the wave hit the audience, so that we can all forget the grey reality together.
AW: With your record now worldwide, what is on your agenda for the year ahead? What do you have planned and are there any plans to do a tour in the states any time soon?
BOJ: We will play on the SXSW festival this year and after that we will rock around Europe and on this moment there are a lot of plans going on behind the scenes…so you’ll have to wait for it!!!!
The Prisoner is currently available for purchase worldwide. For more information on Birth Of Joy, please check out their official site. Listen to “The Sound” below: