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Joywride - The IndieLondon interview


Interview by Rob Carnevale

OLLIE Wride, singer of Joywride, talks about the inspiration behind their new single, 21st Century Love, and what 2013 holds for them in terms of breaking bigger, touring and releasing the fabled first album.

He also talks about the current state of the mainstream, which artists he’d love to collaborate with, why there are very few frontmen with stage presence anymore and which 10 tracks he’s currently listening to.

Q. Hello, we really like the new single, 21st Century Love – it has a kind of Scissor Sisters meets The Killers with a lot of ‘80s influences vibe. What inspired it?
Ollie Wride: I’m glad you like it, it’s always nice to meet appreciators of what we do. I wrote it about two years ago and it’s finally found its place on people’s stereos. I was in a publishing deal at the time and I had just starting out writing, to cut a long story short it’s looking at the world through a naive person’s eyes, the highs and lows everyone faces – it’s very intrinsic to how I felt when I first started out in this business.

Q. The ‘80s got a bad rap at the time but continues to live fondly in the memory and is revisited quite often by many of today’s bands. What did you love about it?
Ollie Wride: Did it? I think with every decade and movement there are good and bad elements. It’s always been that way, but also it’s totally down to the listener. I guess the focal point about that era is this sense of great optimism and invincibility about the songwriting and the sentiment within the melodies and music. That’s always been a massive attraction for us, the attitude just bellows from those classics.

Q. If you had to name one, which was your favourite song of the ‘80s?
Ollie Wride: I’m sure we all have our own – Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads? Radio Gaga by Queen?

Q. Is there anything you’d bring back from the ‘80s (TV shows, bands, styles) that haven’t come back yet?
Ollie Wride: I don’t think we should be focusing on what to bring back, but what inspiration to take… Having said that, Lovejoy was pretty good…

Q. Where did you derive the name of your band from?
Ollie Wride: My name is Ollie Wride ; )

Q. How did you get together? I gather it was at a Mexican themed event involving sombreros and fake moustaches? Any photos?
Ollie Wride: That’s a pretty bizarre depiction of events, but bizarrely enough it’s really true! To cut a long story short, I put out ads in colleges and asked friends if they knew of any like minded people who would come and try out. One thing led to another and Joywride is the result.

Q. How come drummer James Cross claims to have been raised by wolves?
Ollie Wride: In typical drummer fashion Crossy has been in bands since God was a child… travelling the length and breadth of the country in the infamous transit van. Hence the earthy conditioning!

Q. You’ve stated that the great performers are a dying breed – who are your favourites? And is there anyone today that can emulate them (apart from yourselves)?
Ollie Wride: The standouts are without a doubt Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Michael Hutchence to name a few. It’s very hard to find great performers nowadays, it almost seems that the art of stage craft doesn’t necessarily shine from the individual but the choreographer. There are a few that spring to mind though… Brandon Flowers has this wonderfully enigmatic persona, Matt Bellamy is channeling pomp and circumstance and Dave Grohl is a modern stadium Rock God!

Q. You also mention that cool moves so quickly now – how would you define cool?
Ollie Wride: I don’t think anyone can define it, it would have been bottled long before now, but honesty in what you’re doing is a good starting point.

Q. Daniel Craig once said that if you try to be cool, you’re going to have egg on your face. You try your best and cool just happens. Do you concur?
Ollie Wride: I totally agree, he’s James Bond for goodness sake!

Q. With a free EP on the way, when can we expect a debut album?
Ollie Wride: All being well and schedule permitting, spring/summer next year.

Q. And what else can we expect from the songs on the EP?
Ollie Wride: Well, two tracks are remixes of the main track 21st Century Love, that are very diverse, one in particular was put together by Poppy, our bassist. It’s a complete contrast – an excellent ambient house track. The other by Jack London is in a chart club canopy. Finally, Modern Man, the B-side, is a track that I wrote with Josh our guitarist that will engrain itself onto you mind!

Q. How gratifying is it to have been invited by Carl Barat and Chris McCormack to play The Barfly?
Ollie Wride: It’s always gratifying to be asked to play a great show! We can’t wait, plus it’s my birthday so we get to let our hair down..

Q. What does 2013 hold for you?
Ollie Wride: A few more singles, touring, overseas travel and the fabled album. It’s forever changing and getting more exciting!

Q. What do you think of the mainstream scene at present? Do you think there is enough risk taking in music nowadays?
Ollie Wride: There are some very talented artists out there, but I truly believe a lot of contemporary music is going with the tide, there is no risk taking, no daring, no enigma – where is the heart and soul in that? We are precisely the risk, the daring and the enigma.

Q. If given the chance, who would you like to collaborate with, either in the studio or live?
Ollie Wride: That’s tough… well Jessie Ware has a fabulously silky voice and a beautiful melodic sensibility that we’re really digging right now. Bowie is the forever contender though.

Q. What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve learned in reaching this point to date?
Ollie Wride: Never give up!

Q. If you could cover any track, what would it be?
Ollie Wride: Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds.

Q. Finally, what are the 10 tracks that are never far from your iPod players at the moment?
Ollie Wride: Runaways – The Killers
Silenced By The Night – Keane
Don’t Bring Me Down – Electric Light Orchestra
Wildest Moments – Jessie Ware
Legendary Child – Aerosmith
Southern Land – Icehouse
Good morning to the night – Elton John vs Pnau
We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel
1901 – Phoenix
Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

21st Century Love is available now…