The hypnotising industrial punk trio Joy speak to Stephanie Phillips about their hometown of New Orleans, being an anti-capitalist feminist punk band, and why they see themselves in the Spice Girls
Stephanie Phillips, March 23, 2021
New Orleans synth punk trio Joy were only two gigs into their journey as a band when the pandemic put a halt to their plans. 2020 was suddenly no longer the year for them to tour Europe; a trip they had been looking forward to as part of an attempt to break out of the NOLA scene they call home. Despite these setbacks there have been many positives to take from this downtime. “This pandemic has been a great time to focus in and write without much pressure from anything going on outside,” says guitarist and vocalist Pasha Jovanovic over Zoom from New Orleans sitting in a plant filled room with her housemate and bassist Heiress, while drummer and vocalist Griz Palella calls in from her current base in New York.
Late last year the band brought out their first release, Joy on Bandcamp and later on a short cassette run via Girlsville Records. The five-track self-titled EP is a bubbling melting pot of earworm post punk riffs, industrial buzz saw synths, and an ear-piercing battle of percussion. As a self-proclaimed anti-capitalist feminist band, they have the political leanings and charming snarl of Penis Envy-era Crass married with the high femme, melodic punk vocals of Kathleen Hanna, and underground club danceability of UK post punk trio Shopping.
Listening to Joy is a mesmerising experience, one full of raw passion not unlike the burst of energy emitted by fellow NOLA residents Special Interest. It is a mood Pasha is happy is translated in the music. “That’s a major thing that we want to get across,” she explains, “a power that just jumps off. At least when I’m writing, that’s definitely something that we try to keep in mind a lot. To make it sound like [she claps her hands] its really hitting.”