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An Interview With Texas Based Band Strange Joy

Houston based hardcore band Strange Joy released their EP “5 Tracks” back in June. Since this release, they have played a handful of shows and announced their addition to the Sunday Drive Records lineup. SDR will be joining their friends in Coreruption Records to release new Strange Joy music in 2023.

Strange Joy will be joining Scowl on their Fall 2022 tour for select dates and will be playing at the Act Like You Know Festival on Sunday with other bands like Scowl, Anxious, Spaced, Pummel, Si Dios Quiere, Anklebiter, and Wish You Death.

I had the chance to chat with Strange Joy about a few things including music, shows, and their upcoming performance at the festival next month! Read it below.

Photo by @dookiemeno on IG

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions! Would love to start off with a quick intro. Who is Strange Joy? Introduce the band to For The Punks and our readers.

Strange Joy is: Jacob Villejoin, Luke Gonzales, Jonathan DeCuba, Jonah Castillo, and Raymond Torres

You released your debut EP on June 3, with the lead single being “Lung.” What was the thought process behind releasing “Lung” first versus another track?

We thought “Lung” was a really good representation of our sound and something that would grab people’s attention.

Describe the EP using three words.

Loud, fun and maniacal.

Vocalist Jonah Castillo shared with No Echo, “This project has been a ton of fun so far because we’re just having a good time doing whatever we want, and the songs mean a lot to me personally.” It’s great to hear that you are all having a fun time with the project! Jonah, can you take a second to expand on this quote – what does the project/songs mean to you?

Yeah, it’s been fun traveling around, playing fun shows with friends, and having a good time. The songs mean a lot to me personally because some of them were written about or after I had my son, Desmond, and became a father.

You worked with Derek Rathbun on the artwork. I’m assuming it relates to your track “Tarantula” but I would love to hear more about the creation process and making this decision for the art!

Derek and I wanted something that was simple and kinda ambiguous. I feel like Strange Joy doesn’t fit into one genre so we wanted something that was reflective of that! I actually have no clue what spider it is, haha.

One of your most recent announcements is some upcoming shows with Scowl. You will be playing select dates towards the end of their tour, which also includes Restraining Order, Ghoulavelii, Jivebomb, and Anklebiter on select dates. What a lineup. How does it make you feel to be included on this tour package?

Very blessed to be a part of the package with so many friends and bands that we believe in. We had gotten the offer only a few days after getting home from the west coast with Pummel so we just kept riding on that high and are feeling the love.

What are you looking forward to while performing these shows?

We always look forward to meeting new people, whether that be the bands or the crowd. We are also fortunate to have a scene where hardcore and hip-hop acts have a space within each other to coincide so we’re also very excited to see how the hardcore crowd and the rap crowd feed off each other’s energy.

In August you traveled to California for the Sunday Drive Records & New Morality Zine Showcase. Can you talk a little about this show and your experience whether it be traveling there, performing, watching the other bands, the community/scene, etc.?

Of course! So originally, we were not set to be on the showcase but planned a tour out west with Pummel regardless because we still knew we wanted to see the showcase and see all of our friends getting the chance to play Programme Skate & Sound. But we got the call on the drive up to Salt Lake City that one of the bands had to drop and he wanted to see if we could play to fill that spot. Super honored to be a part of the showcase and get to meet all of our friends face to face finally after so many exchanges.

Speaking of Sunday Drive Records, you will be working with them (and Coreruption Records) to release some new music in 2023! Is there anything you can share with us now about this and how the process is going?

Yeah, we’re excited to work with our friends and bring two of the best Texas labels together for this. We started writing and hope to be in the studio as soon as we can!

Strange Joy x SDR Promo

Going back to shows for a second, you are playing the Act Like You Know festival in November. What does it mean to be part of this festival? What are you looking forward to in Tulsa? What other bands on the lineup are you excited about? I know you are all excited about performing with Anklebiter, Pummel, and Scowl for sure but who else?

We have always wanted to be a part of the festival since we first saw the announcement. We have a big heart for shows that have proceeds go towards great causes and really love the objective which is to bring great bands together for a great cause and showcase a great scene. Personally, I know that Tulsa has some great comic book shops that I have been wanting to get back to. Some bands that we’re excited to see besides our friends are Anxious, Gridiron, Squint, Strangle You, and Spy.

Outside of the fest and your own music, what other 2022 releases are you excited about?

Household Name by Momma, the new Jivebomb release coming out on Flatspot Records, Return to Ash by Urn, In The Fade by Tony Molina, and the new Mindforce LP!

If you had to share one last thing with us, what would that message be?

Don’t let them win; I don’t know who that is, but don’t let ‘em.

Listen to their EP “5 Tracks” on Bandcamp below!

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