In Conversation With: Sick Joy

Sick Joy Polaroid - Ant Adams - TGE 2019-2.jpg

When it’s your first time playing a festival that is a huge part of the city you live in, it’s only right that you pull out all of the stops and make it one to remember. Brighton-based band Sick Joy, who are normally working when the festival is on, made themselves hard to forget by playing four separate shows.

Despite originally forming in Newcastle, Sick Joy – as they are today – was fully birthed in Brighton. After moving down because of their friends always mentioning how much they would love the city – in terms of playing music – the band changed their name in order to get their original drummer to move down with them. At first, they figured it was in a jokey way but after a while it began to fit in with everything they stand for. Vocalist/guitarist Mykl tells me that his interpretation of the name Sick Joy is “when you really love something but it kills you as well; like smoking […] or being in a band”.

Since releasing their debut EP ‘Amateurs’ at the start of 2018, Sick Joy have been heavy on the touring circuit with support slots, headline shows and festivals. Running on name puns I asked the band when they last felt sick, which revealed that bassist Danny had been out the night before and had woken up feeling a little bit fragile. I mean, waking up hangover-free at a festival, is always a bittersweet disappointment! In terms of joy, The Great Escape prevails in Mykl’s mind: “the shows have been wicked, man. That’s an easy answer but they genuinely have.” We managed to catch them at the opening of The Dive Bar stage on the beach just as the free beers were coming to an end, and their set was full of raucous energy and gritty riffs. According to Danny, having a good drummer behind them – Max – helps keep up the energy.

As for the music, Sick Joy would rather let that speak for itself than go into details about their inspirations. Mykl offers that it is mostly “random things that come into your head and I write them down and mangle them to a song”. It’s easy for things to get lost in translation when trying to search for meanings of things that should be left alone – a prime example being our brief discussion on whether Lou Reed’s Perfect Day is about Heroin or ham sandwiches! What is clear from our conversation is that Sick Joy are working on new music and we can expect to hear some of it in the near future. In an effort to get to know the men behind the music, a little better, I decided to ask them some random quickfire questions.

Vinyl, CD or Cassette?
Danny: CD.
Mykl/Max: Vinyl,

Texts or phone calls?
Danny/Max: Text.
Mykl: If I’ve got to get something done, phone call. If I can’t be arsed, text.

Tea or coffee
Danny/Mykl: Coffee.
Max: Tea. Normal fucking Northern tea.

Alcoholic beverage of choice?
Max: Dark Fruits.
Mykl: Blue Moon.
Danny: Red Wine.

What’s your favourite sound?
Danny: Rain on a conservatory.

What’s your favourite smell?
Mykl: Petrichor. The smell after it’s rained.

 What’s the worst thing you did in your teens?
Danny: I am not saying that!
Mykl: School.

Do you have any nicknames?
Mykl: Dickhead, Wanker, Tosser.

Are they from mates or strangers?
Mykl: Depends.

 What would be your ultimate road trip album?
Mykl: Instantly I was gonna say The White Album. It’s very long, its varied and it’s The Beatles, so you can’t go wrong.
Danny: I was gonna say The Doors. 
Max: That’s a hard one, I’m gonna have to pass.

If you could make your own supergroup, who would be in it?
Danny: We are the supergroup.

Feature by Tyler Damara Kelly