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Speaking tongues

(585) sits down with Joywave front man Daniel Armbruster

What’s the worst question that you usually get in interviews?

“What does your band sound like?” And, “How did your band get its name?” Those are the two questions where if you ask them, the interview is over, but you don’t know that the interview is over. So I just start lying for as long as I can. And I will waste as much of the interviewer’s time as possible. So I’ve kept people for an hour before, from that point, where it was, “What does your band sound like?” And we always say, “A mixture of Pit Bull and Coldplay.” And if they say, “No, that’s not true. Why are you lying to me?” Then we continue. If they say, “Wow that sounds really interesting.” I say, “It is.” And then I’m free to talk about whatever I want.

Why do you live in Rochester?

What do you mean why? [laughs] Cost of living, for one. So, we’re gone 200 days a year. So where are you going to put your stuff? I would like to put it in the cheapest place possible. And we all have family here. We all have girlfriends here. Joey has a son here. So, I like to spend time with family, loved ones, friends, and I think it keeps you grounded. I mean, I have a lot of friends in other cities now, but it’s nice to be able to turn off and spend time with people who really know you.

What makes Joewave coffee the best roast in Rochester?

Oh, Joewave is just an unbelievably quality product. I believe it’s the best, because when I asked the people at Glen Edith if they would like to make a “Joewave”coffee roast, they said yes. And that’s generally my criteria for deciding whether something is good or not. We did have a taste test event when it first came out, where people could go vote on which blend they liked. And John Cannon, at Glen Edith, had a few different roasts that he came up with, and we probably had 100 or 200 people there, to sample things. And options one and three were the best. Option two was Folgers, but nobody knew it. And Folgers performed very poorly in this taste test, except with my grandma, who came down and was like, “Number two is what coffee should taste like.” Yeah.

Our theme issue is fairy tales and folklore. Do you have a favorite fairy tale?What do you like about hockey? 
I got into it in fourth grade, and when I was a kid I loved collecting things. So I started collecting hockey cards, because a friend of mine, Matt, got me into that. And so as I collected the cards, I learned more about the players, and … I don’t know, it’s just such a fast sport. When I was a kid, a lot of people were into the fighting and how hard you are hitting people and stuff, and that … I did not like. And there’s this weird dead puck era, where the biggest guys are the most successful. And I always like the fastest guys being the most successful. Someone who’s really thrilling to watch. Like, “How did they do that? I can’t even imagine being able to do that.” I guess maybe that’s what it is, is that I’m very impressed by the physical gifts and the speed, and the grace of a lot of these guys, because I don’t have any of that. So I just kind of can’t understand. I played floor hockey and roller hockey when I was a kid. But I was not good. I’m not an athlete. Never been one.

Oh, let me tell you. I hate things that happened long ago, far away. It is my least favorite thing in the entire world. The Renaissance fair is my nightmare. Lord of the Rings, can’t do it. Even Star Wars. I’m okay with it because there’s a lot of technology, which is fun to me. But then at the beginning, what do they do? Long ago, far away. And I’m out. I’m out. So I can’t think of a fairy tale that I like. At all. So, I hate to ruin the January, February issue right off the bat. And you’ve got this foolproof concept of everyone likes fairy tales.

Do you have anything you want to add? Or do you want to talk more about airports?

I would love to talk more about airports. We should have more direct flights to Rochester, because it would make it easier for people to come into our city and do business. It’d be really nice to have some direct flights to places with investment capital, like San Francisco, or Seattle, or LA, because I need to go there a lot, and I’m really tired of changing planes, and my problems are everyone’s problems [laughs]. I think that getting people in the door is the catalyst to everything else. Obviously there’s a lot of problems, but having people show up, who have money, who can pay our higher taxes, is going to be good for everyone. Get people with money here and then tax the hell out of them. Don’t ever let them leave.

Visit Armbruster’s hilarious Instagram account here, and watch the full video below.


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