Ten years ago, you created the name Vance Joy and recorded ‘Riptide’. Do you think about those things in terms of anniversaries or milestones?
Yeah, a little bit. I thought about 10 years because that somehow seems significant, but also kind of goes [by] quickly. I’m very proud of the fact that songs keep coming. When
I was starting out, I was like, “Will I make a second album? Will I make a third album?” And you just do it. You write songs and there’s a team around you that helps you achieve that, but you make it happen.
WATCH: Vance Joy appears on American Idol
There’s a maturity in the songs you wrote during lockdown, such as ‘Missing Piece’ and ‘Clarity’. Do you sense that growth?
Definitely. Sometimes those things that make you the most shy and embarrassed, those are the things people relate to. In terms of a journey, I’ve become more comfortable with things that 14-year-old me would’ve been like, “No, that sucks.” Or even 20, 24-year-old me would have been, “That sucks.” I feel like I’ve become a little more comfortable being cool with those kinds of things, and that’s nice. Maybe that’s part of the maturing process, kind of opening up your scope a bit.
You’ve dedicated your latest album to your partner. Does she have a favourite track?
There’s a song called ‘This One’, which kind of describes when we met for the first time. She was wearing a red rain jacket and, I mean, the song kind of takes on a little bit of a storyline of its own, but a lot of the lyrics in that really happened, especially the verses. So I sent that to her not long after I wrote it. It was slightly differently arranged, but I think that song has a special place for her.
When did you meet?
It would have been just before the P!nk tour in 2019 [on which Joy joined the singer]. We had a couple shows in Spain, so I was here in Barcelona a couple days. We met in June. It’s always a challenge doing long distance as people say, “What about if I want this and you want this?” But you prioritise the connection and other things fall into place. It was definitely meeting someone unexpected in an unexpected place, and it’s definitely worked out quite well.
She is a graphic designer and you’re a musician. How do you share being in these different worlds?
My work is very sporadic and I can just stay at home and write songs and chill out. And she’s at the moment working nine to five. So I’ll catch up with her on her lunch break. It’s nice when one of the people, at least, has a routine!
Has shifting your base to Spain had an impact on your career?
I feel that with songwriting and learning a language and meeting new people, there’s always an element of getting out of your comfort zone.
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