Food & Drink

Band of the Week: Joy Mills Band

By Gwendolyn Elliott March 6, 2017

Joy-Mills-Band

With so much happening in Seattle’s bustling music scene these days, how do you even know where to start? Allow the highly trained culture curators of Seattlemag.com to help with Band of the Week. This week, we catch up with Joy Mills, singer/songwriter-in-chief of the Joy Mills Band. Her soulful country/roots ensemble has a new EP, Coming Up, dropping March 9th, followed by an official release show March 12 at the Hotel Albatross.

In three sentences or more, tell us the story of your band: The band started in 2011 as a trio with myself [Joy Mills, guitar], Tom [Parker, bass] and Lucien [LaMotte, guitar/pedal steel] playing an opening set at the Triple Door. We’ve grown to a five piece in the years since, with Mike [McDermott, drums] and Jack [Quick, keys]. We also played in other projects way back in the aughts. It’s pretty great to make music with your friends, like Willie said. And these bandmates of mine, they each write their own beautiful tunes, too, which has been a big influence on me. There’s a lotta love in the notes.

Tell us about the new project (themes, inspiration, personnel, release details, etc.) and/or what have you been working on these days? The new EP Coming Up (release show March 12 at Hotel Albatross) is our fourth recording. We started last summer and finished it over the course of the winter. Things felt good in the studio when we did the bulk of tracking, and there’s a haunting but hopeful urge in the songs. Johnny Sangster did a beautiful job mixing and Julian Martlew did as well with mastering. It’ll feel good to get the songs out there.

What does being an artist/musician/band in Seattle mean to you? I moved to Seattle in 1999 as a fledgling songwriter with much to learn. One of the first things I did was buy a Martin DR at American Music, which I still play today. It has earned its worn spots, nicks and scratches, and a beautiful, woodsy resonance that deepens each year. That’s my metaphorical answer. My plain answer is appreciating all the amazing and talented people I’ve been able to watch, play with and learn from.

 

What BIG question should we ask, and what’s the answer? Should people come to the show at Hotel Albatross on March 12? Yes.

What’s next? Touring and summer shows. We’ll be heading down the west coast in April and to Europe in the fall. This June, I’m putting together the 2nd annual Hammerfest in Georgetown. Five bands on a flat-bed truck. Classify these as good times.

Follow Us

The Art in This Leschi Yard is Literally Immersive

The Art in This Leschi Yard is Literally Immersive

One local collector’s transformed front yard features a new swimming pool with a custom installation

When architect Ian Butcher signed on to design an outdoor space for a local philanthropist and art collector, it turned out to be a double dose of revisiting the past...

Longtime Seattle Artist Mary Ann Peters Opens Show at the Frye 

Longtime Seattle Artist Mary Ann Peters Opens Show at the Frye 

Peters’ first solo museum show is a testament to her decades-long career

After more than 30 years of active involvement in Seattle’s art scene, Mary Ann Peters finally has her first solo museum show...

The First Sculptor of Seattle

The First Sculptor of Seattle

James Wehn's work can still be seen all over the city

My first encounter with the work of James Wehn occurred in the 1980s during a family trip to the Seattle Center. At some point that day we found ourselves walking around in the nearby Belltown neighborhood when someone in the group pointed to a statue of Chief Seattle. The 400-pound bronze statue sits at Tilikum…

Unmatched Ingenuity

Unmatched Ingenuity

Edwin Fountain’s artistic innovations can be seen all over south Seattle

This tree is dead — Seattle Parks and Recreation had decapitated it — but to Edwin Fountain, it is a canvas. A piece of marble. A sculpture waiting to emerge. I ask him what it’s going to be. “I don’t know,” he says. “I’m waiting for it to tell me.”