Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster Talks Sabres

In less than two weeks, Joywave will drop their sophomore effort, “Content”. While awaiting the release of their new album, lead singer Daniel Armbruster, a Buffalo Sabres fan and Western New York native, took an hour to sit down and talk hockey with The Hockey Writers.

Who Are Joywave?

Joywave consists of Daniel Armbruster (vocals), Joseph Morinelli (guitar), Sean Donnelly (bass), Benjamin Bailey (keyboards) and Paul Brenner (drums). The group is from Rochester, New York and are considered to be an indie rock/pop/electronic group that recently found themselves lumped into the ever-evolving alternative rock genre.

Joywave’s second full-length album will be released on July 28th through Hollywood Records and Cultco Music.

They’ll head out on tour supporting Cold War Kids and Young the Giant starting in August and running through the end of September.

Q & A

THW: It’s been a busy offseason for the Buffalo Sabres, what’s one thing that has really blown you off the map?

DA: I think Mr. Botterill’s decision – it seems like he’s kind of created competition at, like, every position – which I’m very excited about. From listening to some of Jack Eichel’s comments last season about players being just happy to be in the NHL, which I understand that. There are some days I wake up and think this is pretty cool that I get to do this [being a musician] with my life and most days I move beyond that and I’m like I need to make something awesome. I think that’s how Eichel feels. I got to meet him after a game one time. His level of passion was insane. He didn’t give me the 110% answer, he was mad he was not on the ice making a difference [after being pulled by a concussion spotter earlier on]. Obviously, you need a whole team to feel like that and creating competition at every position is a pretty good way to do that.

THW: When you guys are on the road, how do you manage to keep up with what is going on in the sports world?

DA: Mainly Twitter, because most of the times we can’t watch the games when we’re on the road. You can watch some of them with Gamecenter on the app, but frequently the games are happening during show time. It’s mainly catching up with recaps and stuff on Twitter.

THW: You should put it in your rider that you need a 60-inch flat screen on the side of the stage whenever the Sabres are playing.

DA: There was a game back in 2006 in the Conference Finals against Carolina, we were playing a show at the Penny Arcade in Rochester, NY. The game was on TV and I was singing on stage but I was just watching the game at the bar.

THW: How long have you been a hockey fan and what is your earliest Sabres memory?

DA: I got into hockey in 1994, the ’94-95 season, and I was a Martin Brodeur fan first and foremost. I rooted for the Devils a lot when I was a kid but I also rooted for the Sabres. Really, like my whole life, I’ve just been a fan of the NHL, watching great games and great players. I’ve been rooting for the Sabres since the mid-90s probably.

One of the first games I went to was at the Aud. I saw the Devils and the Sabres play. One of my earliest memories was there wasn’t really a clear path for the players from the locker room to the ice. They had to pull these curtains through the hallway and had to block off the hallways for a minute. Lou Lamoriello was standing outside and I think was ten and I recognized him. I was like, ‘Hey Mr. Lamoriello, I’m a fan of your team,’ and he was like, ‘Thank you. Nice to meet you, Daniel.’

I met Marty Biron right after he got drafted. The Sabres were having their development training camp in Rochester at the old ESL Sports Arena and I met Marty Biron. I said, “Are you Martin Biron?” He just looks back at me and says, “Last time I checked.” Like so dry. I was like 12 and I was terrified. I think I had him sign a hockey card or something but it was pretty funny.

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
“Are you Martin Biron?”

THW: If we were to make you the GM of the Sabres for a day, what would you do?

DA: Oh man, I probably would have gone a little harder to sign Kevin Shattenkirk. Ahh, see I don’t usually think like this. I just see what has happened and accept it. I would get the Eichel extension done. They’re waiting to do the Reinhart extension which seems pretty smart to me, should really see how this season goes to have a little clearer picture on what Sam Reinhart is going to be like going forward and there’s been the big debate of trade Evander or sign him. If you trade him, I don’t know where you get those goals from.

THW: What’s the reaction if you’re out at a Sabres game or any professional event and Joywave comes on?

DA: If they play the song in the arena, it’s really cool but the coolest is when there is an organ rendition of the song. I went to the Blackhawks and Sabres in January with my Dad. The organist played our song “Destruction”. I grabbed my Dad and I was like, “Oh my god, this is our song!” and he looks at me “No, it isn’t.” I’m like, “It’s Destruction” and he goes “Well, it doesn’t sound very good.” Just real as a matter of fact. Hearing that is like, that’s cool. You think about when you’re a kid and you go to a game, I remember people playing like the Fred Costello intro on his organ at Americans’ games and then he’d play whatever ridiculous Top 40 song from that time. Having a song where the organist feels like they can slide it in as like a song from pop culture is pretty cool. That I think is the coolest way I’ve heard any of our songs so far. There are times you’re watching on TV too, a lot of Kings and Blackhawks games they’ve played them, and you’re watching on NBCSN – you hear it in the background before somebody takes a faceoff. You see Jonathan Toews about to take the faceoff on your TV as you’re watching, hearing the song you made in the background and it’s like “ah, that’s cool. I wonder how he hears it right now as he’s about to take this faceoff. What does it do for him?”

Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart and Matt Moulson (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

THW: Off the new album, if you could pick one song you’d love to hear at a game, which song would it be?

DA: I think “Content”, it’s the first track on the record. The beginning minute of the song is very quiet and then the chorus opens up into this really loud, really heavy guitar riff. I would love to hear that as a goal song. It sounds like someone performing an exorcism. It’s really scary and dark but I’m just imaging the goal horn going off with that, smoke cannons going off and the lights going crazy. Terrifying noises the had we made in a barn outside Rochester and being like “OK”.