‘ROO PREVIEW: MT. JOY

Photo: Eliza Soros

Philadelphia-based indie alt-folk outfit Mt. Joy is headed to The Farm in Manchester, Tennessee to make their  Bonnaroo debut on the New Music On Tap Lounge stage from 8:45-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 8th. Co-founders Sam Cooper, a former lawyer, and Matt Quinn, a former law student, began performing together in 2005. Mt. Joy has only released three tracks, the first one of which is called “Astrovan,” but the band has already racked up over seven million Spotify streams.

Me: “Do you really think Jesus drives an Astrovan?”

Sam: “That’s a great question.”

Matt: “He was a carpenter, so he would need some space for his things, and it’s an affordable option. He probably wants to be under the radar, I think we’re for sure onto something.”

They’re definitely onto something; after posting their groovy debut single, things began to change for the group. “It kind of blew up. It was one of those things we couldn’t ignore, I couldn’t go back to law and hating my life,” Cooper recalls. “We had a meeting in New York for management, and I had to miss a few days of work, and then had to miss a week of work to go do some things in L.A., and it just became impossible to do both at the same time.” “For me, it was even easier, because I had a midterm,” says Quinn. “‘Astrovan’ was doing what it was doing, and I thought, ‘if I take this midterm, then I’m in, I guess,’ and I was ready to be out.”

Though there are only three songs out now, the pair promise that Mt. Joy’s Bonnaroo set will be longer than three songs. “They told us we couldn’t do that, so we’ll probably play a series of late 80s Billy Joel songs,” says Cooper with a laugh. “Actually, we just finished 12 days in the studio; now we have somewhere between 15 and 18 songs, and we’ll play a full set. It’s an interesting feeling because the songs that are out and the ones we’ve just recorded feel like we did them forever ago,” he explains. “We’ll be playing a lot of songs from our forthcoming album. It’s going to be really cool to play them in that environment. I went to Bonnaroo when I was high school, I’m excited to go back.” “We’ve been playing music our whole lives, but just last year, we were either in school or pursuing a career,” adds Quinn. “Driving to Guitar Center to pick up the last things we need to drive to Tennessee and perform at Bonnaroo feels like a cool shift.”

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