Interview: Barry Johnson of Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor

It’s release week for Joyce Manor’s sixth album, 40 Oz. To Fresno and vocalist/guitarist Barry Johnson is thinking about how it’ll be received. “I care about the reviews, I don’t know why I care about the reviews, but I do. So, if we got bad reviews it would really hurt my feelings. But so far everything I’ve read has been really positive. So, that’s a huge relief.” It’s refreshing to hear that kind of honestly from a musician, as it’s typical for artists to say they avoid (or pretend to) the critiques on their art. But Johnson isn’t like most artists, his self-awareness shining through during the entirety of our Zoom session. His band’s latest collection of emo-leaning power-pop punk songs look back on past eras of Joyce Manor while staying true to the natural progression the band has made since 2011’s self-titled record. The 9-track 17-minute album features some of the band’s most explosive work yet (“Gotta Let It Go,” “NBTSA,” and “Secret Sisters” being the main culprits) along with the band’s incredible knack for creating inescapable melodic mid-tempo tracks (“You’re Not Famous Anymore” and “Did You Ever Know?”) – making 40 Oz. To Fresno the Joyce Manor record for Joyce Manor fans. Below Johnson and I chat about the origins of this record, trying to take a break from the Joyce Manor machine, working with Tony Thaxton, the big Long Beach show in 2023, and more.

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Joyce Manor Profiled at Stereogum

Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor are profiled in a new piece by Ian Cohen at Stereogum:

But while Million Dollars does largely readjust Joyce Manor’s coordinates from pop-punk to power-pop, it started out not as their usual odd-numbered reset, but almost as a nuclear option — Barry Johnson going solo. Much of the discourse surrounding Joyce Manor has pondered their ceiling for popularity: If this were the ’90s, would they be Jawbreaker, or would they be Green Day? A lot of the star quality is attributable to Johnson himself, with the makings of a reluctant Buzz Bin heartthrob.