Philly Band Mt. Joy takes the stage at Made in America


Mt. Joy performs during the 2017 Made in America festival

Cassie McHugh '20 Culture Editor

Up and coming Indie Folk band Mt. Joy had a homecoming of sorts at the 2017 Made in America festival. The group hails from Philly and named itself after a mountain that’s just 20 minutes away from the University. The success of its single “Astrovan” prompted a summer full of appearances at major music festivals and the cultivation of an upcoming debut album. Following its performance on the Skate Stage of MIA, The Villanovan caught up with the band to discuss their recent success, new music, and WAWA favorites. 

Cassie McHugh (M): Sam and Matt, you both grew up near Philadelphia. What’s your favorite thing about coming back home to perform?

Matt Qunn (Q): “Seeing family and friends. It’s such a great city to walk around.”

Sam Cooper (C): “It’s also 105 degrees right now in Los Angeles, so coming back to Philly is nice.”

M: Made in America is curated by Jay-Z himself. What does it mean to you to be asked to perform here and receive his stamp of approval?

Q: “Oh man. I mean, if we’re on Jay-Z’s radar, if that’s a real thing, then that’s an incredible moment for us. We’re super grateful to have the opportunity to come and play on the Parkway. It’s just an amazing experience.”

M: You’re coming off a summer on the festival circuit, playing festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Is there something special about the energy of a festival crowd?

Michael Byrnes: “They’re getting down. Certain crowds, I feel like it depends on what day of the week or how popular you are in that region, but at festivals, people are getting down.”

C: “And they’re much more open to listening to new music.”

M: I noticed you guys played a lot of new material today. Are you planning to release that soon?

C: “Hopefully, yeah. We’ve been working hard on the album and really just trying to make it—you know, it’s our first big statement—and we want to make sure it’s everything we think it can be so we’re finishing it up and we hope to get it out soon.”  

M: At one point, you took a step back from music to pursue more realistic career paths. Does that give you a greater appreciation for getting to do this full time now?

Q: “Yeah, for sure.”

C: “I think the purpose of [our] original recordings was just to have them, just to record these songs and get them sounding good. It was more for our parents and friends. We didn’t think it would lead us to Made in America.”

Q: “It’s much more fun than being a person at a law firm. Not that it’s not hard work, it’s just different.”

M: I read in your interview with Billboard that you guys are WaWa fans. What are your go-to orders?

C: “I go with a six-inch shortie—wheat, tuna, American cheese, a little bit of mayo and pickles. And then I get Snackwells vanilla chips on the side and a peach Snapple. Literally every time I go to WaWa. It doesn’t get old.”

C: “Honestly, for me, I’ve had a weird stomach thing so it’s been sad because WaWa’s hard to do, but now they have this weird burrito thing which I’ve been doing. But yeah, WaW is an institution of my childhood.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.