An interview with... Happyness

Happyness are quickly becoming a big name in the UK scene. The band have seen themselves touring alongside Jaws and Slow Club and they have just released their new single 'A Whole New Shape'. During their hectic days, we caught up with them for a little chat.

A lot of people labelled Weird Little Birthday as transatlantic and 90s indie, was there ever a style or sound that wanted to achieve, or do you prefer to let it speak for itself?

The second... Let it speak for itself.

Before the album you hadn’t done much in the live sphere, and now you’ve just been touring with Jaws, and at SXSW, then doing some shows with Drenge in Europe. It’s a pretty huge shift– what’s it been like and has it changed any of the band’s dynamics?

It’s been good getting to know the service stations of the UK. We went to the self crowned ‘UK’s Best Organic Services’ up in the Lake District. They had a whole farmer’s market with a butcher and another two men in a bathtub. It was definitely a big change for us, but the first release of the album was a while ago so we’ve got pretty used to it.

It seems you jumped location a lot recording the album: an abandoned church to a carpentry warehouse; all of this self-recorded – for any future material would you ever consider swapping this for the ‘studio experience’, or do you think it helped shape the album?

Yeah we jumped 49.1 miles. Which doesn’t seem like much actually. We were moving all our stuff around in the snow at the church so it felt a lot worse than it was. As far as recording’s concerned, I’m sure we’ll go into a studio sometime. At the moment we’re very happy with self – producing stuff but that’s not to say that won’t change. We spend a lot of time trying out stupid (and sometimes really terrible) ideas so it’s nice to have a place that’s our own to do that in.

You recently got the ‘Best Lyric Award’ from NME for the brilliant “I’m wearing Win Butler’s hair/There’s a scalpless singer in a Montreal rock band somewhere”, and your other writing is similarly agile. Do you build your instrumentation around lyrics or vice versa?

Thanks! Usually instruments first, but sometimes we’ll already have some words in place at the beginning. Nothing is fixed – like foreplay or the film “Lucy” when Scarlett Johansson

Given that award was down to a voting process that suggests you’ve got some strong support out there. Have you ever had much contact with fans, in person or otherwise?

In the venues we play, we almost always walk directly off stage right into the crowd, so it’s hard not to come into contact with fans, personally and otherwise. It’s definitely a good thing – they tend to be nice to us, but we have our close protection guys on hand to keep shit from kicking off!

So to round things off, what’re your plans for the rest of the year?

We’re gonna be in these places in this order: America, UK, Europe, America, UK. And then hopefully we’ll make a second record.

Thanks for your time!

Peace and love!

Check out Happyness' new single below:

Words by Ethan Weatherby.