Nick Petty of The Happys “I love a lot of hip hop but some of the new shit is painful”

The Happys are a bay area band composed of four twenty-something-year olds-playing dysfunctional Surf Pop-Punk grunge. Recently got off tour with The Mad Caddies.

The Happys new lineup began in January of 2018 when Petty and longtime bassist Brett Brazil returned from a Pacific NW acoustic tour and reconnected with longtime friend and now guitarist, Alex Sanchez. Sanchez had previously played in Hot Start and had just touched down from an extended backpacking trip in Australia. Drummer Ryan Donahue approached the band by weird coincidence at a local bar and joined the band shortly after a few rehearsals. The band began booking shows and accruing a fast number of fans and several thousands of views on their Spotify and Youtube channels.

 

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock n roll?

 

I got into music from a neighbor who played a variety of instruments, and showed me Jimi Hendrix. My other friend showed me metal, and Nirvana Alice In Chains etc. but yea I was about 7 and it’s kind of funny cause my neighbor was fairly religious that showed me Hendrix, and guitar and is now teaching music as a professor in Texas, we and my friends had a funny band called the Mauve Lambchops kind of like The Doors. Was pretty funny shit.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

 

I became a vocalist, just to feel present in the world like a lot of people who play music and a part of everything in between, and to vent really young. And guitar, also about 14 to write stuff I have in my head or melodies when day dreaming, sleeping, or whatever in between. But I studied how to sing through bands I looked up to, and asked what they use, or technique for sore throat, holding notes, style.

How did the band form and how did the band name come about? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup?

I formed the Happys with my friend Kyle Stampfli in 2o12. We had A huge list of songs and names and liked The Happys for a ton of reasons. I’m resonates with ADHD. It’s constant source of topic for songs beckoning “ How Happy Are We” as a world and having a name good for theatrical creativity on stage being happy and euphoric. My bassist Brett Brazil, have being playing together since 2015 but I played shows with a jam band he is super talented and he had a band called Medicine Bug. In 2016 I met Alex Sanchez my guitarist at a well promoted show, and liked him immediately from work ethic and talent wise, before my friend Dana Lindstrom was playing and left to pursue solo work, and that’s when Alex came in. Ryan Donahue our drummer was a devoted supporter of The Happys who offered to play drums years ago and me and Alex ran into him at a bar in Novato by happenstance playing pool, and just jammed and it totally worked. The rest is history.

 

What artists with a message have made you change in any particular way and what was that change?

I resonate artist wise with Mick Jagger recently a lot more, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Atmosphere, and people with longevity who don’t die young basically or quit, and don’t suck after a lot of years. I like Anthony Keidis, a lot of them speak about being yourself if weird, and being positive, even when hard. I like the story of Bob Marley playing after getting shot, I relate to wanting to help that much.

 

Who are some of your influences? Which of you influences can we hear in your music?

I really like The Doors, Sublime Nirvana bands like that that we’re crazy but find it really sad how the front men passed so young trully. Bands all listed before to, The Strokes, White Stripes, Beach Boys. but my band mates listen to a lot of Primus (Brett), Tool (Ryan) and (Alex) Sticky Fingers, and Pepper variety of stuff.

 

Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?

I liked hanging out with Del the Funky Homo Sapien, and skated with him and played a show with him. I briefly got to hang out with Equipto, Hobo Johnson, we hung out with Jordan Moore and he filmed some stuff that’s on YouTube on our channel you can check out. We are trying to tour with them. The Mad Caddies were great we toured with them. We got some shows with LAW coming up with Jakob Nowell son of Bradley Nowell of Sublime, and their whole band is dope. There a lot of new artists coming in our circle I’m sure as word gets out I have no doubt about that.

 

How soon can we expect new recorded music from The Happys, will there be a full length and who will you be working with and where?

We will have our album done, the best American rock album ever (lol) around 2019, and it will be epic as fuck. But check out our new ep bipolar on our Spotify channel, we recorded, and subscribe to our YouTube. Spread repeat lather, and share like crazy then we’ll talk releasing new shit. ❤️❤️

 

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

Yea I like a lot of religious books and self help books, I like Affirmations and weird stuff like that, with a name like the Happys you have to be hella good and knowing all of life’s answers to be happy, lol. But I love Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Clockwork Orange, documentaries, and passionate actors a lot too. I like people who crush it when they come to do something. Sports too, I could go on and on. Anybody with a fire inside of them and bonus points if it’s totally natural.

 

Bands you would love to tour with on a dream tour package and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

Bands I would like us to tour with would be Offspring, Gogol Bordello, Red Hot Chili Peppers, bands that mesh with us. Another thing I could go on about, System of a Down, Pepper. I’d love to bother the shit out of rappers who are rich as fuck and suck and leach off of their riches, that sounds fun. I love a lot of hip hop but some of the new shit is painful, and just like outrageous, as far as like talent but I don’t know. What do I know Im a 26 year old artist scraping by. And music is in the eye of the beholder. And a taste thing just like when people say we suck. I know how much we mean the music, but someone will always like different genre which is enough to bother someone that hears you.

 

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Songs at my funeral some Sublime like “New Realization”, Marty Robbins “El Paso”, “About a Girl” by Nirvana, ( these questions are painfully hard) Albums I’d say like “Unplugged” Nirvana, 40 Licks Rolling Stones, and Creedence box set I dunno? These questions are all very dependent on my in the moment opinion, thank you much love to you all – stay.

Categories: Interviews, News

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