We sat down with Happy Science to find out what makes them tick…
In this feature, we’ll speak to some of HOT VOX’s favourite new artists on the gigging scene and find out what shaped them into the artist they are today
Today we’re featuring Happy Science
North London based, post punk fused RnR four piece Happy Science deliver stories of the city, spat and backed by driving rhythms and arresting riffs.
Who are Happy Science? Where you’re from, how you met, how long have you been playing together etc
We met in North London. It was our shared passion for music and production that brought us together. Everyone in this band is a songwriter and a producer in their own right. We all had aspirations to not be another band that simply stands on stage a thud’s their guitar strings; we’re passionate about making music that will live forever in people’s minds.
We have our own little corner of Alexandra Palace where we right and demo songs. Fin, our drummer has a studio there, so we’ve been fortunate enough to have a space where we can go and churn out song after song.
We got together as a band and started writing songs only a few years back. We were due to launch the band in early 2020 and had lined-up a raft of shows but like everybody else in the world, were affected by the pandemic. So instead, we spent various lockdowns and periods of isolation writing and recording. This left us with a an array of song we’re very proud of.
We finally launched the band this summer with a sell out show at the beautiful Shacklewell Arms in Hackney.
Who came up with the band name and does it have a story or any meaning behind it?
That would be me (Dan). I was obsessed by Brian Jonestown Massacre and, in similar fashion, was inspired to name a band after a cult. I started researching cults and getting myself stuck in 2am YouTube wormholes until I found this odd cult in Japan called Happy Science. They have been called Japan’s strangest cult and believe in weird UFO conspiracies. Oddly enough, I was hanging around in Soho a few months back and was handed a flyer from someone representing the UK faction of the cult. Strange times.
If you had to describe the band using just five words, what would they be?
Happy, sad, angry, joyous, addictive.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
The list is endless. I’m always inspired by things I discover daily; new and old. From Ian Curtis to Debbie Harry. Hendrix, Cocker, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Pixies, Mudhoney, Television, Bowie, Jagger, Richards, Janis Joplin… the list is endless.
What’s the band’s biggest claim to fame so far?
Carl Barat cut his finger while playing my guitar once and I never washed it.
What’s your songwriting process?
In all honesty, there isn’t one. I write songs whenever I feel them coming on. If I’m at my home studio, I’ll quickly record an idea to Pro Tools and try and build a full song around that. Often, it can be just an acoustic guitar and a Dictaphone. Sometimes it can be just me and a bass guitar. Me and Calum will often bounce ideas off each other too.
With the last single, ‘Future Vertigo’, Calum brought that song to me a while back. I remember listening to a very rough demo while in Aldi in Archway and instantly thinking “that song is the next single”. We demoed it very soon after and that formed the basis of what you hear now. The guitars are very Velvet Underground ‘Heroin’ inspired; along with those primal drums that pulse over and over like a heartbeat. The last part of the tune picks up and takes it to another stratosphere.
If you could go on tour with any current band or artist, who would it be and why?
Parquet Court. The connection they have with their fans is incredible. The term ‘cult band’ is thrown around far too often these days but they don’t even have a single social media site. It’s a pure band to fan relationship and that comes across so beautifully in their live shows. Who wouldn’t want to tour with a band like that?
If you could put your dream team band together consisting of any musicians from the past or present who would the band members be?
Nina Simone on vocals, Johnny Marr on guitar, Louis Johnson on bass, Stevie Wonder on drums.
How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you perform before?
A glorious festival of noise and love. Connection with the audience is key and that’s what we do best.
Do any of you have any pre-gig or post gig rituals? If so, what and why?
Calum disappears and no one in the world knows why. Christian does burpees. Fin naps and hold it all together.
What would your ultimate rider be if you could have anything without being accused of being a diva?
Peanut butter Snickers. Those things are like heaven.
This question is for all band members. If we were to browse your music library what is the most embarrassing song we might find? Or who is your guilty pleasure artist?
Don McLean – American Pie (love that song)
Tell us one thing your fans would be really shocked or surprised to hear or learn about the band
I used to be a professional footballer until my very early 20s.