With their brand new album on the horizon, Happy. are embracing their vulnerability on a whole different level, creating what is, according to vocalist/guitarist Tate Logan, their most personal material to date. In a candid interview, we chat about the band’s ethos, Imposter Syndrome and he shares his beautiful first memories of music.
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Photos: Katy Waller
Tell us a little about yourself. Where the name came from, how long you’ve been going for and anything else new fans would want to know.
Hi! We are a three-piece emo pop band from the Carolinas called Happy. We named the band back in 2016 when the “Sad Boy” trend was HUGE. We wanted to change that narrative. We want to promote mental health awareness and getting better instead of perpetuating the “coolness” around being sad. Depression and anxiety is extremely real and valid. Happiness and success is subjective and there is no formula to it. We encourage our fans to set personal goals and not compare themselves to anyone else. That’s exhausting and unfulfilling. Be true to who you are, strive for greatness in your passion, and put your comfort and happiness first and you will find success faster than trying to be someone else.
Our sound is very summery and upbeat, but the lyrical content is much darker. We wanted our band name to almost be ironic, so we added a period. We disguise deep topics in whimsical sounds to make it more digestible. I, Tate, sing and play rhythm guitar in the band. Sean is our drummer and John is our lead guitarist.
Can you share your very first memory of music?
My mother used to sing me Christmas songs while giving me a bath when I was a really really small child. Didn’t matter what time of year it was, she was always humming “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland”. It was soothing and I associate Christmas music with safety and warmth now, and to this day, I put on or sing christmas music when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. My first real memory of listening to music was my parents playing Bob Dylan’s son’s band The Wallflowers. My parents also gave me an ultimatum – I had to know every word to every song by The Eagles by the time I was 15. Pretty sure I had them mastered by 8. My parents loved music and ALWAYS had it playing in the house. My parents took me to any and every concert I wanted to go to as a child and young teen. Seeing live music changed my life.
My first personal discovery of music was through most Tony Hawk games on Gamecube and I’m positive that’s where my love for punk came from.
I grew to acquire my own taste for music, and started with bands like All Time Low, Mayday Parade, The Maine etc. As I got a little older I started listening to more grungy stuff like Teen Suicide, Rozwell Kid and Microwave. However, I love pop music too. I’d be down to fight (non-violently of course) with anyone who thinks they are a bigger Lady Gaga fan than me. Haha. I also love Conan Gray, Oliver Tree, Wallows etc. My biggest inspirations lyrically are Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Jenny Lewis, Max Bemis, Simon & Garfunkel and Ben Leibsch.
“I really dig your music!”
Kellin Quinn (Sleeping with Sirens)
You’ve already been on the road with a bunch of cool bands, but is there that one band or artist you’d love to collaborate with and/or open for on tour?
All Time Low will forever be my biggest collab dream. Alex Gaskarth is the reason I wanted to be a frontman. His energy, lyrics, and stage presence is incredible. But I also respect his morals, passion, and voice in the industry endlessly. I’d also love to collab with Yungblud. His artistry blows my mind.
Speaking of live shows, what’s your favourite story from a show so far?
We played one of the biggest shows of our career in Philadelphia on tour with Super Whatevr and Chapel this past spring at The Fillmore. We walked down the street to get some Philly cheese steaks about an hour before our set time, and it took so long that by the time we got our food, we had exactly EIGHT MINUTES to be on stage. Long story short, we ran as fast as we could back to the venue, while stuffing our faces, we were terrified that we were going to throw up on the front row during our set, to the biggest and best crowd we played to all tour. It was hilarious.
Imposter Syndrome is out in October. What were some of the most fun and also the most challenging aspects of recording this album?
The best part about this album is that the three of us hunkered down in an old empty church and wrote this record all by ourselves, as organically as possible. We explored many sounds on this album that we were afraid to on our first album. We dedicated so much time and effort into every single song, and are so proud of the final product.
The most challenging part of this record for me was coming to terms with the fact that potentially 40,000 people would hear my most vulnerable life experiences to date. This record is extremely personal to me. Most of the songs on our first album were based on stories from friends and family. Imposter Syndrome is a complete reflection of how it feels to be in a professional band. There are extreme highs and extreme lows, and we speak very candidly about that on this album. Everything on this album is real, true, and honest… almost to a scary level for me.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world) pineapple on pizza?
NO. But I respect everyone’s choices. If pineapple on pizza makes you happy, go for it!! But you’ll never see me eating that haha.
Rising to the challenge, Happy. have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
run, brother, run – fireworks
trash stains – microwave
fake blood – heart attack man
coffeeshop soundtrack – all time low
bootstraps – you, me and everyone we know
a Letter – La Dispute
Canada Square – Basement
Paintings – From Indian Lakes
Devotion and Desire – Bayside
The Heart of Life – John Mayer
the feel good drag- anberlin
tiny voices – box car racer
sweetness – jimmy eat world
the sun – tigers jaw
say it ain’t so – weezer
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