The Happy Alright popped into my inbox last month, and pleasantly surprised me with their punk sound that distinctly sets them apart from other up-and-coming bands in the genre. I got to ask them some questions about what they’ve been doing, and what their plans are for 2017, so read below to get to know more about The Happy Alright!
For people who don’t know, what are your names and what do you do in the band?
Sterling: My name is Sterling and I play guitar and sing.
Mason: I’m Mason, and I play bass.
How was the little tour that you did last month? Any crazy stories from that one or the longer tour you did this summer?
Sterling: Both were great! It’s awesome to get to go back to places that aren’t your hometown and to play shows that have lots of people come out.
Mason: Yeah we had a blast on both runs! I left the van running all night in Chicago on our long run back in June and I was pretty upset about that hahaha.
Do you have a favorite out-of-state place to play?
Sterling: OKC definitely. Everyone up there is so nice and we’ve made so many friends there. Plus the shows are wild.
Mason: OKC for sure. Love seeing all the Oklahomies.
How has the response been to your two EPs, Vacancies and Two Acoustic Songs?
Sterling: Pretty amazing actually! Way better than we could have ever hoped. I feel like now we’re in a really good place both creatively and fanbase-wise to put out a bangin’ new record.
What influences came through the most for the writing of Vacancies?
Sterling: Well it was really the first time we wrote the whole thing as a band, so everyone put their personal touch on things which is really cool. In that way it really feels like it’s our first EP.
Mason: I feel like we were really able to make something that we were all really into because we all had a hand in making it.
What keeps you motivated to keep touring and writing? Is it more challenging to keep pushing forward after being a band for a few years?
Sterling: Just loving music. There are definitely struggles. Mason and I are about to finish school, which has been a huge amount of our time and energy. After this May, we’ll be able to go full throttle and hopefully never look back.
Mason: Just knowing that this is what we want to do and nothing else will satisfy the thirst to just keep on creating and making sure our voices are heard.
What are your current go-to songs in your music library?
Sterling: Right now, I’m listening to The National’s “Boxer” and the new PUP album. Oh, also, the new Homesafe EP is very dope.
Mason: The new Fossil Youth record for sure. My car only has a CD player and it’s the only CD I have, but that album is bangin’ from cover to cover.
If The Happy Alright could open for any lineup, what would that lineup be?
Sterling: Green Day….. Michael Jackson…. The Beatles and…. Mozart.
Mason: I’d like to open for Toto, but only if their entire set was “Africa” 15 times in a row.
Where are you hoping to tour in 2017?
Sterling: There will definitely be a full US after the record comes out so keep an eye out for that.
What can fans expect from your live performance?
Sterling: Hopefully, they can expect a room full of people who care about one another and want to come together to share their love of music and be a part of the performance. It’s not about watching us play, it’s about being a part of what’s happening and feeling inspired.
Mason: Lots of energy. We like to rock out and stuff.
Best and worst things you’ve eaten on tour?
Sterling: Best for me is probably Hurts Donuts in Norman. Because I like donuts and lots of coffee. Worst… I had some pretty bad Tamales in Hutchinson, Kansas the other day. I sat on them, which probably didn’t help the taste.
Mason: That’s tough. I eat my food so fast most of the time I can hardly taste it haha. We went to this Ramen shop in Austin once and ramen is super good so I’m gonna say that. Can’t remember the name of it, but it’s somewhere around Red-Eyed Fly.
Do you know what direction you want to go with your next release? When can we expect more tunes?
Sterling: We just want to challenge ourselves and be honest. We want to make something that is refreshing. When people are shuffling through a bunch of pop punk and rock bands that sound the exact same, hopefully we’ll stand out and maybe it will even be something that means more to them.
Mason: More than anything I want to make something that I won’t get tired of playing or listening to. The songs we wrote on Vacancies are like that for me, so I just want to keep going in that direction.
Any 2017 band goals or New Year’s resolutions?
Sterling: New record, lots of shows, and personally, to stop staring at my phone so much.
Mason: I’m gonna say the exact same thing, haha.