A band that truly lives up to its name aims to bring Cardiff-by-the-Sea back to the feel-good, hippie vibes of the 1960s on July 14 when they play at Tower 13.
The Happys, hailing from Northern California, was founded in 2012 by lead vocalist and guitarist Nick Petty, who aimed to make people smile through music.
Blending garage rock, punk and surf sounds, The Happys feature a stage presence and versatility that is unmatched by many up-and-coming bands today.
Last summer, the four-member group — which also includes lead guitarist Alex Sanchez, bassist Brett Brazil and drummer Ryan Donahue — opened for reggae, ska and punk band the Mad Caddies at Brick by Brick in San Diego, bringing with them a vivacious energy that had the entire crowd dancing and grinning well before the headlining set.
The Happys — which released a four-song disc called “Bipolar” in June — were also recently signed onto Tahoe Artists, a Bay Area-based management company that formerly helped big-name outfits like Blink-182 and Sublime get on the map.
Now, The Happys plan to bring their lively set to Tower 13, 2633 South Coast Highway, on July 14. Petty and Sanchez recently discussed what drives the band, their excitement for their future and what attendees can expect from the Cardiff performance.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thehappysband. The band’s music is also available on Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud.
What is the biggest message you want to send through The Happys’ music?
Petty: I identify as someone with depression and anxiety. A long time ago, I was self-medicating and got kind of caught up in that opiate thing that was happening about 10 years ago. ... After going through all that stuff, I became someone who wanted to see change in the world. ... I wanted to just mainly spread a message, too, that you don’t have to do hard drugs and wanted to expand on that by inspiring people with music. I have a big message of wanting people to not feel alone or isolated. ... Nowadays, I feel there’s a lot of stuff going on in politics. It’s like the ‘60s. There’s a lot of left and right coming really strong. There’s no common ground. Steve Miller has said he wants to entertain the world and get their mind off of it. That’s what I want to do, too.
Given these messages, how would you consider The Happys’ name plays into that?
Petty: There are two coins to happy, in my opinion. First, it’s a funny name when asking, ‘How happy is the world, really?’ There’s also this theatrics side of when we’re on stage. It’s a great name to get really crazy with.
Sanchez: I feel like what makes us The Happys is our stage energy and chemistry. When we’re playing, we’re having a blast. Tat’s the real essence of The Happys. We have a general stoke on life and just want to make people laugh, smile and have a good time.
Your new manager worked with big-name bands like Blink-182 and Sublime before they were famous. Those are some big shoes to fill. What do you hope this means for your music careers?
Petty: I would love nothing more than for my members to fill their shoes. This hopefully means we’ll be touring more, playing bigger festivals and traveling to different countries. I want to make a huge dent in the music industry and flip it to how it was in the ‘60s. I want to bring some authentic, really honest music that people feel. I want music to be real again.
Your band has played with the Mad Caddies, a reggae and ska band, Agent Orange, a punk band, and hip-hop artist Del the Funky Homosapien. What has it been like playing with these musicians of different genres and bringing your music to new audiences?
Petty: I like re-writing the rules. A lot of people have told me not to mix genres. When we’ve played with musicians that aren’t very similar to us, those have been the best shows. There are all these invisible rules that I don’t want to bother with. I just want to run it with good music altogether, regardless of the genres.
What are you looking forward to about this Tower 13 show? What can people expect from your set?
Petty: We’ll play some real music and will just be ourselves. This is a show that they haven’t seen in a long time, if ever. When I leave a place, I want to leave people with their jaws dropped. I want our band to leave that big of an impression that they won’t forget it for months.