The Happy Alright: On looking ahead and finding their sound + tour announcement
There’s nothing like having your van break down on tour—especially when you’re in Maryland and end up driving 25 hours straight back to Texas. “God rest its soul, my poor van died in Maryland,” bassist Mason Steeger says. “We had to figure that out, but up until that point, tour was phenomenal.”
And it’s those phenomenal moments that keeps Texas-based The Happy Alright going. The group spent the summer on the road with their biggest run to date, and the fact that they were across the country and people knew their lyrics?
“People were showing up and singing along in Long Island,” Steeger says. “It was just wild. We were 1500 miles away from home, and people know the words that we wrote.”
Sterling Gavinski (guitar/vocals) chimes in with agreement. “It’s something that you can imagine, like that would be really cool to happen, but it probably never will. So when it happens, you’re like ‘Holy cow, we can keep doing this and this could be a real thing that happens in our lives.’”
With their most recent release, Vacancies, it’s clear that the response is well deserved. Stretching across indie rock and pop punk lines, the EP proves that they're finding their own niche in a genre where it's easy to become monotonous. “Church Steps” opens the EP with a certain emo-drive, carrying riffs and fervent vocals through the rest of the record in a blend that’s as captivating as it is charming.
And since their start back in 2011, they've solidified their lineup and figured out what direction they're hoping to head. Now it's all about honing in on that for their next release.
"Vacancies was the first time we wrote fully as a band, so I feel like with that we were really able to kind of hone in on what we wanted to hear and what we wanted to play,” Gavinski says. “We want it to be refreshing. We want it to be something new, something that will excite people who are kind of bored with listening to like the same type of bands.”
It's clear they're headed in the right direction to make that refreshing new record a reality. Combining musical muscle and experiences that have helped them grow into the band they are today, The Happy Alright are prepped for whatever comes next—especially considering the supportive scene they've surrounded themselves with.
“Being in a band, you kind of understand other people’s lives and your own life and how multiple lives can come together and be one life in a way,” Gavinski says. “We’ve made a lot of awesome friends and people who just give endlessly… It’s insane. It’s really cool to evolve alongside people and see where they go.”
With another tour coming at the end of November (dates listed below), plus a new record, music videos and more touring on tap for 2017, it's clear the group is on the path to something great.
“16 Grammys,” Gavinski says, laughing.
Steeger ups it. “I’m thinking 17.”
Though it may not be a Grammy (or 17), they are ready to put 100 percent into The Happy Alright come next year.
“We’re just [planning on] taking it as far as we can by putting in all of our energy and all of our time,” Gavinski says. “Honestly, I believe that’s something we could do, you know? We have to be on top of it. We have to work hard, which is something that we’ve been doing on top of school and everything.”
And clearly, these guys are determined. Van breakdowns and all, nothing is slowing The Happy Alright down.