Indie-Pop Trio THE HAPPY FITS Discuss Their Brand New Album, ‘What Could Be Better’, Their Upcoming US Tour and More!
Meet the orchestral tinged indie-pop trio The Happy Fits! Made up of Calvin Langman, Ross Monteith, and Luke Davis, they recently announced their What Could Be Better 2021 headlining tour, which kicks off November 2nd in Burlington, VT and wraps on December 15th in Washington, DC. The 31-city tour, in support of the band’s sophomore album What Could Be Better will make stops at venues across the country including Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and more. Minty alt-pop indie rocker M.A.G.S and glitter-emo alt-rock outfit snarls will open.
General tickets went on sale on The Happy Fits’ WEBSITE TODAY. A limited number of VIP packages are available in each city and feature an intimate acoustic set before doors open, a private meet and greet and Q&A with the band, a free signed poster, a What Could Be Better tote bag and record player lapel pin, a personal polaroid with the band, and early access to merch.
Alongside the announcement of the tour, The Happy Fits have released a vibrant new video for “She Wants Me (To Be Happy),” which features frenzied wardrobe swaps, fast-paced set changes, fully-choreographed dance numbers and a kitchen concert, complete with flickering strobes – PRESS HERE to watch. The track, which was originally released on What Could Be Better, surveys the complicated distinction between a love story and a story about love, it illuminates how fatalistic perceptions of unrequited love, and how we choose to define it, can actually roadblock the happiness we crave.
Building on the momentum of their breakthrough hit “While You Fade Away” from their debut EP Awfully Apeelin’, which logged the #5 spot on Spotify’s Top 50 Viral USA Charts and #17 on the Spotify’s Top 50 Viral Global Charts, the band recently achieved their first Billboard charting with “Hold Me Down,” landing at #36 on the Alternative Airwaves chart. Meanwhile, the band’s streaming numbers continue their rapid growth, with monthly listeners jumping from 560,000 to over 730,000 on Spotify in the last 60 days as they approach 50 million global streams. “Hold Me Down” continues to resonate with listeners, where it reached #5 on the SiriusXM Alt 18 Countdown and #32 on the Alternative Radio Chart.
In addition to their music, the band regularly connect with their fans through their Twitch channel or YouTube Gaming channel, where they explore the worlds of Minecraft, Among Us, Stardew Valley and Call of Duty (which they recently played with Ryan Key of Yellowcard.) You can catch their weekly live series by adding their linktr.ee to your bookmarks.
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Learn more about The Happy Fits in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So first things first, how did you all start this band? What made you all think that you could work together? How difficult was it to come up with a band name that you all agreed on?
We started playing music together in our senior year of high school (Luke was at college) and we eventually started writing our own music together. We had written four songs by the end of our senior year of high school and we wanted to make it a sort of summer project to have something to show our friends before we all left for college.
Two days before recording our first EP, “Awfully Apeelin’”, we reached out to Luke, who we had known as the coolest and best drummer from our school, and paid him $70 to record the drums. At the studio, we instantly felt a connection and a willingness to pursue if the opportunity came. Which, it did! We have only grown closer and closer over the years and it has been an amazing journey!
The band name was actually decided on our way to the studio when we realized we didn’t have a band name. It started as The Smiley Fits but Ross’s mum suggested we called ourselves The Happy Fits because our music made her happy.
How are you all feeling at this point about the pandemic and the recent openings?
We are SO EXCITED. No other way to put it. Just going outside and seeing people in the park is like a dream so playing shows again is going to be indescribable.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “She Wants Me.” What was the inspiration for this song? How is this song different or similar to anything else you have put out before?
This song was inspired by one of Calvin’s crushes in high school. The main hook “she wants me to be loved” just popped in his head one day and 6-7 years later he turned it into a full on song. Unrequited love is such a universal feeling so it’s been nice to see all the bittersweet comments about the song and the ways people have been connecting with it.
When it comes to the song’s music video, how did it go about getting created? How involved were you all with the making of it? What was it like shooting it all in one take?
The music video came about very organically. We wanted to try something new and make a dance video. First, we found an amazing choreographer, Tommy Sutter, who created a dance that we could pull off with no formal training (which still took us a lot of practice days). Then, we found the directors Joe Lee and Christian Strevy through our good friends, who offered to use their house as the location. It also just so happened that all six of the people living in that house were incredibly artistic and offered to create all of the backdrops and sets that you see in this video. So, as a whole group, we let them bring the song to life in the images that they imagined! Other than learning the dance it was the least effort we have had to put into a music video. So shout out to Julie, Carly, Joseph, and Raina too!
When it came time to put your newest album, What Could Be Better Together, what was that process like for you all? Were there any unexpected challenges or surprises?
We booked 6 weeks at Diamond City Studio to record the album and spent the weekdays just couch surfing between our managers’ places and the studio. We had recorded there for our last album so we were pretty prepared this time! Our biggest challenge, however, was that we were leaving for tour the day after we were done recording and we still hadn’t recorded our song ‘The Garden.’ So, we ended up setting up live mics, recording the whole song live. We did some very minor touch ups and left at like 5am to head back to NJ. We packed up the van around 8am and then left for tour by 10am.
How excited are you all about getting back out there to perform live? Do you have any future dates already scheduled yet?
We are announcing our next tour today actually and we are INCREDIBLY EXCITED! We love doing livestreams and seeing online engagement but it’s not the same as a real live show and crowd. We will be hitting most major cities in North America and more in November and December. We can’t wait!
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues?
An ideal show for us is when we are all in good spirits and the energy feels right. Sometimes we are tired and out of it and it’s hard to muster up energy before shows and that’s when we are off, but most of the time we are just excited and are glad to be doing what we do for a living. The best shows often come unexpectedly. There’s too many shows to count but some of our most memorable have been in Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, and other spots that we were not expecting. It goes without saying though that some of our greatest memories are playing our home state of NJ and the big cities like NYC, Chicago, Austin, and LA.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why do you think that is?
Almost every song we have written has come from experiences in our hometown. More recently, this album has been influenced by our experiences away from home and our desire to always come home. It’s our childhood and our whole lives up until recently! It’s impossible for it to not influence our music. We love our hometown.
How would you say that this group has grown as musicians over the years? How has your sound matured and developed? What has remained the same?
We’ve definitely gotten way better at working within the boundaries we have created for ourselves. Just using three instruments and no bass in a rock band is challenging, but we’ve found ways to make the cello deep and the guitar rocking enough so that people don’t care. As we have gotten more experienced, we have added more pedals and harmonies to our live show and we’re excited to see how that can advance in the future as our budget grows.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere? With all the negativity out there today, what else in life truly makes you all happy?
Touring and performing is definitely where we are happiest. The studio is great but nothing is better than taking what we have worked on for so long, out on the road and seeing real genuine reactions. We love meeting all of the people that support us. It’s amazing to see how many people out there from all around the world have experienced the same things as us and connect to the lyrics. We are also a massive food band, so touring and getting to try all of the local spots is THE BEST.
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize them through the years? Which of you handles them mostly?
Social media has become everything to us during the pandemic. Since we didn’t have the touring platform, we needed to find how to connect with and grow our audience elsewhere, which was social media. We have really only become super active because of COVID, but it has opened up a whole new world for us. We can connect with fans in new and exciting ways that don’t feel like we are just promoting our music. We chat with them on Discord, we stream games on twitch that the fans can play, we have a new text line that has direct contact with fans that would like to join; it is amazing! We try to answer people every day but there are so many socials out there that we lose track sometimes. There is always more to learn.
We try to divy up interaction on socials but when people are seeing videos that we make or daily social posts, that’s usually Calvin. He has learned a lot of video editing and he is very good about daily content.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you all love to work with in the future?
The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and Bombay Bicycle Club are just a few. Later on we all got obsessed with Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes and we’re still constantly on the prowl for the best new rock out there. We love our friends’ music too so make sure to check out some local NJ favs like Joe P and Ghosthaus, as well as some old tour buddies like Early Eyes.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We are trying to spread positivity. We hope by sharing our experiences, some joyful, some painful, and some hopeful, we can offer our listeners a sense of connection, belonging, and happiness.