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That’s how it is and that’s ‘Happiness PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 16 August 2009 12:52

That’s how it is and that’s ‘HappinessIt was in 2002 Daniel (Vocals) and Nuno (Guitar) went, with a clutch of songs in hand, in search of a bass player and drummer and joined forces with Rui (Bass) to form what today is known as ‘Happiness.’ For some time they were unable to sort out a drummer and so it was by using a keyboard that they did the rhythms.

Actually, it was at that moment that the whole songwriting production began, and over the next two years a number of drummers came and went. Claudio, the band’s first drummer, who would later disappear following an immersion in music and drugs, was followed by David Canhoto who helped the group gain a further structural dimension as a live performing band, and now Pedro Espirito Santo, the present drummer, following an invitation to do a studio session where new songs were worked. From this session ‘Final’ came about and it was as “if the flow was completely there, just like if we had been playing together for ages ”. Some years before Daniel and Nuno had got to know one another in the early hours of one morning at the end of a party with a few friends at a small seaside town. These were times of mutual learning and understanding for a group of young people where each found in the other an artistic compliment to enhance their individual talents. Daniel, apart from painting, wrote intensely and together with Nuno on guitar they began to compose music and pen songs almost spontaneously.

Rui was Nuno’s childhood friend and had an electric guitar. He had never played bass up until that time. It actually must have been this fact that contributed to create the sound that later he would produce on the bass and so perfectly summed up the musical feeling that Nuno and Daniel had imagined, with so much creation and artistic freedom. It was just the beginning of a relationship that was much more than musical and that later on would result in a band project initially called ‘Shot Gun Wedding’ and later renamed ‘Happiness,’ a name inspired from a film by Todd Solondz. In the beginning the band dedicated itself to working on songs and playing together, getting to know one another and living together most of the time, only performing its first concert in 2003. In 2004 the band stopped for various reasons with the departure of Daniel who went to live in London, time passed until its surviving members found a new direction. Daniel’s London experience inspired him and made his writing really take off and once again in June 2008, the band booked the ‘Final’ studio session which marked the getting back together of ‘Happiness.’ With live debuts planned across Europe they are at the present moment promoting their ‘Final’ album, parts of which can be heard on the band’s my space. Today, as yesterday, it’s difficult to pigeonhole the band’s musical style: Of course, this won’t always be like this, "it is often the case that when we let ourselves go completely, our music reaches unexpected places.”

Actually the vast majority of the band’s output has never even been catalogued although there is something of the Keith Richards about it with regards to the songs: “They are swimming around inside our heads for us to catch.” That’s how it is and that’s ‘Happiness." Music isn’t something rigidly fixed or contrived for them, the structure of their songs is fluid and creative and has something of the jazz about it in terms of creative style, where the songs give way to improvisation. - And it’s from this improvisational starting point that they compose and play their songs. Songs such as ‘Hotel Troubadour’, ‘Mainline’ or ‘Hobbyhorse Blues’ expound this philosophy well with their musical influences which include bands like ‘Captain Beefheart’, ‘Velvet Underground’, ‘Birthday Party’ or ‘NIN,’ which have all influenced their style and stage performances. RM

Last Updated on Monday, 30 August 2010 12:21