Interview | FFS 5 with Happy Freuds

Hailing from Javea, Spain, Happy Freuds has found their footing in the realm of rock’n’roll. Garnering a superfan in the form of Spanish author and poet, Fernando Garcin, the band met Garcin during a concert a couple of years ago. This melding of minds has gone on to create the brooding, folk-informed tune, ‘Why’, which is currently garnering worldwide press for its textured instrumentation and emotive delivery. Garcin wrote the tune.

On their collaboration, Happy Freuds muses, “During a concert in Valencia 2 years back, we met Fernando, who attended our concert. Establishing a friendship bridging both generations and music. Fernando has since been a strong support of the Happy Freuds music. Publicly stating things like ‘among the best band coming from Spain the last years’. Early December, we drove to Valencia to attend one of his first public performances in long time at a very small venue on the backstreets of Valencia. There Fernando performed WHY. Less than 24 hours later, back home in the studio, we played it more or less straight through and got it recorded. Low key production and yet, such a brilliant track.”

‘Why’ is the first track to be released from Happy Freuds’ forthcoming full-length effort. Leading up to its debut, the band sat down with For Folk’s Sake to take part in our ongoing ‘FFS 5’ interview series.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

Well, somewhat a long story… got a few days?

Kidding aside, in essence, it’s about loving music, being young, having post-school activities that slowly but surely developed into a personal commitment towards doing music. Still being a fairly young band, there’s been multiple defining moments that provided the reassurance that our reasons made sense. One such occasion, a big one too, was when we did our “full band version” of an album track from Irish folk singer/songwriter Luka Bloom, Background Noise and we not only got his OK but he was generous enough to give us a major endorsement for it. That as a young musician truly was a defining moment in believing that your ideas and soundscapes could matter.

As artists, how do you define success?

One day it might help to pay the bills of doing it, but until then, any artist, whether writing, painting, sculpting or playing music I think first and foremost want that reward of recognizing that you’ve touched people you never met. For us having the majority of fans in France, US, Canada and lately, a lot from South America, we confess, that truly is a major driver to keep doing it. To feel it matters to the listener as much as it matters to us creating it.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

The basic reality of it. Tribute bands, cover bands and any kind of name dropping will provide thousand times more traction than “just” writing and playing a good song. To stick to one’s beliefs, to keep one’s tone is in a way a challenge. Whether we’re talking news, movies, tv-shows or music, these are times of instant gratification and minimum resistance. If you write what you feel is the perfect emotional experience with a track where the intro might be like 45 seconds? then you know, few will get a chance to like it as very few will ever play it. To get heard, the terms nowadays are fairly hard; you deliver the hook or chorus in 15 seconds to get any reach.

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an band? What do you hope to achieve?

At the end of the day, any artist wanting to stay true to their vision would do best to build up a channel, a forum, together with his/her audience. While the big business will remain as it is, the smaller scale direct interaction between artist and their fans actually DO benefit from what technology today offers. Sure, anyone can stream anything for free, but you will find that those who like you are also likely to support you by buying t-shirts, cds, etc. due to their dedication.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

The luxury of youth is that there’s so much happening, so many feelings, so many states of mind rushing through on a weekly basis that there’s a never-ending resource of emotions to dig from.  

Words by: Jonathan Frahm