1. How did you get your band name?
There was no great spark of inspiration to this band’s name. We didn’t feel inspired by some religious, literary, or poetic text; nor a piece of film; nor a piece of music. In fact, while thinking of a name, we literally came up with hundreds of names. We felt that we didn’t want the name to be tied to a singular idea or theme that would shape the music or reflect the music in such a specific way. Once you throw out that convention and the convention of being a “the” band, it gets blurry how to name a band. We wanted the name to be short rather than a long alliterative name. We came up with a long list and picked the ones we liked, and at the end of the day out of each member's list, Happy Noose was the only one that no one in the band hated for some reason. It is a nonsense name. The meaning behind it is solely in the eyes of the beholder. So if you think it has a negative connotation, you are projecting negative ideas; funny, funny ideas etc. It came up because I have a old milk carton that says “Hoppy Favorite Milk” in lassoed letters, but the “o” looks like an “a,” so I simply put Happy Noose down. That simple.
2. How did this band get started?
Ryan and I and another drummer named Skinny had been in a band called Aires and Graces, and after releasing a number of records and touring they decided to take a big change in direction and change the band name even. Huge change. Originally they were going to be called New Traditionals; they started writing the material and didn’t play any shows. Eventually Skinny dropped out and John joined; by that time the material was written and they settled on the name Happy Noose, began playing shows and recording records.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
This is a very generic but interesting question. Honestly, when writing Happy Noose isn’t really “influenced” by anyone per se. We are not trying to sound like anyone else, and do not write to try and fit into a particular mold. We write to get an emotion or idea across. That said, all three of us are huge music fans and that runs the gambit. We recently did a radio show and were asked to bring in some things that influenced us to play. And while we mean what we just said, here is a taste of what bands we played: Beat Happening, Buzzcocks, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, New Order, The Saints, Husker Du, PIL, UK Subs, Wipers, Death in June.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Don’t really know. I would say a band that is in a similar enough mode as to not alienate the crowd, has a bigger draw than us, and are all upright and righteous dudes or ladies.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Good food from local eateries; no big chains.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
The music is heartfelt. We are playing it for ourselves but hope that it speaks to others. It isn’t the same old BS that is out there. It is good.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? Why?
Not that sports are inherently asinine or anything like that, but I am not an athlete and wouldn’t really know how to evaluate why I would switch with them. Money? No big deal. Fame? No big deal. It would have to be for a reason like being the top of your game, an ambassador of the sport. Or something like that. It makes the list very small. Zidane? He was great.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Have you ever watched the Ramones Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony where Dee Dee thanks himself and give himself a pat on the back? Yes, there are a lot of people who might have helped. But this band writes all of its own material, has main control in the recording, released the records on their own dollar. I mean the thanks you’s in the record would probably be the same as the Grammy really. Support is key in more ways than making the record, so really that means acknowledging that in a way that is more than who helped make the record, right?
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t care about how it works today since we play by our own ideas and rules. We all came from a true DIY punk rock background. The one thing that is saddening is the death of physical product. It is an important component of an artistic statement. I would put focus on the collectors and fans for that venue. Access and accessibility is at a high (to some maybe too high), but that was the original fight. Now it is finding the balance between a flooded market and finding something for everybody.
10. Memorable tour experience?
This band will go on its first tour in June. But all of us have toured extensively with other bands. The thing about touring is that it is both very predictable and totally unpredictable at the same time. It is weird experience. But it is totally true.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
12. What is your favorite song to play?
In this band? "Robbed."
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Hmmm. Don’t know. Always go somewhere different.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
The Ramones, Devo, The Germs, The Scorpions, Rush.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Time travel. The possibilities are endless.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
See what’s the scoop; set up and play.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Way too much. It is important to us to have, at some level, things that are “just for us.”
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Flourish on radio, no. But college and community radio while small is great.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play music, see live music, read, go to the cinema.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
We’ll never tell.