Hi there Well Happy Band! Fantastic to get you on the website for a chat, although I hope you are not all taking part or we could have one hell of a large article on our hands! I joke about that, yet forget we promote a few massive bands online these days, the more the merrier we say as far as music goes. So please do start us off then by telling us a bit about yourself, what led to the start of the Well Happy Band?
Hello, it’s lovely to spend some time with you too! To give just a quick run-down; The Well Happy Band started off with just two of us and a couple of ukuleles. We sweet talked our way on to the Melodrome Mobile Stage at the Eden Festival a couple of years ago, played a few tunes and the Well Happy dream started! The wonderful folk at the Melodrome were there for the first ever Well Happy experience and we are super grateful for all the opportunities they’ve given us so far.
From two of us, we grew to about 16, which brought it’s own challenges, considering time between our first band rehearsal and our first festival booking was only 6 weeks. It was definitely a learning curve for all of us! We’re now a band of 8 most of the time although we don’t know how we managed before - there’s still not enough inputs on the sound desk for us sometimes!
A few of you guys spend time in other bands too, is it hard to balance multiple projects at once, or is it more like a labour of love rather than a job with regards to music and bands?
I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say we’re part of the band because we believe in what we’re doing. It can get interesting when there’s other band commitments, kids and day jobs to contend with, however it is most definitely something we all do because we love it.
You need to tell us a bit about the name! Was that idea just sprung from a random chat? Who came up with it and how?
The Well Happy Band is an off-shoot of a health and wellbeing business, aptly named Well Happy, which provides inclusive classes and workshops that promote resilient health and wellbeing. As a band, and a business, we love making people feel good. Well Happy provides the knowledge and tools that enables individuals to increase their levels of happiness, productivity, communication and resilience and The Well Happy Band provides songs that make you feel good whenever you listen to them. As far as the name goes, Alaine’s husband Chris came up with it one night in McChuills, though he can’t remember it because he’d maybe had a drink or two that night!
You have an all over festival vibe about you when you play, which is a pretty amazing vibe to pull off at events, especially as it is not just on the festival circuit itself. Did you guys aim for this feel to your music, or was it just a natural progression from getting together as a big group and seeing what worked?
The songs on The Little Album of Happiness were already written before our first rehearsal, so the main focus was on getting those songs to sound as good as they could, with everyone bringing their own energy and feel to it. We all love to have a laugh and to have amazing experiences so it all just fitted together. As we develop and bring in new songs, there’s much more involvement from everyone to get the songs sounding like something we’d love to dance to at a festival and it is something that happens pretty naturally.
Tell us a bit about your songs then, what is your own personal favourite? Do you think this is reflected as a fan favourite too, or do you think they tend to go with a favourite all of their own?
The lovely thing about the feedback we’ve received from The Little Album of Happiness is that every song on it has been mentioned as a favourite by someone. We’ve had feedback from groups that deal with mental health issues to say the album has helped people feel better about themselves, which is amazing to hear. We all could not stop listening to the mixes as we were recording the Little Album of Happiness so to hear that other people love it as much as we do is pretty mind blowing.
What's the most unusual instrument you guys have had as part of the band? Have you recorded with it?
We’ve got loads of instruments on the record including clarinet, melodica, stylophone and glockenspiel. Hearing the stylophone doing the “beep beep” parts in Motorhome was pretty funny while we were recording but the melodica has taken over on stage as it is a lot louder! This does mean we have an opportunity for someone to join us onstage to play the stylophone during Motorhome. We love getting the audience involved and we’re also building up our Kazorchestra as we’ve got a few songs that just don’t sound the same without the audience playing along on kazoos!
Who are your own favourite bands in Glasgow and beyond? What bands would you recommend our readers listen to as soon as they can?
There are far too many to mention but some of the bands we’ve been enjoying recently include The Creative Martyrs, Bratakus, Busker Rhymes, Curdle, Dohnut (formerly known as eating disorder) Futurology and Misc Meat.
There’s also other projects some of us are involved with: Anna Secret Poet, Chairman Cow, Jackal Trades and The Reverse Cowgirls.
So what's next for The Well Happy Band? Any big plans in the pipeline for 2018 that you can share with us?
We’ve just released a few dates to the public for the summer, we’re playing at your lovely NHC shop on 14th April, where we’ll be shooting some footage for some up-coming music videos.
We’re also headlining the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Fundraiser in the Bungalow Bar in Paisley on 13th May, playing alongside Shaun Moore, Johnny Barr and Cat Caldwell, amongst others. We’ll be heading to Ayrshire on 6th July for Doonfest with Katee Kross and Mad Ferret. Then we’re playing with our good pals at the Melodrome Stage at this year’s Eden Festival as well as hitting the Square Stage at Kelburn Garden Party, so it’s all go for us!