Interview: Pretend Happy

We caught a few minutes with Jack, vocals and guitar of Pretend Happy.

With a population of just over thirty-thousand Barnstaple, Devon isn’t exactly where you’d expect a stand-out rock band to form, and yet the civil parish town has shown PH solid support..

“We do have a following in our hometown which is very humbling, all of our friends and family live here too, so it’s always nice to play for them and showcase new material before it’s recorded – all of our parents have been incredibly supportive.”

From such a rural start in life, these fellas appreciate the joys of taking their music on the road..

“Well as far as travelling goes – aside from the odd family holiday – we haven’t really been anywhere else – so when we did a tour in february, it was pretty incredible to know that we’re going to all these different cities around the UK to play music!?”

After catching attention from self-funding two EP’s and a headline UK tour Pretend Happy are a success story of investing in oneself,  these guys started out with guts, ambition and playing music purely for the love of it.

“We’re not going to sit around and wait for someone to discover us in barnstaple – because it just won’t happen. we love writing music, we love playing shows, we love meeting new people, all through the pursuit of enjoyment – we will pour every penny we have into this band merely because we don’t know what the future holds – which is very exciting – we have no idea if people are going to catch on or relate with us – we can hope, but in the mean time, we’re doing what we love, for ourselves – and we don’t mind funding that – you only live once right?” 

When listening to Pretend Happy you can pick out various influences, all mingled together in a new and interesting way, which creates their stand-out sound..

“We started the band based on a mutual admiration of Nirvana’s bleach record – but there are so many influences we have. We also read a lot of literature, skateboard and watch The Simpsons a lot. you can take influence from anything really – from taking a look at your town from a different perspective, to falling in or out of love, to watching your favourite movie for the 50th time.”

With a powerful sound this three-man-band were friends first, that found a unifying love of music..

“Nathan and I have been friends since we were around 5 years old- we met George a couple of years ago and we just started to write music together. We’d played in a couple of local bands before but nothing on the same scale as this. We’ve always toyed around with the idea of having another guitarist – but it’s worked well as a three piece so far, so who knows?”

In less than a year the band have already shared stages with the likes of Gnarwolves, Nai Harvest, Dads, The Swellers and Straight Lines- where do you go from there?!

“We’re actually taking some time off from touring whilst we write and record the new E.P – we have a couple of local shows coming up but that’s it. I think we’ll probably tour again before the end of the year though, most definitely. We want to go further up North this time too.”

With a summer boasting some amazing festivals, the band are taking it easy and supporting friends..

“We haven’t been confirmed for any as a band but we’re all going to Reading Festival again this year. We couldn’t be happier for our friends in Gnarwolves playing the main stage so, it’ll be good to show them some support.”

A brand new EP is scheduled for release later this year, “what can we expect?” I hear you cry..

“We’ve come a long way since our first writing experience – we’ve grown together as a band as individuals – I think we’re going to shock a few people with the next EP and take it to places we didn’t with the first. We’re extremely excited to record and get these songs out. It usually starts to take shape when I have taken an acoustic skeleton of an idea to the band and we work it up from there.” A true statement of not releasing music arbitrarily, Jack said “We will probably do an LP at some point – but not till there’s a demand for it.”

Pretend Happy’s latest EP ‘MMXIII: A Collection Of Old Songs’ is free to download now via this link pretendhappy.bandcamp.com