If you want to know what the secret of success is—a prediction of great things to come—then look at a person’s enthusiasm and ambition. There’s something absolutely infectious about one’s desire to succeed and make a difference. I found that contagious energy in the unique talents of three young guys who make up the band Terribly Happy.
But success isn’t solely based on enthusiasm and talent. It’s also a result of relentless support for other arts and artists. One look at the Facebook page of Terribly Happy reveals both of these characteristics—an unparalleled drive for success and an immeasurable amount of support for other local bands and artists. Terribly Happy is constantly working, creating, and performing, and throughout all of this, they find time to connect with other bands, support their work, and even take on unique endeavors—like working with a local author. Collaboration is one key to success, and the distinct talents of each band member coalesce to form vigorously creative music and performances. But they don’t limit themselves to just one another. Their vocal support of all music and artists is what truly pushes the boundaries of collaboration. They are, in fact, a terribly passionate trio destined for great things.
Their dreams of performing and making a band date back to their middle school days. All three band members—James, Kyle, and Logan—attended different schools and didn’t meet until college. Like fate, their passion for the same genre of music, pop-punk, eventually steered these three talented individuals together. More than a similar interest, each has unique musical talents, the combination of which has sparked electrifying and exciting original music.
The name Terribly Happy came from a brainstorming session between Kyle and James. They tossed around all sorts of clever names from Buffalo Flow to Roshambo. On a Google search for unique movie titles, James came across a Danish Noir film titled Terribly Happy, and the name has stuck ever since.
** Band Member Spotlight **
How he learned music: Kyle started playing bass and then switched to guitar. He taught himself how to play, and the first song he ever learned was “Blackbird” by the Beatles.
Favorite band: The Front-Bottoms, an acoustic pop-punk band
Favorite song by another band: “The Secret of Life” by the Dead Milkmen
Favorite Terribly Happy song: “Out of State, Out of Mind”
Favorite Terribly Happy Lyric: "If I could buy anything, it'd be the memories. We could watch them together,” from a song titled “You and I aren’t Heroes”
Five unique things about Kyle: He has an extensive retro video game collection and games to boot, he started off as a folk musician, he’s a cinephile, he originally went to culinary school when he started college, and he likes to switch between rhythm and lead guitar in the band!
How he learned music: James taught himself how to play bass by looking up song tabs online and practicing them over and over again.
Favorite band: Blink182
Favorite song by another band: a tossup between "Everlong" by The Foo Fighters and "Flag Pole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.
Favorite Terribly Happy song: "So Rad" due to its personal nature with himself
Favorite Terribly Happy lyric: "In this fucked up world, you're my silver lining."
Five unique things about James: He is left handed, was born in Colorado, is very much into fantasy football, loves anime, and likes raccoons!
How he learned music: He had formal lessons and private drumming lessons when he was younger, but also learned to teach himself when he was older.
Favorite band: Blink 182
Favorite song by another band: “Natives” by Blink 182
Favorite Terribly Happy song: "Alpha, Beta, Chedda."
Favorite Terribly Happy lyric: His favorite comes from two different lyrics sang by Kyle and James at the same time from a song called, "Sinking Sand." Kyle sings, "Man down ooooh, everyone flees. Oh yeah they fled from it all. They felt the ocean breeze. It felt too good, like we shouldn't feel as we could." And James sings, "The cold is setting in, it's time for winter to come again. And I'm here to remind you that I'll always be near."
Five unique things about Logan: Logan is a graphic design and film-making major, he’s obsessed with science-fiction and fantasy stories, he’s learning how to do horror airbrush make-up, he loves comic books, and he’s named one of Terribly Happy’s songs.
Terribly Happy started as a two-person acoustic duo with James and Kyle, and they met Logan a few years later. The three were a perfect fit and are currently a trio. They released one EP titled Sprinkles With That earlier this year in March. Currently, they are working on their next album and first official music video for their song, “Shut Up, Let’s Go.”
Although they are exploring all sorts of different sounds, such as emo, straight-punk, and folk-punk, pop-punk music is their primary genre. Bare bones pop-punk is a style with energetic music and catchy melodies. They love this style because—for all three—it influenced them when they were younger, and now they want to contribute to the same field of music that has been so meaningful for them.
Catch a live performance of Terribly Happy! Updated performances are available on their Facebook page, but some you can catch soon include: 1) the Marquette Heights Men's Club'sFreedom Fest on June 27th, which will be their longest performance to date as they will play a two hour set. You can catch them from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at the pavilion, and 2) the Warp Zone Show on July 16 (performances begin at 5:00 p.m.). Click the links to learn more about those individual performances. Their favorite places to play vary with each member, but they all love house shows, which produce energetic crowds in intimate settings.
Terribly Happy also has a very unique creative process. Generally, they will start with an acoustic competition and then turn it electric and the song evolves from there. Other times, they like to jam electrically first and then form the song. They’ve been known to pump out a couple new songs a week as the creative juices flow high, or they’ll take a few weeks or longer to really perfect a favorite song.
When you see them play, you’ll recognize that their greatest strength is the chemistry between the band members. They are very close when they perform, and they feed off of one another’s energy as well as the crowd’s. Their chemistry also enhances the creative process as they bounce a variety of ideas off of one another.
I asked what advice they’d give to those looking to start their own band. What they told me: “Be friendly and grateful for any love and support given to you in your local scene. Don't personally have a big ego among your band mates and, as a band, don't have a big ego out in the scene among other bands.” This is great advice for all artists, and one reason I personally admire Terribly Happy. Once again, success comes from supporting others, and Terribly Happy models that. In any artistic scene, the success of another is a win for all.
After interviewing the band, I asked one final question—anything else you’d like readers to know? Terribly Happy said, “We love you and please support the local music scene.”
You can show your support by liking the Terribly Happy Facebook page here, and even more so by attending an upcoming performance. Subscribe to their YouTube channel to receive all of their new music!
Check out some of the music in the videos posted below!
About the author: Joe Chianakas is the author of the upcoming horror adventure series RABBIT IN RED. You can like his author page and learn more about the book on Facebook, Twitter, or his author website at www.joechianakas.com. Why did a horror author write this article about a local band, you may be wondering? Well, just wait and see! Terribly Happy and I, as you can tell, understand that collaboration enhances success. We’ve got some fun projects up our sleeves, and I’ll tell you more about Terribly Happy and those projects in a future article! Stay tuned!
"Shut Up, Let's Go," Original Song
"Out of State, Out of Mind"