Welcome to the latest spotlight on one of the 26 bands/artists that will appear on the POST/POP vs Cassette Culture Collaboration Compilation. I aim to have one of these interviews every single day so by the time we release the album at the end of March you will know each band intimately! Next up is HAPPY HILL! The track on the album is called “I Believe in Ghosts” and it sounds like it was recorded by a hipster-poltergeist, two fingers underwater with a czech tape recorder sellotaped to a broken kazoo. My kinda jam. Let’s see what the band have to say for themselves…
Hello! You are one of the 26 bands chosen for the POST/POP X CassetteCulture compilation. Congrats and thank you for letting me use your song. Just so everyone can know a little about you, who are you?
We’re Happy Hill, a 2 person band that is split up on the west and the east, Brandon William and Adrian Lacasse, Brandon having made this song. We never have a full band playing, we record each instrument one at a time and play off each other.
Where are you from? Somewhere exotic? Are there any nice record shops there?
L.A. and Boston, some nice record shops in Boston and Northampton.
What genre would you pigeonhole yourself into? Y’know, if I had a gun to your head! (There’s a slim chance that in the future I may have to point a gun to your head due to sleepwalking)
We have many different sounds, most fall into lofi-psychedelic or spacey pop.
I’m bored of bands telling the world what their musical influences are SO, what are your non-musical influences? (people, movies, art etc)
Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch, the forest, psychedelics, meditation, social masks, feeling vibrations from people, clueless people, Miyazaki, dreams, harsh wilderness, the fall, summer dusk, Terrence McKenna
How did you find out about this collaboration/compilation and what made you send me your songs?
Went on reddit for the first time in a year and found the post about it, and the last two times we were about to release on tape it fell through.
You are in a dusty room. Time hangs heavy in the air. Before you is an ancient table, carved from a twisted tree that once stood proudly atop a lost mountain. Upon this great table is a gilded envelope. You open the envelope slowly, knowing that it will give you the answer that you have been waiting for ever since you started this journey. You have lost many friends and gained untold enemies along the way. All for this. This moment. You carefully remove the parchment, feeling the edges until it draws blood. You notice not, as your eyes flicker across the page. Your blind companion, so loyal, even though you traded his eyes for safe passage and a mixtape, brings his ear close to your lips and asks you the question. “What did the letter say?” and your answer is……
Cutting down that tree for this table was a terrible idea.
Do you listen to tapes yourself? Do you think there’s a future for the format?
I listen to tapes often, and was introduced to the medium by the Radiator Collective, who released everything on tape and I loved the sound. There is a huge future for the format just because it sounds good. Some people will always appreciate that. Even George Harrison said he preferred a bit of tape hiss. It’s like film, it adds a natural texture to the sound, even if the song was digital originally. And I love the way tape compression sounds.
What’s the one thing people should know about you before they listen to your track?
I came up with the chorus for this song right after a ghost encounter, my girlfriend told me that her aunts house was haunted by a non-threatening ghost. I couldn’t really believe it till I experienced it myself and then I heard the sound of a chair moving across a wooden floor in the the room above us. I went to check it out because I didn’t think anyone was home, and there was no one up there and the floor was covered in rug. There was also only one way in and out of the room and I was at the bottom the whole time before. As I walked down the stairs I heard whispering behind me. I was really scared at first, but then I felt a calm as I realized that at least I knew ghosts were real now.
What’s the one thing people should know after they listen to your track?
This song is from a tape I am working on that is embracing and poking fun at the resurgence of 50’s and 60’s pop style sounds in underground music, with it’s main influences being France and the Freemansons and Dirty Beaches.
Thanks Happy Hill! Read more interview from the bands on ‘Adventures in Home Taping’ below and buy the tape out on March 26th! (thats really soon!)
One more thing to keep in mind is that I am already formulating ideas for “ADVENTURES IN HOME TAPING: VOL 2″ and may make it a double album. I felt bad turnign away lots of bands, and I am intent to make sure every band involved in cassette culture has a chance of being on it.