Surf-pop-rockers The Happys’ roll through Petaluma (literally): “It was a little scary,” says Nick Petty, vocalist and guitarist for the North Bay band The Happys, describing the day he and bandmates Brett Brazil, Alex Sanchez and Ryan Donahue rolled him through the streets and alleys of Petaluma in the back of a grocery store shopping cart. Says Petty of the stunt, which was filmed as part of the band’s official video for “Hannah’s Song,” “I almost fell out a few times. But the video turned out great.”
In the entertaining, home-movie-style video, the band’s RV breaks down on the edge of town, just outside of Petaluma. They end up trading a homeless fellow for his shopping cart, and use it to roll into town, picking up various off-the-wall artifacts along the way (a mannequin, for one; a dog for another). The footage of Petty being pushed down American Alley, across the Balshaw Bridge, and elsewhere, is intercut with shots of the band performing in a very crowded outdoor field with a great light system.
“That video’s gotten about 13,000 views,” says Petty, “and it was filmed in Petaluma, which was really important to us, because I went to the JC here, and Brett, our bass player, grew up here. And we play here every week, so, Petaluma is kind of a comfortable place for us. And the town looks great in the video.”
The Happys – who play routinely at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey on Wednesday nights – have a number of popular videos on YouTube, including one, “Hibernating,” that shows the band and a small crowd of fans having a party on and around the Golden Gate Bridge. The Happys formed several years ago, partlially inspired by the music of one-time Petaluma pop band Toast Machine. According to Petty, Gio Benedetti - who was a member of Toast Machine, and is now with the band The Brothers Comatose - was an early inspiration and supporter of The Happys.
“Gio totally taught Brett how to play the bass,” says Petty.
The Happys play alternative surf-pop-rock with a sound that conjures up the energy of Sublime, Nirva-na, Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, with a hint of The Ramones, and yes, even a touch of Toast Ma-chine. “Hannah’s Song” is from the band’s 2016 release “Trippin’,” and their new EP “Bipolar” contains four additional songs.
“Our music, and our videos,” says Petty, “are all about having fun and keeping young.”
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