Accident/Happy – Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

They come from Leeds, make old school punk music with a poppy twist, they have a ‘borderline’ guitarist, superficially daft song names and gained the band name in a bet. Ladies and gentlemen we present to you Accident/Happy.

Could you start by introducing the band: Who is who, how old are you all and who are your influences musically?

Well I’m Dan the lead singer and borderline guitarist, 20 years young even if I do look about 16. Joining me in my trio is Matty playing the bass and occasionally shouting at the crowd aged 23 and Aaron the guy who looks like he’s desperately trying to the break the drum kit behind us aged 18. We all come from different musical tastes really so saying who influences us a “a band” is tricky, we try to adhere to attitude of old school punk, me and Matt especially are huge fans of the Damned, the Dickies, Anti Nowhere League and so on, but sound-wise we’re probably closer to bands such as early Green Day or maybe Modern Baseball. Individually we have very varying tastes, I love anything from Ed Sherran to Suicide Silence, Matt’s more classic and loves the likes of The Beautiful South and Manic Street Preachers and Aaron’s big on classic rock like Guns and Roses, oh and he loves Fall Out Boy, like REALLY loves Fall Out Boy.

Accident/Happy is an unusual name, where did it come from, what does it mean?

Accident/Happy was actually kind of an happy accident (if you pardon the pun). We were originally called Backlash, not the most inspired name but it was me trying to be edgy as such, but while on tour as a roadie with As Sirens Fall, they took the piss out of the name… like a lot, to the point where me (possibly drunk…) bet the lead singer of Ashes To Angels that I could beat him in a fight, if he won we’d change the name, if I won… I got nothing, not exactly sure why I agreed to be honest. Of course me being a spindly 19 year old I lost, meaning Crilly (Ashes to Angels) was now tasked with naming the band something new. I should add I didn’t actually tell the band I’d lost our name in a bet until it was too late, not my finest moment. Then while setting up for a show in Newcastle I think, someone simply uttered the phrase “happy accident” and Mikey (As Sirens Fall) said that could be our name. Crilly deemed it not different enough so like any artistic genius, switched the letters and added a slash. Our logo actually came at the same time when Crilly crudely wrote the name on some cardboard in eyeliner. Rock and roll am I right?

In light of recent political upheavels worldwide what would be the manifesto of Accident/Happy and why should I vote for you?

I don’t usually get trusted with selling the merch so giving me an entire government is probably a real bad move on someone’s part, but if we were to have a manifesto it would probably go along the lines of “just don’t be a dick head” a piece of teaching I admittedly don’t always follow but hey, if we were voted for it would most likely be a pretty chilled affair, we tend to try not stress about much, we have no time for band politics so real politics would follow a similar path. We get stuff done, that’s how we work and try to have fun and not take life to seriously in the process, if that could somehow be translated to a political agenda then just call me President Accident. Or don’t actually, sounds a tad strange. Either way we can’t be much worse than the orange mess that’s currently in charge of America.

Your songs can be both serious and uber cool or sometimes very funny, how does the image of the band fit with this contradiction?

That’s pretty much us in a nut shell, we take our music quite seriously and I think at least in a lot of our songs even when there comedy there’s also a sense of a message in there, but we don’t want to be a band with songs that make people think too much, in this day and age everyone always seems to be angry about something, we want people who come to our shows to be able to forget that the outside world is going to the dogs and just dance, laugh and sing for a while, that’s kinda why we play shows so if our fans can relate that’s our aim. We’re guys with real jobs and lives and stresses like everyone else, but when we’re Accident/Happy we can forget that for a while and enjoy singing about idiots in clubs and getting our crowds to shout “you’re just a dick” at us over and over.

You’ve been supporting acts like As Sirens Fall, Lazlo, Glass Caves and Johnny Foreigner who have you learnt the most from?

Even we as a band have been surprised by some of the awesome acts we’ve been able to play with, its been a real privilege to play on stages with all of the bands you just named but if we had to choose one I think it would be As Sirens Fall, not only because we’ve actually known them for years but because we have been around them from the beginning, we’ve seen how they’ve grown and what they did right to get where they are now and learnt from that, as well as just watching the way the control the room at a gig, the professionalism they display is a real treat. Plus Jason always tends to sit me down and tell me what I’m doing wrong most the time as well aha.

Who would be your dream support slot, who would you like to open for?

Gah, now that’s a question. There are so many bands we would kill to share a stage with its unbelievable, though I guess at least for me it would be The Damned, in my mind they’re original punk, kings of their time and still rock it even now, as we reckon ourselves as an old school punk band with a modern twist, to play on a stage with them would be monumental and frankly I think I might cry if we were ever asked.

Some of your song titles bear little relation to the songs, why?

Haha our own drummer has to be reminded sometimes which song were playing because of that exact reason! Its usually one of two reasons, one it actually does bare relation to the song it’s just sort of hidden? Sometimes because we know the true meaning of the song the title makes sense to us but less so to people who don’t know the full story. However reason two is probably the most common that is that we just like the phrase, sometimes we hear a phrase or a sentence and it just sounds like it should be a song name, so we make it one, Garys Last Stand is named after a character we made in GTA while recording our first EP for Christ sake! I don’t think there always has to be a connection, when I like a song I don’t like it less because the title doesn’t reflect it right? I mean look at fall out boy “our lawyer made us change the name of this song so we wouldn’t get sued” at least ours aren’t that convoluted!

What are your future recording plans?

Well it’s been a while since the first EP now so I think we owe the fans some new music, a lot of new music, maybe grittier and less PC, with brand new, never heard before, songs that haven’t even been played live… and a funny name…. so maybe, JUST MAYBE, there something in the works coming pretty soon, but that’s all I can say right now without ruining the surprise, but if you haven’t checked out our EP go listen! And if you have we actually just put out a studio demo of an old Nine Volt Heart track so that can keep your ears busy until we bring you something new. Cheers for having us gig soup!

If you want to see what all the fuss is about Accident/Happy will support As Sirens Fall at The Key Club Leeds on 22/4/18.