Happy Curmudgeons - 10 Questions Music Interview
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Happy Curmudgeons' song "2nd Chances" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Roots/Americana/Blues song.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it. Dave Hamilton started the HappyCurmudgeons. His catalyst would be listening to Bob Dylan with his aunt and seeing Jimi Hendrix at a movie theatre playing at the Monterey Pop Festival. He also was lucky enough to meet Lou Reed and Neil Young and get advice from both of them. The HappyCurmudgeons are comprised of musicians with multiple influences ranging in many different genres of music.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? Hmm....craziest....Dave was able to meet Jack White and 2nd Chances was mastered at Third Man Records in Detroit. Mark Byerly is the band's producer and he has played with Bob Seger, Justin Timberlake and Carlos Santana. The band has had members of the Bob Seger Band play on their songs. Bobby Balderrama , the original guitarist from Question Mark & The Mysterians, will make a guest appearance on the 2nd Chances album......the crazier - the better!
What has been the high point of your music path? The high point of our musically path has been getting played on the radio, Spotify and You Tube. Winning Best Song of the Year at the 2020 W.A.M. Music Awards gave us not only a lot of satisfaction, but energy to make every song great for the second album.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? Dave Hamilton wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs for Meant 2 Be. Now, for 2 Chances, each member is being called on to write songs and develop them. Mark Byerly has been a tremendous help as a producer and a musician.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? The biggest challenge for an Indie artists is getting their music heard and well producer. The other issue that faces new artists is paying for promotion and getting on programs and streams that will play their music. Networking and creativity are huge to make it in the music business today.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? Oh, boy - everyone will have a different answer. Dave would be Bob Dylan from the songwriter side of things. Amy Dixon-Lavery would be to do a duet with Rascal Flatts. Jeff Warner would want to do anything with Richard Thompson. Tumbleweed wants to be on stage with anyone that flat out jams. He really loves Pigpen from the Grateful Dead.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show? Well, rehearsals start with a craft beer or three. We get into the heart of a song and try to make it work. We play until we have something uniform that fits and we take it into the studio.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it! Idle Time was the easiest song. It came to Dave in a dream all at one time. Reluctant Prophets, a new song for 2nd Chances, has been tough as far as chord changes and timing. Jeff wrote a song called I Know How You Feel and it is very emotional. It is a story about a breakup after you have been with someone over half your life.
What's coming up in the future? 2nd Chances is in the future. We are working on our second album with our producer, Mark Byerly. The songs are stronger this time and we have the right group to move forward. We hope this will reach a new group of people.