Greer Finds Peace in Not Being Perfectly 'Happy People' [Q&A]
Photo: Zamar Velez
Greer's relative nascence belies their clear gift for emotionally-driven songwriting. Releasing their first single just over two years ago, the Orange County rock quartet has made leaps and bounds in a short time, emerging as an enviable force to be reckoned with. It is a testament to the band's relentless hunger for self-betterment, manifesting in the form of deeply personal yet relatable songwriting and crunchy, infectious riffs and hooks.
All this and more takes shape in their sophomore EP, Happy People, a four-song collection that sees Greer at their most polished yet without sacrificing the youthful energy that makes their music so easy to get swept up in. Happy People feels like a bold step forward for Greer from their equally impressive debut EP, 2020's Lullaby For You, not just sonically but emotionally as well. This emotional and spiritual growth can partially be explained by the ongoing pandemic, with the EP partially borne out of quarantine and a period of "self-reflection on bitterness and resentment and trying to become a better person out of it," shares bassist Seth.
We had the chance to speak with Greer on struggling with and finding inspiration in self-reflection, the chance of a lightning storm ruining a festival debut, and, of course, Happy People.
Ones to Watch: Hey Greer, how ya doing? How'd Greer come about?
Greer: We're doing okay, a bit weathered after a quest to find Josiah's long lost brothers, on a mountain top. Greer came together as a one-off set for a homecoming show, but stuck together after finding some musical chemistry and aspirations of a crazy messed up nightmare world.
Are you all Happy People? Or are we missing the irony?
As moody as our music is NOT, I wouldn't say we are the happiest bunch, as individuals. Mental illness is a daily struggle for us, and the point of our single (and name) was to shed some light on that in an ironic and satirical way. Confronting yourself in a negative light doesn't always have to be the hardest thing in the world, and you don't have to take it too seriously.
What inspired the EP?
Self-reflection was our biggest struggle when writing the EP, but I think it's appropriate to say it was also our biggest inspiration. For a while there were a lot of mental and emotional problems setting us back as a group. We were anxious of not meeting expectations, and unsatisfied with our music. After a while though, it became apparent that we could use the things holding us back to our advantage. Writing about our problems didn't cure us of them, but made us feel at peace.
This EP feels like a progression, sonically especially as the sound feels more layered and deliberate. That feel true to you?
Yes, our new EP feels most like a big step in the right direction for us musically. While we weren't necessarily aiming for anything specific when writing it, the songs definitely showed us where we wanted to be going and how to do it. Of course, we are still and always will be working to better our songwriting and hopefully this will be able to give listeners a subtle peek at what our full length might be like...
Are you conscious of your sound evolving at all? Or is just being emotive in the process?
We're very conscious about evolving our sound and innovating lyrically and sonically, but much of the product follows naturally through experimentation and nonsense. We are pushing ourselves to create anything where the results will always be a mystery.
What was it like to play the new music, especially at Ohana?
Funny story, we ended up not being able to play any new music during Ohana; right before our debut of a live "Happy People," lighting struck about a mile away and we were shooed off stage, only to have the storm leave 15 minutes later and the rest of Ohana to resume without us. We are still looking forward to sharing the EP live!
What can we expect from you next?
Big plans from us in the near or far future (unbeknownst). Could be an album, some more tours by 2022? We will soon discover.
Other than music, what is making you happy right now?
Lately the things making us happy have been eating my favorite butter cream toasted chocolate cranberry nuts, super smash bros, and antidepressants!
Who are your Ones to Watch?
Underrated bands include just a few (all) of our tour mates, good friends and peers with a great sense for music respectively. We hope the world opens their eyes to the amazeballsness of Julie, Shock Therapy, and momma. Experimentation, wonderful stage productions, and excellent songwriting. Check them out!!!
Greer's Happy People is available everywhere you can stream it.