I recently sat down with Craig Furnivall, one of Seattle’s hardest working independent musicians/brainchild behind the indie band Happy Heartbreak and gained some insight about what keeps him motivated to press on, his approach to songwriting and the band’s upcoming west coast February Feels Tour tour that kicks off February 11th, 2017.
Check out the interview below.
You have a west coast tour you’re embarking on next week and you organized the whole thing yourself, correct? What goes into that process, things you have to consider/unforeseen events/getting people to show up/budgeting/and living in close quarters with 4 or 5 other people?
Yes! The tour is totally DIY, and I think it’s an important reminder to myself: if I want things to happen, I have to make them happen. It’s mainly just lots of researching online, emailing venues, calling people, and reaching out to my network for any leads/ideas/help. I started booking this tour back in November, and since then, some shows have been confirmed and then dropped and fallen into other great opportunities and cool people. After I confirmed over half of my tour, I hired a local graphic designer to make all of our tour posters and promotional material that I’ve been sending out to different venues/local newspapers/college and online radio/blogs. Budgeting has mainly been trying to save up money the past couple months and looking for the most affordable ways to travel, gain sponsors, and pay my musicians. Fortunately, I love my band and living in close quarters will just be more of the ridiculousness and fun of our tour!
What is your motivation behind this tour? Is it mostly to widen your fan base or are you collectively seeking to attract support from a label, booking company, etc?
Firstly, I just love to play music and meet new people. Like everyone, I’m still searching for the best way to get my music out to a larger audience .. so in the meantime, I just want to play as much as I can. I’m not necessarily looking to attract labels/management/anything like that as much as I want to show Seattle and all those who support me that I’m working hard to make things happen. If Happy Heartbreak reaches any level of success, I want to build it upon the Seattle Music Scene and push all of these talented musical friends forward together.
What’s your backstory as a musician/how long have you been writing songs/what’s your approach to writing songs and veering away from the dreaded writer’s block?
I’ve been playing and writing music since Middle School in Indiana. I hope I’ve gotten better at songwriting haha. I’m very lyrically driven, so I’m just constantly writing notes in my phone and trying to think of ways to communicate the honesty that I don’t normally like to share. Since I’ve switched my writing to things that make me feel uncomfortable, I’ve been less worried about writer’s block and more concerned with pushing myself to being less clever and more authentic.
What is the history of Happy Heartbreak? I know you’ve bounced around the country and the band must’ve had several facelifts during that time…
Yea, the band started in San Diego where we recorded our initial release “Highways and Cityscapes”. Since I moved to Seattle, I’ve filled out the band with new members up here and the sound has been slowly shifting away from our San Diego Bounce to the Seattle Feels.
What keeps you motivated to continue playing several shows a week in a time where it seems like more people care about gaming or watching Netflix than experiencing live music?
It keeps me motivated to continue seeing, supporting and meeting the countless talented musicians around Seattle. I’m all for Netflix (Stranger Things!!) and gaming (currently, Dark Souls 3) .. but in a hyper-connected digital World, I’ve found that nothing can replace those genuine moments of connection at events like live music.
Is there new music in the works and/or will you mostly be touring on Happy Heartbreak’s 2015 release ‘Highways and City Scapes’?
There is a bunch of new music in the works! However, our tour setlist is probably 75% from the CD, since that’s what we’ll be sharing and promoting. There are a couple new songs that we always play now though .. “Again Again” and “Not Running Away”. By the end of tour, I may add in a couple of the new ones we’ve been working on.
What do you see/hope for the direction of Happy Heartbreak?
Happy Heartbreak is going to play more shows this year. And we’re going to be working on making sure that every show is an experience of connection, energy, honesty, and fun. We love to play, and we want people to love being there.
Any closing remarks or things the Audio Assemble readers need to know?
Go be You and have fun with Music. Do what you want. Make shit happen for yourself. I, and I think many musicians, have the tendency to want to be clever/unique/trendy .. and it can really take the joy out of Music. Love Life. Live Your Dream. And then everything starts to make more sense.
If you live in or near one of these cities, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not attending one of these high-energy and captivating Happy Heartbreak shows!
For further info, check out www.happyheartbreakmusic.com/
2017 February Feels Tour