JAVEA WAS quite literally ‘rocking’ this weekend as the final of the emerging bands of the Marina Alta competition took place, with four local bands battling it out at Plaza Portal del Clot.
The competition, now in its second year and organised by the Youth Department of the City of Javea, offers participants the chance to perform at the MontgoRock Festival – which takes places in Javea the weekend of May 12 – May 13 – alongside icons such as Leiva, MClan and La Fuga.
Happy Freuds, the Javea-based multi-national band formed of Teo and Victor Holmstrom (Swedish), Jack Hunter (English) and Sergio Canadas (Spanish) and the only band playing only English music, claimed the crown in what was a truly admirable effort given the technical problems they encountered.
RTN caught up with the guys after their victorious win to congratulate them and find out what’s on the horizon for 2017:
RTN: Congratulations! Did winning come as a shock to you on Saturday night?
Teo (lead guitar and lead vocals)
‘Of course! With us being quite young and maybe not to everyone’s taste, I was led to believe our chances were slim. This was actually a good thing as it made me forget we were competing and focus on enjoying the concert more.’
‘Yes, a massive shock!’
Jack (bass and lead vocals)
‘It came as a massive shock seeing as we were the only band playing only English music and we experienced a few technical problems during the gig (microphone not working and broken kick drum pedal).’
Sergio (2nd guitar/ rhythm guitar)
‘Truthfully, we did not expect to win. The other three bands are very good and have a lot of experience… but, we did the best we could and we won! It was very exciting.’
RTN: What are you looking forward to most about performing at MontgoRock?
‘It will be great to play on stage with such a big audience, especially as we normally play in bars or pubs.’
‘The fact it’s our first festival. I can only imagine what a thousand people looks like from a stage but in a month, I’ll actually know!’
‘Being able to perform in front of a big audience of people who have not seen us play yet.’
‘Playing for a big audience. We’ve only ever had a relatively small crowd watching’.
RTN – What do you feel are the biggest challenges you face as a young emerging band on the Marina Alta?
‘The fact that very few people support live music (even less so if it’s classic 70s rock). It’s hard to play and remain motivated to continue when the only person cheering you on is your mum.’
‘It has been a challenge to compete against other bands who have so much more experience than us.’
‘I think the biggest challenge is competing against some big bands who have played for many years and are more well known.’
‘Getting the time to practice and get new material rehearsed. Since not all of us live in Javea permanently, we only have the weekends and even then work, school and other events can get in the way – so getting us all together can be tricky.’
RTN – What do you feel differentiates you from other local bands?
‘Our music choice/ our manner of performing. We often have small sections that are improvised where we need to communicate a lot to play tight. Since we don’t really care about specific genres, we pick whatever we think suits us rather than what people might be expecting.’
‘We are a lot younger than the normal bands in our area and we don’t always play the kind of music people would expect here.’
‘We are relatively unique in that there aren’t many young bands playing rock music from the 70s.
‘Our youth and the fact we aren’t your typical karaoke band. We’re trying to find our own sound and play songs we think are great, not pop songs from the charts.’
RTN – What are your plans music-wise for the remainder of 2017?
‘Keep on playing, keep on practicing, write more songs and stay active.’
‘Personally, in 2017 I want to improve on the guitar to be able to contribute a variety of sounds to the group and to create a better band.’
‘Keep playing – hopefully bigger stages, bigger gigs and draw a lot of attention to Happy Freuds.’
‘In 2017, I turn 18 and will have finished my studies. I’ll be able to devote all of my time to music meaning more rehearsals, projects and gigs. I won’t be restricted by time nor by transport which is very exciting!’
Check Happy Freuds out on social media – www.facebook.com/HappyFreuds/ – here you will find links to videos, their SoundCloud profile etc.