Peace: Every song on ‘Happy People’ is an experiment

Much-hyped UK outfit Peace brought their sophomore album Happy People to the country recently for Groovin’ the Moo. We spoke to frontman Harry Koisser and drummer Dominic Boyce about the album as their Australian adventure came to an end.

Prior to this tour, you made a wonderful video for your Australian fans. Did you actually eat that Vegemite?

Harry: Yeah! It’s well nice. I’m a fan of all yeast extracts. Just yeast, man.


Which have you preferred so far: Groovin’ the Moo crowds or the crowds at your sideshows?

Harry: It’s really different. The sideshows are the people that know us and want to come see us. [At] Groovin’ the Moo, there’s that small percentage of people who know us. There’s a lot more people you’re trying to impress. Maybe I prefer playing to the sideshow crowds because everyone there knows you. [But] Groovin’ the Moo’s really fun, actually.

And that does that change how you approach the festival shows, knowing that you’ve got to try and impress people?

Harry: At the festivals, it’s… put in…

Dom: The bangers.

Harry: [Laughs] Yeah, the bangers.

Dom: We’ve always tried to approach any show by giving it a hundred percent, no matter what it is.

Harry: We put the set together before every show.

You managed to include pretty much everything I expected to hear; the only one I really wanted to hear that you didn’t play was Delicious.

Harry: Ah, we haven’t played that in a long time! We probably could’ve bashed it out.

Songs like that, from the first album, must be from such a different period of your life. Is it hard sometimes to play them, just because it doesn’t feel as honest or genuine anymore?

Harry: [Delicious] was never my favourite song on the record. It would always be my last choice to put on the set list. It was quite a pain to record, that song; I could just never get into it. I loved the song, but it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. It was never perfected; it kind of just annoys me.

How did the process for writing and recording Happy People differ from In Love?

Harry: It was way more rushed. We did everything the other way round; I wrote lyrics and melodies and then put them into demos and then made the demos into songs, rather than just making songs and recording them.

Was there pressure to release the album quickly? Is that why it was rushed?

Harry: I guess from ourselves, yeah. I really wanted to do the next album faster than that; I wanted it to come out in April 2014.

When you put pressure on yourself, you get the best results. I think the whole thing of taking your time and letting stuff develop and cook is kind of bullshit. I just like to get stuff out there. I would rather release three albums and the middle one not be as good as the two surrounding it, than do two albums over the space of four years. I don’t think that, though; I think the second record’s better than the first.

The thing I notice about Happy People is that there’s a theme running through it about the way that people think and feel, and the things that people do. What was the inspiration behind that theme?

Harry: It’s about being honest and observant. The first album was all ‘me'; the second album was all ‘we’.

I think you get to a certain age when you kind of look at everything around you for the first time, properly. I guess I hit that age after the first record; before that I didn’t really care about anything at all.


[English Premier League footballer] Peter Crouch makes a wonderful cameo in the video for Gen Strange. Why did you decide to get him involved?

Harry: My mate, who is an actor, pulled out the day before the shoot. We couldn’t find an actor, so I texted Peter Crouch and asked him if he’d do it.

Dom: He was a perfect match.

The bass solo in World Pleasure is probably my favourite part of the whole album. Does that sort of thing arise from just jamming?

Dom: Yeah, that one did, actually.

Harry: We were at the end of a long day of not knowing what to do with the song, and then it came to be that it was going to be a bass solo from just trying stuff out.

I think, to be honest, every song on Happy People is almost an experiment. I know you’re supposed to have a ‘sound’ or something you want to be. It’s not that easy for us because we don’t know what we want to be. An album that has Lost on Me and I’m a Girl on is not an album that has one ‘brand’. And that’s completely intentional. The bass solo in World Pleasure is a ‘why not?’ moment.

I never know what to expect from you guys.

Oh, mate, you have no idea. We have ten songs written [for the third album] and they’re all over the shop.