Getting to know /// The Ha’pennies

The Ha'pennies

If, for some reason, you’re feeling low, The Ha’pennies’ music will be a great mood setter for you on any day of the week. Light, clear and very soulful, their tunes won’t leave you indifferent. The band introduce themselves and talk about their music, inspirations and more.

– What was the beginning of The Ha’pennies as a band?

– Ben (guitarist + singer), Will (bassist + singer) and I (guitarist + singer) have known each other from childhood in South Wales. After a few years apart, we all ended up in London and none of us were in bands but all had songs so decided to form a group together – this was the beginning of this year (January ’14). We found our drummer by putting up adverts in local Uni’s and Luckily Wei (drummer) came along and has done us proud ever since.

– The contracted version of the band name brings to mind associations with the word ‘happiness’. Is it the case? Is there any play on words or just a coincidence?

– Although the band brings us nothing but happiness, the name actually has nothing to do with it despite being often confused with all sorts of things! The Ha’pennies (hay-pen-ees) is actually short for half pennies. There’s a Ha’penny bridge in Dublin and we just liked the name as it was Will’s old band name so thought we’d use it for our collective project.

– What are the main inspirations for your music?

– As the band has three songwriters, our influences are extremely broad but it boils down to the last 20 years of rock ‘n’ roll, old classics like The Doors and The Kinks and other stuff you’d never expect like grime, house and hip hop.

– How are your songs usually born?

– 9 times out of 10, we write our songs individually. Then we’ll all add our own bits to it to form the final arrangement as a full band. As it’s only our 9th month as a band, we still need to learn all of each other’s best songs before we jam out together and write that way. Or that’s the way we’re approaching it at the moment.

– On your Facebook page you state your influences as a mix of modern and classical music. How do you manage to marry such diverse influences in your music? What are the most influential traits of classical music that modern music can’t give you?

– My grandad is a really good pianist and loves to play Chopin, Scarlatti, Mozart, so maybe that’s where the classical bit comes from. Although we mentioned The Strokes and Kings Of Leon, they’re just easy ways to describe what we’re about, our influences are extremely varied and we were probably just trying to sound cool when mentioning ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ shit!

– What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?

– Our biggest achievement so far is what we’ve managed to do in 9 months, although a woman can create a full on human being in that time, we’ve managed to headline The Borderline, Proud Camden, The Underbelly, The Old Queens Head and our next gig is at Camden Barfly which we’re really excited about! Just forming this band as a group of best mates has been one of the best things for me anyway – it’s my whole life at the moment and I’m sure I can speak for the others when I say that.

– Where do you see The Ha’pennies in five years?

– We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t envisage ourselves headlining festivals and tours in 5 years time. We absolutely love our current material and believe we’ve still got the best songs to come from up our sleeves yet, so all we see is success in five years to be honest – because I won’t stop until we’re doing it as a full time living.

Find The Ha’pennies on Facebook


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