Peace. You’re familiar with the concept. Now meet the band.
“We're four boys from the UK,” says frontman Harry Koisser, by way of introduction.
“We're almost good looking in that strange way and occasionally dress like really beautiful ladies. Sometimes not though. We all met and started playing anywhere we could and now here we are. We've had our highs and our lows.”
Judging by the title of their recently released album Happy People, one would assume the four-piece had been on a high time of late. Actually, the record is “a frustration of life, love, youth, sex and mess,” says Koisser. Still, he says, “I quite like the idea that in the big picture even at our most unhappy we should still be.”
Idealism tinged with irony is just one of the things Peace do well. Happy People builds on their brand of guitar-led indie rock; with anthems that feel as if they would be best appreciated in a muddy festival field with a crowd waving in unison and the occasional surfer passing overhead.
Peace is “essential”, reasons Koisser. And who could argue with that?
First of all it's a message we obviously feel we needed to spread. Where I grew up there was definitely a lack of love and peace. It definitely feels like life hands you these these moments and you have to deal with them. There was actually a point and a place where it felt like I was just given peace and had to do with it what I could. I thought, this actually is a pretty rad name for a band and there it was.
(How has the band) changed over the years?
I'd say Dom has got sexier. Maybe I have too. Doug and Sam are pretty much the same as usual.
We hear Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood once swapped a pair of his cargo pants for one of your demos... Can you elaborate on that story?
I've been told not to. Apparently it wasn't a swap more a mutual gifting.
Tell us a bit about process of recording your new album, Happy People... What was it like, where did you record it, and how was it different to recording In Love?
We recorded it in some pretty "iconic" studios. We hopped between Sarm, Dean St. and Rockfield studios which all have a rich and fascinating history apparently. The main difference was that In Love felt very "whatever" in the way we recorded and what we were doing where as Happy People definitely had more intention and felt more musical.
Would you describe yourselves as happy people?
We have our really happy moments and like any other members of our species we don't. Things could be a lot worse. A lot of our fellow humans suffer and have suffered so so much worse. I kind of feel sometimes like our troubles can be so non that we should always be considered happy. Even at our saddest.
Your video for I’m a Girl, from the new album, sees you writing the lyrics to the song on a glass window. Where’s the most unusual place you’ve written lyrics in real life?
Probably on the back of a contract with a management company that we never went on to sign.
If you were a girl for a day, what would you do?
I have my girly days. I think it'd be nice to go in 100% though. I'm not sure. I probably wouldn't do much different. It would be a nice feeling though.
What was your youth-defining album?
I had an unhealthy listening habit with Led Zeppelin II when I was young. Maybe too young.
What’s your go-to karaoke track?
You asked this at a good time as I was at a karaoke party this weekend. Turns out it's The Coral - Dreaming of You. I'm as confused as you are.
What’s been the best place you’ve toured to, and why?
I'm not just saying this but I found our time in Australia very inspiring. My friend Noel Fielding said that he once saw a spider using a pedestrian crossing in Australia. I wrote some of the best songs on Happy People in hotels in Australia.
If you could tour with any other band or musician, who would it be and why?
I'd love to tour with Jagwar Ma. I'm friends with Jack and Gab and I know we'd have a total big one on the road.
What’s been the most surreal moment of your music career thus far?
I've had some odd moments. I could name drop the fuck out of this answer but instead i'm going to go for last night in Amsterdam I went to get some spaghetti and the man in the shop put a metal container into a microwave for SEVEN minutes. It was really dangerous and the food stayed cold and I couldn't believe out of all the situations, I'd ended up in that one. Microwave safety is not a joke.
Please answer the following:
Peace is... Essential.
Love is... Mental.
Happiness is... Relative.
Money's... Not imperative.
Pleasure is... Forever.
Forever is... Together.