Happenstance was brought together by chance encounters at various events and festivals (hence the name!) the original trio found that they had the same style and their playing meshed well together. They bring together elements of folk, pop, celtic and country to create a style that is unique, refreshing and approachable. With the addition of Christophe and Nick the music takes on a whole new energy that reaches a wider audience. We hope you enjoy it!
Happenstance hit the Supernova stage with full force in January of 2012 for The Montreal Hysteria Finals They put on an amazing show, winning second place, and made some new fans with their new energetic set. As a part of their prizing, I was able to E-Interview Brian on behalf of the band.
Emily Lamarche - Lead Vocals
Brian Gallagher - Guitar/Vocals
Joel Weber - Lead Guitar
Nick Thompson - Drums/Vocals
Christophe Placier - Bass
How did you get your name and how long has the current line-up been together?
The name really fits because we all met by chance. First, Emily and Brian, then everyone else, one by one. Each meeting was a chance encounter and then it all fell together. I first met Emily at a local festival when she was looking for someone to play "Heartbreak Hotel" with her. We clicked right away.
How long have you been playing together with the current lineup?
Emily and I put together the electric band for a Montreal music competition in late 2012. We went up against 120 Montreal bands and came out on top. Since then we haven't stopped playing together. Since we are playing more live shows, we added Joel Weber on lead guitar in the fall of 2011 and he has brought a whole new level of energy to our live performance.
If I was to put you on the spot and ask you to define your genre, what would you call it?
Feist married Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo; they have two children - Brad Paisley and Tom Petty. They decide to start a family band like The Partridge Family. I think that that kind of explains it.
Do you have any major artistic influences?
The Beautiful South (and all the other Brit-pop bands of that era) are a big influence on me, as well as Blue Rodeo and The Skydiggers. Emily was influenced by Feist and Alicia Keys. I think that's what gives our style it's uniqueness. Adding Joel, who is heavily influenced by the great country telecaster players adds another dimension.
What is the most rewarding thing about being in a band?
Seeing people enjoying your songs played live. The first time that you see someone singing along with your lyrics to your own songs is a magical moment. We are pretty excited about our new song "Gone Baby Gone" that we recently recorded at Epik Studios. We played it on March 17th and Emily and I were blown away by the number of people singing the second chorus and that was the first time that they had heard it!
What is the hardest part about being in a band?
Scheduling. With all 5 of us still needing to keep a job on the side, sometimes getting together as much as we would like to needs a lot of calendar shuffling. But we make it work and it's always worth the effort.
How did you come across Supernova.com and what would you tell other bands about Supernova?
Lance approached us about participating in a local competition and always kept us in the loop about upcoming events. We were able to make it happen in early 2012 and we now have a new EP coming out in the spring thanks to Supernova. Supernova truly provides serious musicians and emerging bands the opportunities, platforms and tools to further their careers.
Do you have a motto or recipe foir putting on a good show? Any special band rituals?
We call it the "A" game. We practice hard before an important showcase or gig, including showmanship. We make shows a priority because if people come away from a show happy, it creates a buzz and also makes people want to buy a CD. Hopefully they love the CD and tell friends about the next show. This keeps the momentum rolling!
One ritual is that for good luck I always bring along an old red Ikea desk lamp. Remember the commercial about the "poor little lamp"? I have that very lamp and have always kept it with me since I was a kid. Keeping the "poor little lamp" useful as a working member of the band is good karma!
What is your most memorable moment thus far as a band?
I think that it has to be the show where we came together as a band for the first Montreal competition. It showed us that we had something special. Our video on Youtube captures that excitement because it is the ending songs of our set at the finals. So, February 20th, 2011 is a special day in our hearts.
What is the funniest/strangest story that you have had as a band?
We recently played at a local college as part of the Women's Day festivities. We prepared our set to be focussed on female performers and positive messaging. Unfortunately the college had double booked the auditorium and the big neon sign outside said "Big Comedy Show Today". So the crowd showing up expected a stand-up comedy routine. I hope that they thought we were funny?
If you had your way, where would the band be in 2 years?
We would be opening for Kathleen Edwards, Cowboy Junkies, Blue Rodeo or partnering with another of Canada's great roster of roots rockers. We really want to conquer Canada because it is important to us to be known in our country. Our goal is to share our music with as many people as possible and be able to make a living from it. As far as labels, I have always liked Arts and Crafts records, and we are realkly excited to play for Coalition Music at the Chapel in the near future.
In closing,is there anything else that makes your band unique that new listeners should know?
Although we are an "indie" band per se, I prefer to think that we are a "DIY" band because "indie" seems to put a band in a certain "non-mainstream" genre. Our songs are catchy, singable, they tell a story and appeal to a wide audience all the while delivered by Emily in an infectious and beautiful way. She combined grace and power like no other singer that I have ever heard. As many people have said: "You have to see them live"! I think that we translate to the audience a sense of humour and fun; we make them part of the show and we don't take ourselves too seriously on stage. When you're having a good time, so will your audience!
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I have dealt with Brian from Happenstance a fair bit in their time leading up to their show with us and I can honestly say that if the rest of the band is half as awesome as Brian is, then this is one of the best collections of people that you will ever find in a band. I am extremely excited to see these guys come down to Coalition and show off their stuff with a big group of industry in the crowd!
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