Earlier this month, Pop Crave chatted with Calvin Langman, Ross Monteith, and Luke Davis of The Happy Fits before their incredible performance at ZONA Music Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. Keep reading for the full Q&A + exclusive photos from their set!
We’re coming up on the end of the year! What are you most grateful for that has happened within this year?
Luke: This tour has just been next level for us. It’s been really amazing. We’ve done three tours this year, and they’ve all been incredible and a lot of fun. This one, we have lights, a big crew, and all the fans have just been coming out and going crazy. We’re so fortunate to have such an incredible fanbase.
Calvin: One specific moment in Columbus, on this tour just two weeks ago, we have a song called “Little One.” It’s one of our singles off of our newest record. It’s a song about belongingness, and we do a little speech welcoming all of our LGBTQ+ fans that come out to the shows. One fan went before the show to everyone in line and gave them colored film to put on their lights, and without us asking or knowing that it was going to happen, everyone just brought out their colored phone lights while we were singing this song, “Little One.” It was just a magical moment.
Luke: We’re dumb, and we thought it was like an iOS update [laughs]. We were like, “How do you get the colored lights on your phone? That’s so cool!” But then we found out they orchestrated it all, and that’s super awesome.
Calvin: And they knew for some reason we were gonna do a little speech on “Little One,” too, and then we just saw a rainbow of lights in the audience. That was amazing!
Spotify Wrapped just dropped, and you guys had over 73.4M streams and 6.4M listeners in 2022. How does it feel to continue watching your fanbase expand over the passing years?
Calvin: It’s amazing! I definitely feel like we’re a DIY band. We’re nitty gritty. We booked our own first few tours. We answer all of our social media DMs and everything. At the beginning, we had five people coming out to a show. Now, we’re on our ninth tour. It’s at least 500 kids a night, sometimes over 1,000. It’s insane, and it just feels so affirming and validating to be here at this point right now.
Luke: And it seems to be a very organic growth, too. A lot of people will come back to later shows, and it will be them plus four or five people. It’s really cool to see, like, “Oh yeah, we showed our friends. Now they’re in love with you!” They’ll be like, “Now my friends and their friends,” so now everyone is bringing a big group of people. It’s just really, really cool to see.
You guys perform in less than two hours now! Is there a song you’re most excited to perform, and why is it your favorite?
Calvin: At the beginning of the tour, it was “In The Lobby.” I was really excited to play that one. Now, just seeing how much the song “Little One” means to fans, and just seeing the safe space that we’re creating and the community that we’re building, that song means a lot now.
Luke: Yeah, I would agree. Definitely. “In The Lobby” is always fun. It’s a cheeky take on a pretty dark subject. Money is really, to say it bluntly, the root of a lot of evil going on in this world. We’re doing it in almost a little bit of a lighthearted way but not, so it’s cool to see everyone’s interaction. Everyone enjoys it, but it’s a serious topic. That usually goes hand-in-hand with “Little One.” “Little One” is also a serious topic, but it’s more on the positive side. It’s nice to have that contrast and to play those two songs together.
What’s your favorite part about touring? Aside from the beautiful moment with “Little One,” do you have a favorite memorable experience from this recent tour?
Luke: Salt Lake has always been a huge crowd for us. In the beginning of our DIY shows, we were really not playing to anyone. The one that stood out was we played at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City, and there were 40 kids there that knew all the words and were going crazy. We were like, “Oh my gosh! We do have fans that really care!” To come back this time, and we sold out the complex, we get to play for 900 kids there. Everyone was going nuts. That is always a magical moment, to get back to Salt Lake and see all the fans there. That was definitely a highlight for me.
Ross: Yeah, Salt Lake’s always been amazing. We’ve been really lucky with touring. I don’t know what…
Calvin: Usually you say the food [laughs]! You always say the food!
Ross: Well yes, I mean, the food is always amazing. That’s one of my favorite parts of touring, getting to experience local food. Getting all the local recommendations and stuff, that’s the best part. I never skip a chance to go out to eat.
Is there a restaurant you want to shoutout?
Ross: Well yesterday here… Nook! It’s like an Italian place by the airport. We went out there last night. It was amazing! Normally what we do in LA, we go to this place called Jones, which is an Italian restaurant. They’re famous for their martinis, and their food is amazing. It’s a really cool vibe. We didn’t get to do that this time in LA, so our manager found a spot that was similar to it. We came in, there was a DJ playing ‘90s hip-hop music at a respectful level where we could still talk to each other, you know? It was such a hip Italian joint. The food was incredible.
Under The Shade of Green is your latest album that just dropped a few months ago. For those just discovering your music, how would you describe the vibe and musical atmosphere of that project?
Calvin: Ooh, it’s a very Gen Z-oriented album. I mean, we’re Gen Z, our fans are mostly Gen Z, and there’s definitely this cognitive dissonance between this generation of knowing that the world we were born into is very fucked up, and there’s a lot of progress to be made. At the same time, we all have to get dinner on the table, and we all have to keep working to take part in this society we were born into. This album is kind of a beginning to processing all of that, as well as understanding what happened during the pandemic with BLM, the insurrection, the crazy wildfires that happened last year. It’s very disorienting for a young person, I think, especially a generation that grew up with Barney and Elmo where we all expected everyone to care and love each other. Now, we have adults in our government that are just homophobic as fuck, and it’s definitely very frustrating, but I feel like there’s this sense of hope and potential progress that Gen Z can make on the world.
Luke: We’re a three-piece band, and we really took our time on this album. Calvin plays cello, which is a pretty unique aspect, so there’s a lot of cello, a lot of big guitar riffs, and we all sing. There’s a ton of harmonies. It’s an indie rock album, I guess.
Ross: I guess vibe wise, this was the first album that… Our other two albums were kind of structured around how we were going to play them live. We started at this DIY scene where upbeat, high-energy songs were the way that we knew how to get a crowd engaged and stuff. For this album, we didn’t concern ourselves too much with making every song fast and super upbeat, so we kind of laid back a bit and just wrote songs that we really enjoyed, and that I guess are more “vibey” than just fast paced.
Calvin: We took influence from a lot of ‘80s music and a lot of ABBA influence, I’d say, but also more chill bands like Alvvays and White Lies.
The Happy Fits’ latest album, Under The Shade of Green, is out now.