[Live] [Interview] Happy Fangs at The Empty Bottle 6.17.14

“Punk rock is like true love when you feel it, you know it.” This is what Happy Fangs has to say about what real punk rock means. 1-2-3-4, and that’s it. Let the noise take you away.

Watching Happy Fangs perform makes you feel lazy. That’s cause they move a lot, jump a lot,  and scream a lot, all over and on top of every little corner of The Empty Bottle. They’re so loud I forget it’s a Tuesday. Happy Fangs aren’t shy about giving their 110% to the audience and turning up the volume as if thousands of squeaking fans are crowding the stage.

When I ask Happy Fangs what I can expect from their live show, they reply: “Sweaty exuberance, uncontrollable jumping, and hard-hitting anthems.” I say, yes. They came through.

Happy Fangs is a once duo now trio angsty punk band driven by girl, scream, and shout. Rebecca Bortman, also known on the internet as Rebecca Gone Bad, has a level of spirit and stamina that makes me feel tired and lame. Her voice is peppy but punk and sweet but tough, and gives Happy Fangs a recognizable sound.

For the closing she screams “Hiya Kaw Kaw” over and over again, jumps into the crowd, and has us stand in a circle belting like we are a part of some kind of desert chant ritual that is freeing and terrifying all at the same time. “Our current mission statement is to rock one city at a time. Our goal is to be memorable,” says Rebecca. And memorable, they will be.

“We were each very influenced by a bunch of bands labeled Riot Grrrl (Bikini Kill, Lunachicks, 7 Year Bitch) but we are excited to make music that can’t be labeled by our genders,”

Rebecca isn’t the only one who brings the rage. Mike Cobra plays a literally mean, gritty guitar which is well showcased in the first 30 seconds of King Loses Crown’s video “Revenge” (Mike’s other project).

I’m pretty sure Jess G, the band’s drummer, plays a set without stopping. She matches a frenzy of a beat to an already insane cluster fuck of energy that has the audience Tuesday night standing so far back from the stage I can’t tell if they just want to witness the warpaint scene from afar or are worried about hearing their alarm clock’s on hump day.

It’s hard to imagine Happy Fangs without Jess. “We were looking for a drummer that would enhance the personality and voice of Happy Fangs. When we found Jess, she was already fronting her own band and singing as well and her presence on stage is a sight to behold. How could we say no?” Good call, Rebecca.

Happy Fangs are compared to Bikini Kill, Blondie, and Siouxie. “We were each very influenced by a bunch of bands labeled Riot Grrrl (Bikini Kill, Lunachicks, 7 Year Bitch) but we are excited to make music that can’t be labeled by our genders,” says Happy Fangs. As to whether or not these lofty comparisons ring true, I’ll let you be the judge.

Happy Fangs released their first EP October 2013. You can listen to it at Bandcamp.

Alexa Carrasco is a writer from the sweet coast of Los Angeles. She likes music, movies, and swimming pools. You can follow her on Twitter @alexajane17.

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