Happy Endings Biography
Losing Generation's driving title track is an upbeat anthem with passion and hooks to prompt an arena-sized sing-along. "That song sums up the whole spirit of the album and the band," observes singer Brannon Powers, with audible conviction. "A lot of people seem predisposed to believe they can't fight for their dreams." happyendings don't stand for that. "The underlying message of Losing Generation is that it isn't necessarily society holding people back, but themselves -- by not believing that they can't break out of the ordinary."
The curious rise of happyendings -- which also features Brannon's brother Micky on guitar, and the rhythm section of drummer Ian O'Connell and bassist Brandon Little -- disproves that misconception. After self-releasing two albums, the Springfield, Missouri quartet found itself at an impasse; they had built a dedicated regional following, toured across the U.S., and shared bills with acts like Sum 41 and All-American Rejects, but national success had yet to come calling. So when Brannon came across an outdated record label directory, about to be discarded by a local music store, he did the exact thing industry professionals will always tell unsigned acts is a dead end, a strict no-no: He began cold-calling every name in the book.
"Half those phone numbers were disconnected, and the rest went straight to voice mail," remembers Brannon. "Later, I told some people what I had done, making so many calls, and they all said, 'Well, that was a waste of your time.'" Actually, said Brannon: "Not doing anything at all is a waste of time." Against all odds, he did get one return call. The singer mailed off a three-song demo, which in turn led to a small development deal, and eventually, the brass ring: A contract with J Records, part of the RCA Music Group.
Growing up in rural southwestern Missouri, brothers Brannon and Micky were both passionately into music, albeit of different varieties: The former brother preferred the '60s and '70s rock favored by his parents (the Beatles, Moody Blues), while the latter leaned towards the harder end of the spectrum (AC/DC, Mötley Crüe). When the two started playing in bands together, they discovered their disparate tastes were complementary. "My brother was influenced by movement, energy, and speed," observes Brannon, "while I was fixated with lyrics and melodies. Together, we struck a balance, with the drive of rock and the precision of classic singer-songwriters."
Yet for all their rock & roll dreams, happyendings have a very down-to-earth notion of what their group stands for. "There are some bands that people look to and think, 'I wish that was me up there.' That's not who we are. We're a band that relates to the everyday person. We grew up in the Midwest." Lyrically, the songs of Losing Generation take ordinary experiences, and simply open them up to closer scrutiny. Whether addressing a painful breakup ("Miracle"), or a fractured childhood ("Swingsets & Slides"), they still focus on the upside of the hard times depicted, real or imaginary. "This album isn't meant to be a window into our band or its individual members so much as it is meant to, hopefully, provide insight for the listener, into their feelings," says Brannon.
Helping happyendings capture their sonic ideals on this album was producer Bob Rock, who boasts a roster of that encompasses enduring icons (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith), modern rock giants (Veruca Salt, Our Lady Peace), and many of the band's contemporaries (Simple Plan, Lost Prophets). "People want to hear pure emotion," observes Brannon. "Even though you may have played a song a thousand times, the listeners wants it to feel like it did when you first wrote it. Bob was able to help us achieve that, to wipe the slate clean, and start with the core emotion of each of songs, and, from that, build a very sincere album."
"We want our music to connect and touch our audience and I hope we can create a real event every time we play," concludes Brannon. "We want to move people with our songs, and to be perceived as four guys who took charge of our own lives through making music.'" happyendings has set their sights on a rocking beginning.