Published on September 30th, 2020 | by Intern Intern1
Local Musician Q&A: Matthew Hendley and Jacob Christensen of Happy Landing
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
The first thing I learned on piano that I actually enjoyed played was Billy Joel. I ended up playing “She’s Got A Way” in the 8th grade talent show and that was the first time I ever played music in front of around 2,000 students and teachers. Recently I have gotten into folk and indie music. My inspirations have been The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, Vance Joy,
Mumford and Sons, and more. I definitely have taken my own writing style I have developed but they have influenced by writing style a little bit with the different imagery they portray in their songs and their style—I definitely try to emulate that in some of my own songs.
Hometown: Madison, Mississippi
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
We are going to try to do a series of really small shows following COVID guidelines in the next few months to promote the release of our music. It is a hard time to get into the music scene, but it is a good time to work out the kinks. The small shows will be a good way to play together to become even better.
“Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well.” –Pope John Paul II
What are your fondest musical memories growing up?
Growing up, I spent every Fourth of July going to my grandparent’s land that my grandfather named “Happy Landing.” My cousins and I got together and formed a band called “C.U.T.E” (Cousins Unite to Entertain). We just started playing every Fourth of July together, and we put on a concert for our family. Those are some amazing memories. My cousins and my brother and I will share them forever, which is why I wanted to name the band after Happy Landing because it is such a special place for me. And my grandpa just passed away right before the songs came out so it is kind of a great tribute to have the EP come out right after he passed.
Do you have a favorite Happy Landing Song?
“Love and Death.” Lyrically it is his best writing and personally I am pretty satisfied with how drums turned out. Dynamics and lyrics (most well rounded).
Which famous musicians do you admire and why?
From a drum inspiration standpoint, my favorite band as of right now is Hippocampus. The drummer specifically is incredible and the stuff he comes up with is “epitome of having a gift.” I admire him in that sense.
Also, Young the Giant. I have listened to them since middle school. They would have to be my overarching favorite band. MuteMath is a really good band that a lot of people don’t know about. Their drummer, Darron King, is a beast and an amazing performer. There is a new Nashville punk band named Vanosdale. Their drummer is exceptional and one day I want to be on his level.
Fort Mill, South Carolina (small suburb of Charlotte)
What are your fondest musical memories?
My earliest memory of playing drums in a band was with this kid that lived up the street from me who played guitar. We would move the drum set into my garage and we would just make a bunch of nonsensical musical noise. As a ten year old, it made me feel like the teenager that was playing in a garage band or like something out of a movie. Another one of my favorite musical memories is from last year with my old band Vulpes / Vulpes. A girl that goes to Delta State DM’d us on Instagram and asked if we wanted to play for a Halloween party. That was a lot of fun and one of my favorite musical experiences so far. Playing music in front of a crowd with your friends is something that gives me the most passion.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
Being optimistic, I would love to be on tour, either signed to a label or not signed to a label. I feel like our music has the quality and interest to attract a record deal. It would be cool to do that and get more exposure and notoriety with our music, but if not I would still love to be touring the country and playing music with two LPs released.