How Sad started out in Montreal as the nom de guerre attached to a handful of Harris’ personal bedroom recordings, but quickly morphed into a band playing hook-laden synth pop tailored towards live performance. There’s an underlying sombre tone to the lyrics, but having those themes juxtaposed with relentlessly energetic music makes for an explosive combination.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is Harris. I have this project called How Sad. It’s mostly made in my bedroom. It started only as a project for parties and late nights but we’ve had some fun and toured a bunch with it at this point, playing all sorts of venues and places.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Right now I’m finishing up the debut album, which is a collection of songs I’ve been writing over the past couple years. I’m also getting the live show ready to perform this summer.
What are you currently watching? I just finished watching that new TV program called “The Jinx” about Robert Durst. True crime. Very scary and wild.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other musicians are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? I think a big “challenge” is that there is just so much good music these days and so many interesting artists it’s hard to know sometimes exactly where you can fit into the whole scene. I don’t think this is a problem though, if anything it’s inspiring and hopefully can make everyone try that much harder to produce quality music.
How did your interest in music begin? I started playing classical violin when I was five years old and ever since music has just sort of been my life.
How has living in Montreal affected your music? Montreal is a wildly creative place full of nice people, and the rent is cheap enough so no one needs a “real” job and we all just play music. It’s cold here in the winter, but if you get past the deep freeze it’s a beautiful scene to live and create.
If you had to explain your music to a stranger, what would you say? Lo-fi dance electronic pop, lots of energy with the live shows, we try to have fun and make sure everyone is there with us.
What kinds of music/what musicians are influencing your work right now? Usually changes day to day. I like to keep up with new stuff and try to check out all sorts of new bands. At the same time I always come back to the classics. The biggest influence for How Sad is probably David Bowie, but some newer albums I’ve been digging are Kendrick, Mas Ysa, Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten.
What was the last show you went to that stuck out to you? I saw Diarrhea Planet on Thursday and they were real fun, punk rock, lots of guitars and energy. Last year I saw Jungle and I danced through the whole set, great stuff.
What is your snack/beverage of choice when recording? Apples, coffee, nuts, hummus. Stay healthy, it’s easier to stay awake.
What are you really excited about right now? Summer weather, the new Patrick Watson album, playing disc golf with my little brother in a couple weeks, artificial intelligence and robots in general.
What are you listening to right now? Currently in a tour van and Prince’s first album was playing so that’s what was in the stereo.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? I think there’s a review of one of our shows opening for Portugal. The Man in which the reviewer said I looked like I escaped from an insane asylum. That’s pretty cool.