Happy Meal
Gig Seeker Pro

Happy Meal

Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Five bands you know nothing about"

In spite of the fact that the present writer knows virtually nothing about this band other than that its press release is ludicrously entertaining (“We do not pretend to not be regular Americans from the sticks. Our blood is of a high quality. Our pedigree: Champ.”), there’s no question that the dude standing at the taqueria’s counter—tall, rail-thin, sporting hair that looks like it was styled by a carwash—is none other than the guitarist/vocalist for Happy Meal. He smiles, introducing himself as Hashish Rev al Quavabwa. His eyes reveal a great deal about him, such as that he is wasted.

Already seated and chomping on a burrito, Happy Meal’s drummer—Hum Ping, according to Rev—gives me a vaguely interested nod. As Rev engages me in high-energy chatter, his brother, bassist Harinjneesh al Chone, walks in wearing a 120-decibel Mexican poncho. Settling into a chair next to Rev, he takes a chug off a tall can of Tecate that he’s smuggled into the restaurant in a paper bag. “I got my ass beat at cribbage three times today,” he gripes.

Like his brother, Chone is wild-eyed and wiry. To my sleep-parched mind, the side-by-side siblings are a cartoonish NyQuil nightmare—funhouse mirror reflections of my own state of disrepair. With the shouting of cooks clobbering my tender skull, I commence my questioning.

Chone, whose anecdotes all seem to begin with the band members drinking, explains the genesis of Happy Meal succinctly: “We were drinking one night, and the bands that we were in sucked.”

The Fates having had their say, the band plunged forth, forging an unforgivably noisy form of “vampire blues rock” not far removed from the stuff coming out of New York’s ’70s punk/new wave scene. The Meal’s sound isn’t quite as chaotic as one might expect—some of the tunes are even hummable—but it’s raw, high-energy fare. Think Hot Hot Heat after a yearlong vacation in an underground sewer.

“One of the things I like most about the band—I don’t like much about the band, but—it’s that people don’t go, ‘Oh, this is their slow song,’ or ‘Oh, this is their hard song,’” says Hum Ping, who has just torn into a can of Olde English. “It’s consistently wild.”

“We’re punker than most punk bands are!” Chone declares. “People talk s***, [but] we’re geniuses!”

His veins burning with a noxious alloy of adrenaline and bad beer, the bassist takes the pulpit, announcing, “America has forgotten and lost the will to rock and roll! It’s all club indie rock bulls*?$. They figured if you have Reagan, then Clinton and Bush, everybody would be listening to Pavement and all that other horses*!# and playing at their Playstations, and they’d finally have the continent tamed! But they were wrong, because there’s still rock ’n’ roll, and you have to be able to rock out.”

Hum Ping points at my plate. “You gonna eat your chips, dude?”

A car alarm blares outside. I am in Hell.

Soon the conversation moves to Happy Meal’s first full-length CD, Matarte, whose title is apparently an incomplete Spanish-English translation of “I want to kill you.” (“We were drinking,” Chone says of the title’s inspiration.) Rev recalls that when he first heard the dry tracks as the band was putting the album together, the effects were, if not sobering, incredibly eye opening.

“[For the first time,] I actually thought about what other people might think when they listened to [our music],” he says. “I just about broke down: (Shrieking) ‘Why am I living the life I live?’”

...Persons of delicate sensibilities are earnestly discouraged from listening to this band and/or making eye contact with its members...

D. Orion, 10 Nov 2005 - Santa Cruz Good Times


Huckapino EP: recorded 2004.
The Golden Dome single: recorded 2005.
Matarte CD: recorded 2005.
All self released.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The meal met in the beer aisle in 2005. Chone, a supremely angry working stiff, Rev, a local synth wizard, and Justonius, a tripped out day laborer, all had become sick of their other bands crapping out. They collided en route to the forties of high life and, after apologizing politely, determined that they all were big fans of Bowie and the Melvins. Since then, they have decimated audiences in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Francisco and Alameda counties. Their high energy live show blowtorches that of bands with a hundred times their "credibility" and "indieness." They put on their own shows and put out their own records, because it works. They are seeking a record label with a recognizable name to give them some help expanding their clanking campaign.