Happy Hazard

Happy Hazard poses for a portrait on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On the afternoon of Halloween, as trick-or-treaters banged on doors around a northwest Lincoln neighborhood, video games, beer cans and guitars were scattered across the nearby duplex that Jimi C and Tommy Andrysik of Lincoln band Happy Hazard call home. A staircase led to a dark basement, illuminated by one yellow-toned light and a homemade rainbow arcade light box in the corner where a drum kit and line of amps rested.

The room would soon echo sounds of ska, punk, alternative or whatever other sounds the band’s next jam session would yield.

Happy Hazard’s musical foundation streams from the mind of Jimi C, the band’s 25-year-old vocalist and guitarist. The extra groove given to the always-evolving Happy Hazard sound is provided by bassist Stacy Saythany, Andrysik on drums and Julian Cortiñas on the saxophone, guitar and keys.

This Saturday marks the release of “Percepción es Realidad,” Happy Hazard’s second full-length since the band formed in 2016.

The band’s first release occurred the same year with “Mzk2ddrgsto!” The continuation of Happy Hazard’s discography comes with “Percepción es Realidad,” a 14-track LP with its title translating to “perception is reality” — an idea Jimi C said is important in the context of art and its meaning.

“Part of art is that it’s your own interpretation,” he said. “It means something different to everybody, it depends on your perception.”

Saythany said “Percepción es Realidad” truly captures Happy Hazard as a band through its use of different musical techniques — found in the saxophone provided by Cortiñas, rap vocals from Jimi C, bass grooves by Saythany and Andrysik’s detailed percussion.

The band wants people to connect with their varying arrangements of music and the album’s lyrical themes. For “Percepción es Realidad,” it’s the acknowledgement of separate individual realities.

“We experience life through our senses, but the album, or the name of it, is trying to acknowledge that there is more than one reality because we all see things differently,” Jimi C said.

Happy Hazard’s songs are composed by Jimi C, but he said the contributions of his bandmates are equally important. This idea stems from a jazz-influenced belief in allowing other band members to add their own flare to the track. He said in jazz, each member adds their own parts.

“Every instrument has its own composer,” he said of his bandmates. “You make this song as much as anyone else in the band does. I trust you as a musician.”

Just as Jimi C counts on his four other comrades to complement a track, they believe in him as a songwriter. And sometimes his songs can involve a bit of vulgarity, but the words don’t bother Jimi C or the rest of the band.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re saying, or the words you choose to say, it’s what you mean by them,” he said.

One particular song off the new record that contains a healthy dose of vulgarity is “IDGAF,” on which Happy Hazard blends crude, scolding lyrics into a rap flow with a buzzing jazz saxophone and steady, lounge-styled drum rhythms.

Due to their blend of different musical styles, Happy Hazard doesn’t identify with a specific genre. With roots in jazz, ska, punk and hardcore, among other genres, the band strays away from identifying with any label.

Saythany said there are several challenges when it comes to describing the music they create due to its intense fusion of different styles.

“I always start with ‘Oh we’re a punk band,’” he said. “Everything we do is still gonna be rooted in that punk mentality because that’s where we come from.”

They ultimately just want to have fun making their music, Saythany said. And the band tries to not take anything too seriously because that would hinder their creativity.

“Some people focus too much on the idea of making something interesting to create something interesting,” Saythany said.

With the show at The Bourbon on Saturday, Happy Hazard plans to expose listeners to not only their music but other styles as well, with a lineup consisting of rapper M Shah and DJ Odinson.

Jimi C aspires for more people to have the same experience with live and new music as he did with rap.

“Once I discovered that genre, it was just like frickin’ ‘Aladdin,’ a whole new world,” he said.

And he wants their not-so-serious style of music to become a gateway for people to have different sonic experiences.

“I have this dream,” he said, “that if some people come to our show and they like some of the stuff we do, and there’s a lot of stuff that they’ve never really given a chance or gotten in to, they’ll be like ‘Whoa, I like Happy Hazard.’”

Doors open for Happy Hazard’s album release show at 7 p.m., with music beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets to the show can be purchased online for $5.

culture@dailynebraskan.com