Sequim band goes on tour

Upon first meeting the members of Super Happy Story Time Land, it can be difficult to picture them on a grueling 16-day tour of the West Coast, starting with Port Angeles, stopping in three California cities, looping through Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Bozeman, Mont., and ending up in Spokane.

The four men, all in their early 20s, are constantly goofing around, ribbing each other good-naturedly and playing on the playground equipment at Carrie Blake Park. They use lingo like “insanely rad” and describe their sound as “if Disneyland (met) metal music.”

When discussing their tour, they become serious and it is apparent that their music is important to them.

“What we have in common is that our lack of social lives in high school led us to music,” said bassist Jacob Hanna. “We all hated 9-to-5 jobs, so that pushed us to pursue this.”

Vocalist Keith Dulin, at 24,the oldest member of the group, said the name of the band describes the kind of music they strive to create.

“There are no swear words in our music,” he said. “We play metal, but we try to keep it happy, upbeat.”

The group, which has been together for exactly a year, came together in the way many new bands come together: through friendships and a love of music.

“Ryan and I were in a dreary, wet basement and we started writing happy songs,” drummer Will Armacost said.

They encouraged Dulin and Hanna to join them and became a full four-piece band in May 2007. Since then, they have gotten a record label, Beer Metal Records, and collected 1,714 fans on their MySpace page.

“We’ve had insanely rad support throughout Sequim and Port Angeles,” said Armacost. “It’s been really great.”

The foursome, who are playing 14 venues in 16 days, headed out of Sequim on April 25 in a Dodge Mopar van, which they affectionately refer to as the “winged beast.” For more than two weeks the van will serve as the group’s transportation and home.

“It’s a tight fit but it’s going to be fun,” said guitarist Ryan Fontana, the only band member who is from Port Angeles, not Sequim.

The members say they will be happy to return home and they are planning a coming home show upon returning to the Olympic Peninsula, on May 24 at Port Angeles’ Masonic Hall.

“It’s going to be great to come back and play at home where we get so much support,” Armacost said.

Super Happy Story Time Land released a CD, “Cuddles and Crayons,” which is available through their MySpace page, The page also contains information about the band members and upcoming shows.

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