“And for the first time since I don’t remember when, I felt just like my old bony self again and I, Jack, the Pumpkin King, that’s right, I am the Pumpkin King!” - Jack Skellington, sung by Danny Elfman, in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’
“Die, die we all pass away / But don't wear a frown 'cause it's really okay / And you might try and hide / And you might try and pray / But we all end up the remains of the day” – Bonejangles, sung by Danny Elfman, in ‘Corpse Bride’
“I always enjoyed Halloween because it was a night to let loose, to become something or someone else,” said renowned film composer Danny Elfman, known for his collaborations with director Tim Burton. “[Halloween is] a night to celebrate the dead, and ghosts and monsters of all variety. A night for mutants, zombies, vampires, misfits, and miscreants to celebrate themselves and each other. And, aligned with the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos, a night to celebrate departed spirits… and for me, a night to laugh in death’s face (and feel safe doing so).”
Elfman maniacally laughs in death’s face on his new single “Happy”, the first solo music he has released since 1984, and his macabre sense of humor is still very present in the canvas of today’s chaotic dysfunctional landscape. Elfman’s face distorts both with disgust and glee in the song’s unnerving new video.
“Halloween has always been my Big Night,” Elfman explains. “As a child there was no competition. Coincidently, in my earlier band Oingo Boingo, our Halloween shows became special events and our biggest shows of the year. And double coincidently The Nightmare Before Christmas also became a special live Concert Halloween event, which became more successful than I’d ever dreamed possible. This really meant a lot to me as the character of Jack Skellington, who I related to quite closely, has for many years been a very special part of my life.”
"I originally wrote “Happy” to perform at Coachella 2020. It was written to be an absurd anti-pop song, designed to begin as a very simple pop tune that degrades into something more subversive. The cynical nature of the lyrics echo how I feel about living in a semi-dystopian world turned upside down." – Danny Elfman
Coming out in time for Halloween, the dark, intensely turbulent track showcases the unease we all feel today, not only amidst the holiday’s ghosts and goblins but within a global pandemic and extraordinarily divisive times.
The song’s vocals, guitars and synths are provided by Elfman, drums by Josh Freese (The Vandals, Nine Inch Nails), guitar by Nili Brosh (Dethklok), bass by Stu Brooks (Dub Trio) and additional synth design by Randall Dunn.
Watch the video for "Happy" here.