Have a Nice Life

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Have a Nice Life
Macuga (left) and Barrett performing in 2019.
Background information
OriginMiddletown, Connecticut, U.S.
Years active2000–present
MembersDan Barrett
Tim Macuga

Have a Nice Life is an American rock band founded in Middletown, Connecticut in 2000 by Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga.

The duo is best known for their 2008 debut album Deathconsciousness, which received little attention from professional music publications upon release but rose to "cult classic" status through its spread among online communities. Have a Nice Life began regularly performing with a full band in 2017, and their third album, Sea of Worry, was their first release to feature members of the live band.


Have a Nice Life was formed in 2000 by Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga of Connecticut. The band's earliest demos contained sounds similar to new wave music and the gothic rock band The Sisters of Mercy. At first, both Barrett and Macuga played the acoustic guitar, self-distributing their home recordings on Myspace.[3]

The band recorded their debut album Deathconsciousness on a budget of less than $1000, losing the original master files for the recordings in the process.[4] It initially did not receive much recognition upon its 2008 release but gained traction through discussions on online communities and word of mouth.[5] The band have since developed a cult audience as a result of Deathconsciousness' online popularity.[6]

The band followed up with the extended play Time of Land, released as a free download in 2010.[7]

On January 27, 2014,[8] Have a Nice Life released their second studio album The Unnatural World. According to Metacritic, the album has received generally favorable reviews.[9][10]

In 2017, Have a Nice Life performed alongside the Chameleons at the Strange Day Festival in Olympia, Washington. Barrett and Macuga recruited Myke Cameron, Ian Gustafson, and Rich Otero to join their live ensemble for the performance. The group performed multiple warm-up shows in advance of the festival and ended the year with a sold out performance at Brooklyn Bazaar in New York City.[11]

The band performed two sets at the 2019 edition of the Dutch festival, Roadburn, including a performance of Deathconsciousness in full.[12] On November 8, 2019, Have a Nice Life released their third studio album Sea of Worry, their first album to feature a full band.[13]

The band performed a surprise secret set at the 2023 edition of the Roadburn Festival on the day before the ensemble was scheduled to perform as Giles Corey.[14]

Have a Nice Life released a cover of Low's song "When I Go Deaf" in April 2024 in tribute of Mimi Parker. The song will appear on the tribute album You Voice is Not Enough.[15]

Outside of music, Barrett runs a real estate marketing agency and Macuga is a high school English/History teacher.[16]


Have a Nice Life have mentioned the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division, New Order, Earth, Sunn O))), Xasthur, Lurker of Chalice, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Sisters of Mercy, Kraftwerk, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche as influences on their music.[17] Barrett said that the duo takes inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and the 2000 novel House of Leaves.[3]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation album[edit]

  • Voids (2009)

Extended play[edit]

  • Time of Land (2010)
  • Time of Land Remastered (2021)


  • Have a Nice Life vs. You (2002)
  • Demos 06 (2006)
  • Powers of Ten (2006)


  • "The Big Gloom" (2006), released promotionally as a free download on the band's Myspace account.[19]
  • "Bloodhail" (2008), released promotionally as a free download on the band's Myspace account.[20]
  • "I Don't Love" (2008), released promotionally as a free download on the band's Myspace account.[21]
  • "Sea of Worry" (2019)
  • "Lords of Tresserhorn" (2019)
  • "Science Beat" (2019)
  • "Sisyphus (Demo)" (2023)

Live album[edit]

  • Live at The Stone NYC (2010)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Have a Nice Life: The Unnatural World". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Have a Nice Life". AllMusic.
  3. ^ a b "Sonemic Interview: Have a Nice Life - RYM/Sonemic". Rate Your Music. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  4. ^ Hill, John (November 24, 2014). "Have a Nice Life's Deathconsciousness is the Next Greatest Album of All Time". Vice. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "Have a Nice Life's 'Deathconsciousness' Is the Next Greatest Album of All Time". Vice.com. November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Rosean, Samuel (January 31, 2020). "The Beginner's Guide To: Slowcore". Drowned In Sound. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  7. ^ "About Time of Land by Have a Nice Life". Enemies List Home Recordings. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Unnatural World, by Have a Nice Life". Theflenser.bandcamp.com. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Unnatural World". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Have A Nice Life and Woods of Desolation streaming new LPs". January 24, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  11. ^ HAVE A NICE LIFE Live in Brooklyn, retrieved February 16, 2024
  12. ^ Sacher, Andrew (August 16, 2018). "Roadburn 2019 adds Sleep, Have A Nice Life, curator Tomas Lindberg, more". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  13. ^ "Have a Nice Life On Their Anxiety-Driven Third Album, "Sea of Worry"". Bandcamp Daily. November 11, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  14. ^ Longhurst, Jake (April 28, 2023). "Roadburn Festival Review". The Mic. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  15. ^ Breihan, Tom (April 24, 2024). "Have A Nice Life Release a Cover of Low's "When I Go Deaf"". Stereogum. Retrieved May 22, 2024.
  16. ^ "'Deathconsciousness' to Doge Memes: Have a Nice Life Revisit Cult-Classic Album". Revolver. August 10, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  17. ^ "Have A Nice Life - Middletown, US - Gothic / Industrial / Shoegaze". May 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "Have A Nice Life Aren't Joking". Kerrang!. March 22, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Deathconsciousness by Have a Nice Life". Myspace.com. January 1, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Enemies List - Bloodhail". September 16, 2014. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "Enemies List - I Don't Love". September 16, 2014. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2020.

External links[edit]