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Interview

THE HANGMEN
20/02/2002 (interview with  Loz, Spoony and Johnny Death)



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

[Loz]
Been around a decade or more, been through tough times and good times but we never stopped. It's part of who we are. 5 albums, countless live gigs across many countries...lots of stuff. Plenty of adventures, misadventures and lessons learned. Even the bad stuff is good.

[Spoony]
Dug from the grave, we are three curious souls, travelling the world spitting and shouting wherever we go -

'Johnny Burnout' Death-By-Double-Bass/ Vox, painscripter.
'Loz' Guitar Stranglin'/ Blasphemy, Freakshow voyeur & morality butcher.
'Spoony' Drums & Symbols. Clown of Nightmares, jester to Hell.


Discography.

A l b u m   d i s c o g r a p h y :

Original Sins - (Crazy Love Records Clcd6490)
Tested On Animals - (Bone Tone Btcd981)
Last Train To Purgatory - (Bone Tone Btcd951)
Gutbucket Rock N'roll - Lp (Rockhouse Records, Early Demos)
No Happy Endings - New Album Coming 2002 - (Ripper Records Rip1888)

C o m p i l a t i o n s ~

It Came From Hell Vol.2 - Crazy Love Records ("Death Wish")
High Voltage - Black Sky Fiesta Records ("Ugly")
High Voltage Vol 2-3 - Black Sky Fiesta Records ("Demonfreakshow")
Psychobilly Hell Dbl Cd - Raucous Records (Live Tracks)
Psychobilly Freakout - Raucous Records ("Whore For The Devil")
Neo-Rockabilly Story Vol 10 - Lp (2 Off Gutbucket Rock N'roll)
Neo- Rockabilly Story Vol 5 - Cd (As Above)
Night Of The Living Pussies - Anagram/Cherry Red Records ("Worms")
Live From The Charlotte - Cd Raucous Records (2 Live Tracks)
The Devils Jukebox - Bone Tone Corporation (2 Tracks)
Crazy Love Records Sampler - (21st Century Frankenstein)
Dynamite Ep - 7" ("Slaughterhouse Strut" Alt. Version)
Sympathy For The Devil - ("Swamp Thing" & "Corpsegrinder")

Movies/Video:

Live From The Charlotte - Video, Visionary Video
American Rumble Raven Pictures Motion Picture.

[Spoony]
We Made Some Noise N Recorded It!


Describe your sound and the main theme of the lyrics

[Spoony]
Imagine Tom Waites with an incrutiating hangover, with a Gretsch in one hand and an axe in the other, having an argument with Frankenstein & The Mummy about how best to gouge your own eyes out!

[Loz]
The sound depends on what song we are playing. Live it's a kind of high octane punked-up dirty rock n'roll band. We use one Gretsch guitar, a double-bass and drums. The guitar is dirtied up through old valve equipment with a hint of reverb and slap-back on it. The bass is amplified and pounded and so are the drums. The vocals get an aggressive delivery and the overall aim is to burnout in 30-40 sweaty minutes.

[Johnny Death]
The theme's horror, the roadie's a horror and the sound's horrible.

Has any band member played in other bands, if so what?

[Spoony]
We spawned from Drunken punk bands via circuit rockabilly to stadium rock bands, met in a room and realised what a perfect mess could be made together!

[Loz]
Except Johnny we all had other previous bands. None of my other bands previous are worth mentioning, since The Hangmen I've also briefly guested with the Lost Souls and Th'Lunkheads. I recorded one track with Th'Lunkheads. P. Paul Fenech (Meteors) will include some stuff we all did at his studio in a future solo album of his and Fenech and me are collaborating on something along the lines of his 'Surfin' Dead' project. Personally I find it
difficult to work with any other band alongside The Hangmen so usually I shy away from it.
Spoony has played with lots of bands over the years, he's been an out & out Hangman since he joined us early 1999. He was in The Tygers of Pan Tang at the time. Johnny has guested with blues-rockabilly band The Roadrunners recording a three-track EP with them and also with P. Paul Fenech as part of his new band. He also played on three tracks of the final Meteors album.

Which country do you get the best reaction in when touring? And how does the European / USA audiences differ to UK audiences?

[Loz]
I hate to generalise things. We remember some gigs very fondly, some gigs as disasters and some vaguely if at all! Audiences can vary anywhere and it's all either good or not so good. The audience make or break a gig, anybodys gig, anywhere. When people connect with what we are firing off it encourages our efforts to fuck ourselves with our own noise and energy as intensely as possible! That to me is a fucking good rock n'roll show and it takes a fucking good rock n'roll band to do it. If I had to generalise, UK audiences are lazy, European audiences are up-for-it and US audiences are friendly. But not always.

[Spoony]
Any audience is a good audience -any reaction is a good reaction! There could be one person in a room, but as long as they understand or disagree it makes it all worth while!

[Johnny Death]
Usually Holland, Germany and France are the best for crowds and reaction, the latest European gigs we did were in France and they were absolutely wall to wall full, it was great. The crowds in the USA seem to be a bit more exited than in the UK, but I've always thought that it was because it seems new(er) to them, in Europe they just seem to love it anyway!


What is the funniest thing that has happened to you whilst touring?

[Spoony]
Touring!

[Johnny Death]
Mmmm, junction 5. But that would take a lot of explaining.

[Loz]
Got beamed up by the mother ship and went cattle mutilating in a UFO.


What is the best sentence you have ever heard, that someone has managed to get into a song's lyrics?

[Spoony]
'Listen to me..........AAaarrgghh!!' The Mummies. 'Everything Louder Than Everything Else'..........Lemmy.

[Johnny Death]
Thats really hard as there are hundreds I really like, but one that springs to mind at this very moment is "I'll Fuck Your Brains Out" from a song called the Pain Game written by a certain Loz Diabolo.

[Loz]
I'm a sucker for good lyrics and I cringe at half-arsed lines or songs. A million times a week though I'm thinking 'fucking great lyrics' or 'what a fucking great line' whilst listening to music. Lines I would be very proud to have written. Then when the records finished I've forgotten all about them. 'I got lots to say - I can't remember now' by The Ramones ha ha!


How is the psychobilly scene in the UK today?

[Spoony]
A lot of great bands with a lack of willing venues!

[Johnny Death]
On a slippery slope, although there seems to be a little bit of interest emerging from the younger ranks due to the onslaught of USA punk bands.

[Loz]
Psychobilly is no longer a scene in the UK. I wouldn't say that's a bad thing because from our own experience the music still excites and pleases audiences, it's just that those audiences have no preconception of the term or look of 'psychobilly'. It is very gratifying to see people moving to it or screaming for it who would obviously have no vested 'image' interest in doing so. It was a cult fashion once, not a very mainstream fashion but to a lot of people it was a
quick image or peer thing. The trouble with fashions is that they are doomed by default. They die with peoples interest. The 'psychobilly' approach to rock n'roll, which is basically aggressive and morbid, has proved itself eternal. Like all other good strains it is inspiring to a certain breed of listener and will continue to be so for beyond our lifetimes. That is not fashion. That is people thinking for themselves and thinking 'fuck what other people like, I like this'.


Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002.

[Spoony]
To do as much as possible then be forgotten!

[Loz]
Yes we're aiming for the top prize - 'obscurity', 'cos that's where all our heroes come from and end up! Check our website for updates.
The Hangmen : http://www.hangmen.uk-homepage.com

Any final comments?

[Spoony]
Keep telling yourself it's only Rock n' Roll

[Loz]
It's a motherfucking war we never started.





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