I do not remember who I made this interview with back in the day be honest. I am old and losing it every year. However Hang the bastard was also one of those UK bands which made my old bones rock and made me mosh. Well if I can describe the moves as mosh. I doubt it. Few questions for the band to find out more about them. Enjoy.
Hang the bastard
Q: When was HTB born?
Around June 2007, vocalist Chris and guitarist Sam had the idea of starting a new band – something crossing Integrity style hardcore and old school Black Sabbath. After a few member changes we started playing shows around January 2008.
Q: Can you tell us how did you come together as a band? How do you know each other and can you mention bands you played in before? Can you tell us more about the band history?
Our band has pretty much revolved around the curse of the bassist! Our original bassist left after only a couple of months and then Lianna joined. Lianna was in the band for our first EP and up until Spring 2009. Then we had a period of fill-in’s for something like 6 months! Stu, our bassist now has been in the band for just over 6 months – hopefully he’ll be the last!!
Apart from that, Chris and Sam have been since the beginning, I’ve (Simon) been in the band from around August ’07, and Sina replaced our original lead guitarist in Spring 08.
Q: Whose idea it was and how long it took you to find the current line up?
I think now we have the line up we want for the kind of music we’re playing and want to carry on playing and writing. We all have a similar preference of the sound we’re going for, and all have ideas that flow really well.
Q: Can you describe your band members – what is the main characteristic of each one of them?
We are all very driven and committed to the band and kinda have a subconscious desire to try and take it as far as it can go. I don’t think we’ve ever stopped being enthusiastic about what we’re doing and the recent writing process for our first full length all came about very easily.
Q: What bands had the most influence on HTB and in what way they have influenced your band or yourself /music, attitude, lyrics…/?
When Chris and Sam started the band they wanted to create something that had both the intensity and speed of hardcore but mixed with big riffs and grooves. Originally it was Integrity/Black Sabbath combo, but since then we’ve all been listening to a whole loads bands that have influenced us, from Pulling Teeth, Iron Age and Ringworm to Down, Crowbar and Electric Wizard!
Q: I think you self released your debut album – how hard it was for you to put it all together?
Our EP was released through Never Healed records and the guy there, Aaron helped us out a lot. He ended up pressing 666 copies of it!!
We recorded it in 3 days at the Cro’s Nest but unfortunately it then took an age to get it all printed and to come out.
But generally it came together quite easily – it was the first time any of us had done proper recordings.
Q: Are you happy with the record and what are the kid’s responses?!
I think we’re all really happy with it. Sam at the Cro’s Nest helped us a lot (not just with the weed smoking) but he brought new ideas to the table and acted as a bit of a producer as well.
I think the overall response is that the kids liked it, we all hope they did anyway! (Shout out to Sam as he really did a great job, the debut album has some killer songs and sounds perfect even at the present – Roman).
Q: Is it your tendency to go to larger label later when the chance will come?
We’re on Holy Roar at the moment, as of last Autumn and there are loads of awesome bands that have been on, or are currently on the label. We’re writing a new record at the moment and it’s being released on Holy Roar probably after the Summer. We just play it by ear, we’ve never really planned too far ahead.
Q: What do you think about bigger labels? Don’t you think that if more money is pumped into the scene, more “disco” it will becomes? I mean kids really losing interest about the roots and the ethic within hardcore punk scene. Where are you standing on this?
At the end of the day, some of the real small DIY shows can be the best shows of the year! We love playing those kinda shows and always have done. We must of played around 200 shows now since starting and I’d say 80% of them were proper DIY shows.
Q: Do you feel like a hardcore punk band at all?
I don’t know about hardcore punk, I don’t know about any genre really, I wouldn’t class us as straight up hardcore but at the same time not just metal. We’ve always just tried to hammer out anything that we can and turn riffs into songs…I don’t think any of us are bothered with a ‘genre’ or being labelled in any way.
GIGS and MONEY!
Q: How much money I need to book Hang the bastard?
Back when we first started, we’d just be happy to play any show we could, to get our name out there and so or a while we didn’t even ask for money. We then started asking (and people generally would offer) us petrol money for shows. In the last year or so we’ve had to be a bit careful because at the end of the day, it costs us a lot to drive all over the country and to constantly buy new equipment.
Q: What do you think about hardcore as a job scenario?
For me personally and the rest of the band to be honest, I can’t see us losing any passion for playing music. For all of us it’s the one thing (other than the 9-5 job) that we put above all else by choice. None of us are rich and so if we can make a bit of money to help put towards more t-shirt designs, CD’s and records and equipment, then we’re not gonna say no.
Q: Do you see yourself as a touring band in the future?
As I said before about the ‘bigger label’ thing, we don’t plan too much ahead, we just take things as they come. We’ve been to Europe once for a tour and that was amazing – every show is different, meeting new people, going to places I personally would never have gone to without being in the band! I think deep down we’d all like to quit our shitty jobs and just play music all year round. But that’s not gonna happen!!
Q: What about your girlfriends and family? Do they support your lifestyle?
For all of us I’d have to say yes they do. The amount of times we’ve come home from a show at 3 am and woken people up by dropping amps all over the place – they gotta be pretty damn tolerant!!
HARD CORE PUNK
Q: HTB is fairly new band within the hardcore scene, but it seems like you build a solid fan base around the band. From one gig to another I can see more moshing kids in the pit singing along to your tunes. This is what I love about HTB; the live show is amazing. Do you find your self in position that you are too tired or lazy to play a show? That you have to “act” it through?!
We don’t have an act that we do when we play, no Iron Maiden crossed guitars shit or Busted jumps. We just love the music that we play and whether we head bang to it, kick someone to it or even smile it’d just doing what we do. We do love it when there is a good show and people are going off, gets us more into it as well, it works both ways.
Q: What do you like about being in a band?
I’m just gonna list a loads stuff: we love the shows, people moshing to us, seeing other bands, travelling all over, going ‘on tour’, and then there’s beer, weed and whiskey!
Q: What do you like about current UK scene?
There’s always new bands coming onto the scene, at the mo there’s a lot of hype for Never Again, and we’ve played with them a few times, they’re really good. There’s a lot of all-dayers that promoters are putting on which are always pretty cool, especially in summer – hanging out watching a few bands, doesn’t get much better.
Q: I think there are plenty of great bands who put UK back to hardcore map in Europe and the world, what bands are you favorite from your home land?
Dirty Money are awesome but they’ve split up now. Personal fav’s of the band are Brutality will prevail, Rot In Hell, Almost Home….
Q: Any names, distros, labels to suggest our kids to check out!?
Check out the bands on Holy Roar records, check out Purgatory Records as well, check out our mates bands – A Long Time Dead and Here Lies Affliction both from near where we live.
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