The HANGMEN are just back from a 3 week tour going from Southern to Northern Europe. The perfect time for us to hear Bryan Small talking about this tour, the past and the future of this cult band…
How was the audience reaction during this recent European tour?
It was pretty good in most countries and it keeps getting better every time we go there. We’ve been there four times before and we’ll try to come back next late summer.
Can you feel a difference about the audience reaction from one country to another?
Yes definitely, but it just depends on the country you know.
I’ve heard about a little problem in Belgium..
That was on the tour before, our drummer got into a bar fight, but things were ok on this tour.
A tour like this is probably exhausting, isn’t it? How about the conditions (food, money…)?
No, not that much. In general, the bands I know get treated better in Europe. The best thing to get good treatment in the States is to open on a tour for a band like SOCIAL DISTORTION for example.
Talking about that, Mike Ness produced your last 7 song CD ; How did that happen? Did you play with SOCIAL DISTORTION before?
Maybe like 6 or 7 years ago, Mike came to our show and he fell in love with the band. he asked me if he could produce the next record, he just wanted to do it and didn’t even want to get paid or anything. I think the result is good.
Your first album was released by Capitol records, yet it seems like they didn’t care much about promoting it outside of the US since it wasn’t easy to find when it was released. How was the situation for the band in the US at that time?
Yeah, I don’t think I even cared at that time. I was very disappointed with big record labels and didn’t like the production on the album. I liked the songs though.
In those days, you were wrongly labelled as a “hair metal band” but you seemed to have blues and punk rock roots, right?
Yeah we were definitely not part of the 90s Sunset Strip bands. The record label was just trying to get as much money as they could.
The band’s line-up has changed through the years. How did you meet Angelique, Rane and Dino?
Rane was in SMACK when they came to L.A and he stayed here. Angelique has been in the band for something like 10 years…
You’ve been working for some time with Acetate records, are you satisfied with their work?
Yes, I am. They let us do what we want to do and don’t change anything about our records. They also help with getting our music on TV and stuff like that.
There’s also a psychobilly band called The Hangmen, doesn’t it bring too much trouble?
Yeah, we own the name but we haven’t pursued any legal action… but that’s something we might do in the future. It’s just annoying for the pictures or when people are looking for information about the band online.
How do you feel about this Internet age? It has changed so much for music…
Yes, it definitely has. I think it’s all for the better. It’s giving the power and the music to the band. It’s healthy in the end. But there’s still no way to fake a good song. If it’s a good song, it’s a good song. You can play it on acoustic guitar or whatever.
You already played and recorded songs from The Flaming Groovies, The Lords Of The New Church, The Rolling Stones and The Lollipops… Any idea of who you’d like to cover on your next releases?
I’m not sure yet. When I hear a song and think that it would be the pefect song for the band to do, then I just choose this song. It has to have a great melody that fits with The HANGMEN. It’s very simple.
Do you still have blood on the toes of your boots?
Last time I’ve checked yes! That’s a funny question…
A few words for your European fans?
I just want to thank everyone that came out to the shows. We had a great time and we hope to see everyone again soon.