Interview / …And The Hangnails

Noisy two piece …And The Hangnails recently unleashed a new video for their striking new single You & I, taken from their upcoming, third record Rut. One of the impressive facts about the York based duo is that back in 2011, they recorded their first album within four days using nothing but a dictaphone. Rocking their way through music scene ever since with their massive ‘guitar meets drums’ beats, plus dropping a couple of EP’s as well as their second album; it seems that Martyn and Steven are more than ready to reveal their first proper studio recording (out July 25th) and get on the road to promote the hell out of it. So if you like the music of …And The Hangnails, make sure to join the party.

Here’s a lil’ music chat with Martyn.

Eva: Can you introduce ….And The Hangnails to MGMB readers?

Martyn: We are a two piece punk / rock / whatever band from York.

At the start, what was the main key to the sound and originality of the band?

Originally we both wanted to try something different, so we just went into a rehearsal room and see what came from having just a guitar and drums. We quickly realised that as a two piece we could create a sound that we were both happy with, and also that we could write at a much faster pace than with previous bands (due to the fact that there were less members). The pace of writing was really exciting. The limitations definitely fuelled creativity. There’s a challenge; how much variety you can pull off with such limited instrumentation, which has definitely developed more over time. We recorded every writing-session using a dictaphone and it gave all our early demos (and subsequently the whole first album) this really raw, distorted sound, which really suited how we were writing. The sound really did justice to how it felt to write that album; Frenetic. I think that whole ethos and feeling has stayed with us ever since, we’ve just experimented more with recording techniques and have just kept writing and seeing where we can take things with just guitar and drums.

Tell us about your latest single You & I.

You & I is the first track to come from our forthcoming album Rut.

How about the video? Where was it shot? Looks like you had fun making it.

We’ve been playing these house parties in Leeds. They’ve been some of our most enjoyable gigs to date. Playing really loudly in such a small room, crowded with drunk people just always leads to chaos and it feels great feeding it. So we decided to just film one of these parties and cut it up among some other stage shots.

You’re preparing to release a new record. What can people expect from it and how will if differ from your previous work?

This has been the the first proper studio recording, so in that sense it’s definitely our most polished sounding record to date, but it keeps the rawness of what we do and I think it is our most varied record. It has the fastest, the slowest, catchiest, heaviest and weirdest songs we’ve ever written.

Being just to two of you, does each one of you have an equal input towards the music making process?

I’d say so. We definitely feed off of each other. Almost everything we write, we write together, in the moment, LOUD. If either one of us wants to work on a certain idea then we do it, and if either one of us doesn’t want to, then we don’t.

How would you attract our readers to one of your gigs?

We’re not really ones to big ourselves up. I think it’s up to other people to have an opinion on whether we’re worth seeing or not. I obviously enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it! So I’d probably quote people/reviewers who have seen us already:

(Jenny Eells – BBC Introducing.) “A Duo from York, and these guys packed such a sucker punch on the night. I was literally left gaping, open mouthed and considering there is just two of them, the sound scape that just explodes when these guys are on stage is just incredible. Blisteringly brilliant live. Check them out I urge you. They are truly incredible”

(Tim Hornsby. Fibbers, York) “Frankly they piss all over most other so-called duos, blowing signed bands in to the weeds and bemused headline acts wondering just how the **** they can follow THAT???!!! You will be genuinely excited by this act and, come on, how often does that happen?” 

If you could sit down with any musician to get some advice on music, songwriting etc. Who would it be?

I don’t think I’m really looking for advice on how to write songs as such. Song writing is a really personal thing. I think you take influence from the bands/artists you like subconsciously – but otherwise you should just try to do your own thing. I once read somewhere that John Lennon said “say what you mean, make it rhyme and put a back beat to it” I think that was enough advice for me to go off and do my own thing. So, if I had to sit down with any musician and talk about song writing, just anyone who’s not too much of a dick would be good! Haha.

What are your plans for this summer?

Our album RUT comes out on 25th July and we will be going on a 2 week jaunt around the UK promoting it. In between all of that, we will be writing the follow up to it in the hopes to start recording it at the end of this year, hopefully.

Links – Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp

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