Updated: 11/04/00

Hangnail is a punk band in the grand tradition of Blink 182 and Green Day. These guys really know how to write an infectious tune and are easily in the same league with the bands they are often compared to. If you delve into the lyric sheet, you find deeper meanings that the Greens and the Blinks never tackle. In spite of all the fun, there's a serious message Hangnail is trying to get across. After recently catching their show at The Chain Reaction in Anaheim, I e-mailed the Hangnail guys and asked them about their music and thought provoking lyrics. Here are the replies…

Highwire Daze: Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Hangnail, and how long the band has been together?

Mike Middleton: I am the singer/ bass player and we have been together for 7 years.

HD: Where is the band from and what is the music scene like there?

Mike: We are from Kenosha, WI. The scene is ok, I would say a little above average, we are working on that!

HD: How did your latest tour with Element 101 go?

Mike: It was a blast, unfortunately the shows weren't all that big, but we had a great time playing for the kids that did show up and it was a pleasure to share the stage with such a band as Element.

HD: So what is the best and worst part of touring?

Mike: The best part is playing the shows and hanging out with all the kids and the bands. The worst part is not being at home with your friends and family, and driving, and eating fast food all the time, and never getting enough sleep.

HD: You played a few new songs on this tour. Will there be a second album out any time soon, will it be on BEC and is there an actual release date?

Mike: Yeah, we played three new songs on the tour to be exact. We are going into the studio to record our next album during the month of December. Yes, it will be released on BEC and we are shooting for April or May (no definite date yet)

HD: How influenced is your music by Christianity and the teachings of Christ?

Mike: I would say heavily. I don't know if I would say that the music is influenced by Christianity because that wouldn't make much sense. But I would say that our lyrics are heavily influenced. I am a firm believer in Christ, and hopefully that will shine through in everything I do, including the lyrics to our songs.

HD: Is your song "No Name Yet" about abortion and what is your view on that subject?

Mike: Yes the song is about abortion. I definitely take some kind of a pro-life stance on the issue. As far as to what extremes I am still trying to figure out what I feel is right. But I think doing away with legalized abortion would definitely do this country some good.

HD: What are some of your other song lyrics influenced by?

Mike: Mostly life situations that I face. I look back on things that happened and then try to write about the situation with the hopes that it will help kids out when they face similar situations.

HD: With Blink 182 and Green Day being influential to your music, I was wondering what you thought about some of their onstage antics?

Mike: I definitely disagree with many of their on stage antics. But keep in mind, I have no room to talk because of many of my off stage antics that I struggle with daily.

HD: What's the most outrageous thing you guys have done onstage?

Mike: I would say that would have to be when we messed up on a song once we just stopped the song and walked off stage. We were having a bad night and I had to go to the bathroom. That was like 4 or 5 years ago and I think there was like 2 people in the audience that night.

HD: What would you say if a kid came up to you and said he/she likes your music but was not a Christian and didn't really like the message?

Mike: I would sincerely thank that person for the compliments on our music and also for their honesty. I would then probably ask them what they didn't like about our message and then take it from there.

HD: Any chance of Hangnail playing here in Southern California again soon?

Mike: We won't be touring for a little while now, because we feel like we have completely exhausted our previous album. We did seven tours all in the span of ten short months and we must have hit every region of the US at least three times. We will for sure be back out on the road come late spring and early summer.

HD: With nearby Milwaukee being the home of Metalfest, I was wondering what your all time favorite heavy metal song is and why?

Mike: I was never really into metal all that much, that's more of the other guy's thing, and they aren't around right now, sorry.

HD: Help us with the current Highwire Daze debate -- who's better -- Britney Spears or Christina Aguilara?

Mike: I would say Christina Aguilara by a long shot, no debate, she wins hands down. She is the only one of the two that actually has decent music, besides her voice is incredible. I think she has great potential of being one of the well-known divas of her time. (No offense Britney, if you want to tour, we'll still do it).

HD: Chelsea Clinton invites Hangnail to play two songs for her birthday party. What two songs would you play for dear Chelsea and why?

Mike: I think we would probably go unplugged just because she probably isn't into the whole punk rock thing. And then I think we would play "Decision Making" and "No Name Yet" just because those songs are decent pop songs.

HD: If there was one thing you'd like someone to remember after hearing your music?

Mike: Definitely what we are all about. We don't live spectacular lives, and we barely make any money. We are out there to give kids a good time but even more importantly to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. I hope non-believers are challenged by our songs and I hope that Christians are encouraged.

HD: What are the future plans for Hangnail?

Mike: As of now we plan on working hard to keep making good music and keep on touring. That's all we know now, not to say that that couldn't change tomorrow.

HD: Any final thoughts or comments?

Mike: Thanks for doing this interview with us, we appreciate everyone's support. We realize that we could never be living our dreams if it weren't for everyone that supports us. See ya at a show some time.

Hangnail's self-titled debut album is available from BEC Recordings.


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