The Devil's Music
"When we recorded our number 'The Curse' for a single we did the recording part and left for the day. When we arrived for mixing the next morning the studio owner was sat on the wall outside waiting. He explained he didn't want to go into his own studio alone because the track spooked him after we left. He swore he felt that he was being watched all the way to the door as he left in quite a hurry after listening to the track alone. He decided to close down the studios after that and has never returned to recording. Before he closed down we recorded 'Let There Be Drums' there for the B-side, trashing the room as we did it. There's metal trashcans getting beaten into the floor and walls, things getting kicked around...our drummer even took a cathode ray TV Set in there and put a sledgehammer through it at the end of the song - it's all on the record. We agreed the idea with the owner beforehand, but later people accused us of forcing him out of business because we'd smashed the place up. That's simply not true - he closed it down because one of our numbers scared the hell out of him".
Just before a flight to Spain to play a concert there a volcano erupted in Iceland grounding all flights in Europe for nearly a week, so the band couldn't make it and the concert was cancelled. The volcano erupted as the band were burning Bibles on stage at a gig in the UK. God was unavailable for comment.
Guitarist Loz's favorite guitar is a custom made job known as Lucy, a name given in a New Orleans Voodoo Temple where the instrument was baptised. The name was given by the Priestess at the ceremony who also referred to the instrument having a 'voice'.
Unexplained accidents have happened in empty rooms where Lucy has been left alone, like at The Baroeg Club in Rotterdam when part of a lighting rig was found smashed on the storeroom floor when the locked room was opened up again.
Unknown to the Priestess a decade earlier the band had written and recorded the song 'Lucy's House', with lyrics about unexplained mayhem happening in whatever room a girl named 'Lucy' was in.
Live & Raw
Sometimes bands use a stand-in musician, however not many bands can say they hired a stand-in halfway through a live number. In Apremont (FR) The Hangmen were called back for an encore, meanwhile the drummer had opened a beer backstage that he didn't get to finish because of the encore. Halfway through the song he noticed Frans the drummer from The Elektraws at the side of the stage and called him over. He then handed Frans some spare drumsticks, pointed at the drumkit - then left Frans to finish the number so he could go finish his beer.
A small venue in Newcastle, England had installed noise limiters, if a band was too loud the PA system would cut out. Unable or unwilling to play any quieter The Hangmen didn't give up, the songs were shouted directly into peoples faces without a microphone.
In the US a local radio reporter met The Hangmen for an interview at a diner and started his voice recorder. He told the band that he had been listening to some albums and for his first question asked what drugs the band were taking to come up with 'scarey' stuff like that. The answer was 'Well, we don't do drugs'. 'Now that's scarey' he replied, before finishing the interview quickly.
At a hotel party after a gig a roadie, known as 'Sid' for his likeness to Sid Vicious, revealed he had brought a gun along. He was given lots of LSD to get him into a peaceful mood so he could be distanced from the gun and the party could continue without people being worried. What actually happened was he took the gun from his bag and held it in front of his face, staring at it with a big grin for most of the night.
On a UK tour the bassist had some blisters on his fingers from playing hard every night. After loading in equipment for the next gig he drove the band's van somewhere to buy super-glue to fix up his finger tips. He was gone for quite a while and it was getting close to the time for the gig to start when he finally walked in. He'd super glued his blisters, then when driving back to the gig realised the fingers of one hand had got stuck to the steering wheel. He'd driven around lost for a while until he could pull over to free himself and get out to ask for directions.
On a European tour the drummer wanted to bet he could jump over a traffic barrier, nobody was interested but he did it anyway - unsuccesfully. He hit the floor and hurt his foot. Every night from that point, to preserve his injured foot he asked the support band's drummer (Silver Shine) to sound check for him then played the gig. At the end of the tour the band were partying in a hotel in Vienna and accidentally caused a fire with some moonshine. The injured drummer was in his bed trying to rest so the blanket was pulled off him to get him out of there - revealing a heavily bruised and swollen broken foot he'd been keeping quiet about for the whole tour! Earlier, in the venue after the gig, the bassist had found a pizza in a box next to a drunken punter who was unconscious outside. He brought the pizza inside but when he opened the box the pizza was crawling with ants - which the bass player squashed onto the pizza slices before eating them, causing the injured drummer to fall of his stool. It wasn't his night.
A UK tour was cancelled when the drummer broke both of his arms in a bike accident. There were comments on social media that being The Hangmen, if it had only been one broken arm the gigs might have still been attempted.
Breaking The Law
A UK venue manager got alarmed by the audiences dancefloor behaviour and told his security to 'stop them dancing'. This was met with a refusal from the security and the reply 'do you call that dancing?'.
At a gig in Croatia the local Police intervened to stop the concert. Halfway through the set things were going well with an enthusiastic audience, when suddenly a member of the venue staff announced over the microphone (in English so the band got the message) that the concert had to stop as ordered by the Police. The bass player went to his microphone, shouted 'F**k the Police' and started the next song which the band quickly joined in with. The bass player then leapt into the audience to join the mayhem. After playing the song the band were hurried away to a secret private location and the next day had to sneak over the border to avoid arrest.
Back in the UK a few days later the band played an outdoor event in notoriously loud fashion. The concert was interrupted by someone telling the band that there had been complaints about the noise and that the Police were on their way. 'It's okay we're used to it' was the response, though the band did finish their concert that night before the Police arrived.
In Cornwall a guy was caught graverobbing when people reported hearing music from a cemetary in the middle of the night, he was playing The Hangmen - quite possibly the only band to be cited as evidence in a graverobbing trial.
During recording for the Last Train To Purgatory album, the sound engineer was driving to the studio one morning when he saw the drummer in the middle of a traffic roundabout so stopped to ask why he was there and to offer him a lift. He had been thrown out of a taxi for being drunk, and was carrying two bags of booze which he was still drinking. The engineer took him to a cafe for breakfast before the recording began, the drummer ended up getting the waitress drunk which got her fired. The engineer persuaded the manager to let her have her job back later.