Interview: Greg and Dan from Kill Hannah

posted October 28, 2002

by Corinne

How are you?
Greg: We're tired. [laughs]
Dan: Other than that we're good.
G: We woke up at like 7:15 from New Hampshire and drove all the way here.

Want to introduce yourselves?
D: I'm Dan. I play guitar in the band.
G: I'm Greg and I play bass in Kill Hannah.

Where'd the name come from?
D: Our singer, Mat, wrote a song about his ex-girlfriend, "Kill Hannah," a long time ago and then he named the band after the song.
G: He wanted to go in the direction of that song…the direction of music style, he wanted to go in.

You signed to Atlantic [Records]?
Both: Yeah.

Is there an album in the works?
D: We're going to record next month. In three weeks we're going to start pre-production so the album should be done early in the new year and the album should be out sometime around May or June.

Are you writing new songs for the album?
Both: Yes.
G: It's going to be new and old on the record.

Is there any tentative name you're thinking about? Or is it too early?
D: We all have ideas; I don't think we've talked about it too much yet.
G: We want to record the record first, see how it comes out.

Have you been enjoying the tour of the college campuses [the 'You Saw It First' tour with July for Kings, Carbondale and Kazzer]?
[Both laugh]
D: Oh, yeah.
G: It's great. Touring is great. No, I love touring, however…
D: This is a tour of cafeterias across America.
G: Yeah, basically, and the only people who know about it are about 20 people on campus and the lucky 4 to 30 people who found out about us on the website that already know about us come down. But pretty much all the other bands just recorded their records it's everyone's first tour, basically, so there's not many of the bands have a draw across the country cause they're brand new. They're from their hometown and been together one to three years.

There haven't been a lot of people here so is there a good crowd reaction?
G: Yes, the crowd reaction's usually pretty good. In Maryland, like 30 kids came out that already knew about us and knew every single song and sang along with all the words and had our tee shirts already so that's really cool. And luckily on this tour, on just about every night, except about maybe two, there's been two to ten kids, or in some cases, 30 kids, that already know us and support us.

This is your first national tour?
Both: Yeah.

There are a few dates left and then you go into pre-production for the album?
D: Yeah, we go home for a few weeks and then we go off to L.A.
G: We leave the 15th for L.A. and do pre-production and then start recording the last week in November, first week of December.

Have you picked a producer?
D: Yeah, his name is Sean Beavan. He's most widely known for doing Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. He's done some stuff with No Doubt and Guns 'N Roses, too.
G: He did our last three songs, "Unwanted"…
D: The demos…
G: Yeah, the last three songs, I'm not sure if you're familiar, "From Now On," "Raining All The Time," "Unwanted," he produced those three songs.

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written?
G: "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths is Mat's…
D: Is this a personal question? For each one individually?
G: Well what would be yours?
D: I always liked the song "Dark Globe" by Syd Barrett. Know that song?
G: I never knew that about you. [laughs]
D: I always thought that song was pretty great.
Syd Barrett's a little weird.
D: I thought that song was full of potential.
G: I know Mat's is either "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths or "Take On Me" by A-Ha.
[Both laugh]
G: He likes that one a lot.
D: …U2…
G: Yeah, the whole Joshua Tree record is good.
One song...
G: One song? What song? You don't like one of the songs on there?
No, no, no [laughs] you're only supposed to pick one song, not one album.
G: I don't know. Maybe "Bad" by U2. Yeah.

Do you have a favorite Kill Hannah song?
G: I don't know. What's yours, Dan?
D: I don't even know. We love 'em all. I always have a fondness for the new ones. Right now we're playing two new ones that I think are really cool. I like playing them a lot. We started working on something else the other day and that could become my favorite Kill Hannah song in the next few weeks.
G: I think my favorite Kill Hannah song, just because it's the song that got me into Kill Hannah, like 5 years ago, is "Nerve Gas." I love that song. It's the most personal to me.

What have you been listening to recently?
G: Dan, you first.
D: Well, I didn't bring any CDs with me. But in the van I've been listening to older Peter Gabriel and The Strokes and…I need to buy, what was I saying I was going to buy the other day? I was complaining about buying something. Some new album that's coming out.
G: Oh this guy Neil Halstead, do you know him? He used to be a singer for Slowdive, he came out with a solo album. I've been listening to the new Primal Scream record, "Evil Heat." I like…I could go on…Interpol, I just got that CD.
[Dan mumbles]
G: Yeah, it's ok.
D: Really, we've only been listening to these.
G: Yeah. [laughs] Really we've been listening to a lot of Kazzer, Carbondale and July For Kings.
D: I wake up with their songs in my head. And then I hear them played live -- a dream come true.
[Both laugh]
President of their fan club, too?
D: Exactly.
G: Yeah, but, I could go on and on but that's all I remember right now.

What are your favorite albums of 2002? Still a few months left but…
D: What came out?
G: Mine would have to be the new New Order record. I think that came out in 2002. "Get Ready," I love that one.
D: I bought The Hives and that's pretty good. Half's pretty good and half's kind of lame. And…I don't know, can't think of anything else. 2002?
G: This year.
D: I can't remember…next question.
[Both laugh]

I did an email interview with Mat last February and asked where he saw the band in 10 years. And he said "fishing in Jamaica" so I wanted to see if you'd gotten any closer to that "goal"?
G: No, not quite. He might be fishing in Jamaica, but not us [laughs].
He just doesn't tell you where he's going.
G: Yeah. I don't know, I never want to retire, actually. I either want to be doing music or film for the rest of my life. Dan, I don't see Dan going back to his old job too soon. [laughs]
D: No, I'll still be playing, I'm sure, in 10 years. Performing in some capacity. Maybe, ideally, I think, for me, I might get into film starring, which I kind of studied a bit when I was in school. I never really did much with it though.Film as in movies or plays?
D: I've always thought of myself as a film star, so movies.

Anything else you want to add?
D: On that question?
No, just in general.
G: How did you find out about us?
Somehow through the Internet, I don't even remember. It was a while ago. I started listening to you guys a couple of years ago.
G: The Internet is so insane. It's amazing because we've never played half of these markets or anything before and kids come out every night that know us already, and none of the other bands have that…
D: I think it's awesome.
G: It's really great. We totally support anyone who is downloading our music now. Maybe not in a few months but I think it's a good thing to get the ball rolling. It's helped us this far. We have fans all over the world; we've sent merch packages to France and UK and all over the country.