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INTERVIEW – Michael Hannon, American Dog – October 2012

| 3 October 2012 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Hey Michael, thanks for your time today – how’re you doing?

I am busy as Hell! Which is great, a lot of Dog action comin’ quick!

So – the new album POISON SMILE is kick ass from start to finish – how was your experience writing and recording it after – what is it, six or seven studio albums now?

It was a very smooth and exciting time, the new drummer has added a new excitement and energy to the band and I think you can hear it on the cd.

American Dog – Michael Hannon, Michael “Hazard” Harris, Steve Theado


Lead single Just Like Charlie Sheen is a hoot – you were obviously transfixed by his very public meltdown as everyone else?

Charlie is one of the last super-stars, I think he comes off as a real cool dude,.. I really didn’t see it as a meltdown, I just saw a guy who was ready to move on…

The video looked like it was fun to shoot – did you all enjoy getting your inner Sheen out there on celluloid?

Yeah , it was fun, we filmed it at a bar that’s a half a mile away from our practice place. All the regular patrons were having a blast watching us run around.

Who came up with the storyline for the video?

My good bubby Rob Kern and I sat down drinking beers coming up with the ideas, beer always helps… It’s funny a lot of guys I know in bands talk about ideas , but they don’t follow through… we always just do it. Trends be damned – we’ll do what we want, how and when we want!

Are AMERICAN DOG really the big dumb heavy rock boozehounds that you portray yourselves as?

Only Hazard is big, (over six foot!)! …but seriously folks, we do love our beer but we only get stoopid after the show, a few beers before and during is okay… but let’s not rip off people by being drunk and playing sloppy. Balance is the key!

You’re a very politically incorrect band for these times – is that one of the perks of being an independent band?

Probably so, I haven’t seen the other side of the fence for so long that I wouldn’t know… I mean we are The Management, for the most part the booking agency, the record label and yes,…We are the Road Crew!! So we say what we want when we want.

What are your thoughts about the aggressive political correctness that is sweeping the globe and stifling good times everywhere?

Ass Kissing Sheeple!!! Everybody wants to fit in… not me, and to go back a step to your Charlie Sheen question, I like the guy… and have you ever noticed that the women who bitch about guys like Charlie Sheen are always the ones you really wouldn’t want to fuck anyway??

You aren’t afraid to pay homage to your own heroes – for instance, doing your own ‘cover version’ of the cover to AC/DC’s If You Want Blood album for your If You Want Bud – do you remember the pivotal influence which made you think “I’m going to be a musician when I grow up”?

I remember very vividly the first song that really smacked me in the head… it was “Rock-n-Roll all Night” by KISS… I heard it on AM radio, it was surrounded by stuff like Hall and Oates, The Village People and Abba… so it really stuck out. Kiss Alive was my first real album, the one I played through all the way, not just hits.

What sort of mayhem should we brace ourselves for if we ever find our way backstage at an AMERICAN DOG show?

Brace yourself for very mellow guys – we save our energy for the show! I usually try to stay away from the noise and crowd before the show to save my voice and ears… after the show we always come out and talk to the crowd.

You seem like pretty down to earth guys – is this rock n’ roll life everything you’d hoped it would be?

Long Hours, Low Pay and Liver Damage!!! Hell Yeah!

To delve into ancient history for a moment – the SALTY DOG debut album is a ‘shoulda coulda been huge’ cult classic for many, including myself.  How do you feel about that album looking back at it now, 20 years on?

The drum sound on that album is fantastic… and in that time period most people had that horrible gated snare sound paired up with tinny sounding pointy guitars, so the Salty album really stood out from the crowd.

Just quickly, in a nutshell, why did Salty Dog fall apart – and is a reunion ever likely to happy, even as a one-off?

Heroin destroyed the band… and we did do a one off reunion show last December in L.A. and it failed miserably!

Is it awkward to have been a part of something which was so special to many people, when perhaps you’d rather be talking more about your current projects?

No, not at all.  It’s part of my past, and it’s Rock-n-Roll, so I don’t mind at all.

Well – back to American Dog!  What do you have planned for the rest of 2012 and early 2013? You’ve got a regular cottage industry going on, where you can release live albums alternately with studio albums (much like The Rolling Stones!) – will we see a new live album soon featuring the new POISON SMILE tracks?

Well Hell, Nostradamas!! You are THE FIRST to know about this! We have recorded a Christmas song called “Merry Christmas Asshole!” and while we were in the studio we figured why not invite a few of our close friends down and record a live set? Our “Six Pack” cd is out of print, and our “Foamin’ at the Mouth” cd is almost gone too, so we figured why re-print an old CD when we could put a new one out which will showcase our new drummer and new songs?…The plan is to get it out in early December…

You play a lot of biker festivals, do you guys ride as well?

Our Drummer Hazard rides, but that’s it.

Is there any chance of seeing AMERICAN DOG Down Under for a tour?

Let’s Do It!!!!! You bastards have some of my favourite bands ever!! AC/DC, The Angels, The Tatts, Airbourne, The Poor!!… Jeezus hell yeah! We played a string of shows with the Tatts in Germany 4 or 5 years ago, great guys.

If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording of any one album – what would that be, and why?

So many… maybe just to be there for the “Let There Be Rock” sessions,…or maybe Motorhead’s “Orgasmatron”… I really love that one.

And finally Michael – what for you is the Meaning Of Life?

An Excellent Monty Python movie!!! HA!!

Thanks so much for your time, mate – it’s really appreciated!!


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Category: Interviews

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