Hangedup is the Montreal-based duo of Gen Heistek (viola) and Eric Craven (drums). The two met in 1995 while playing in Sackville and formed Hangedup in 1999. They released their eponymous debut in May 2001. Kicker in Tow followed in October 2002 and Clatter for Control in April 2005.
Hangedup play battle hymns for shut-ins, tightrope walkers, and urban bicyclists. Hangedup channel dead Roma musicians from Slavic republics, playing east European folk tunes backwards, skipping every 3rd note. Hangedup write road songs for model train enthusiasts. Hangedup compose soundtracks for slow-motion automobile accidents and use leaded gasoline every chance they get.
Hangedup are unique operators of their chosen instruments, and have mastered a signature sound that is well ahead, and far behind, the times. Heistek’s vertigo-inducing viola runs through hallucinating loopers and warranty-voided amplifiers. Craven’s inimitable sound fuses auto shop discards with home-wiring experiments and fifteen-year-old drum skins. Sometimes soaring, occasionally distressing, Hangedup are the sound of tomorrow, only tomorrow was this morning, just before you left the house. And you left the stove on.
Hangedup has toured extensively in Europe and North America, including performances at All Tomorrow’s Parties in England, the Printemps de Bourges in France, the Domino festival in Belgium. At the Rhaaa Lovely and K-RAA-K festivals, also in Belgium, they headlined and were widely declared the highlight of these events. The K-RAA-K show led to friendship and collaboration with legendary violin minimalist Tony Conrad, who also played that night. Conrad joined Hangedup for several North American shows and a series of recording sessions in 2004. These recordings are set to finally see the light of day as Transit of Venus, to be released in June 2012 as part of our Musique Fragile Volume 02 box set.
Since moving to Montreal in 1987, Gen Heistek has been a member of many bands, including Pest 5000, Sackville, Set Fire To Flames and The Mile-End Ladies’ String Auxiliary. She has played with Sam Shalabi, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic and many others. She wrote for CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves and now co-owns Local 23 and General 54, the former a fripperie and the latter a purveyor of locally made stuff.
Eric Craven moved to Montreal in 1993, having previously played in various punk bands in his native Victoria. He has been a member of Shortwave, Sackville and Blackout, and has thrown down his unparalleled rhythm thing, on record and in concert, with Mitchell Akiyama, Polmo Polpo, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, Silver Mt. Zion and Hrsta, among many others. He composes extensively for dance in Montreal, and is currently tending to an impressive bicycle graveyard in his back yard.
After a several year break, the band reunited to perform at the Godspeed-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in December 2010.