Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Interview with Michael Hannigan from My Antenna

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Michael Hannigan from My Antenna Pedal Board

The Rigs: Who’s guitar sound was most influential on you; both past and present, electric and acoustic?

Michael Hannigan:  For Electric I’d say:  John Lee Hooker, John Scofield (A Go Go) David Bowie,  (especially in Rebel, Rebel), Neil Yong, Drug Rug’s self titled album, Dan Auerbach, Grizzly Bear (they have some great chord voicings) , Jack White, Kurt Cobain, Marc Ribot, Jimmy Page, The Beatles (like in “Dig a pony”), Tom Morello, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs (Fever to Tell), The Band
For Acoustic: Leadbelly, Chris Whitley, Fiest, The Band again, The Beatles (Two of US), Bon Iver, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Son House, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Johnson, Ruben Gonzalez, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan.  I know there are a bunch more that I can’t think of right now.

Recently I’ve been getting back into some Cuban traditional and just started getting into Baltic roots music, by way of Beirut.  There sound is so beautifully melodic and rough together.

TR: Which 2 peoples setups would you like to know about?

MH: Robert Johnson’s recording set up.  I feel like that is a mysterious session that I would have loved to be a fly one the wall of that hotel room.

And Jack White, he pushes the music out of himself through the guitar

TR: Which guitarist has influenced you the most as a player, apart from that players sound?

MH:  Marc Ribot.  The notes he chooses to play over all these different chord structures are very unique, plus his sound is so raw and melodic.

TR: What is the direction of your sound as a band, at present, and where does your guitar sound fit into that?

MH: Right now it is centered on rock and roll, garage, and blues with an extra set of balls.  Occasionally an Americana/ Tom petty, Neil young influence.  I still try to dabble in the punk sound.  I’m still diving into that genre, picking up as much as I can.  Also every once and a while it’s nice to just shut it all off and remember where music started, without electricity.

I try not to make the guitar the center but since I’ve been writing on guitar it tends to lean in that direction.  Then with melody; it’s a part, separate and the most important thing, all at the same time.

TR: Where do you see your sound going in the future, as a guitarist?

MH: I plan on polarizing the music a bit.  Focusing on a more small acoustic string ensemble orientation. Also fusing that feel over a full electric band.  And then leaning to the opposite side, to a more deeper distorted electric sound.  Sometimes touching on an undistorted electric sound here and there.

TR: What is the lineage of the sound you have today?

MH:I started with a jam band setup and direction but sometimes in some jam bands, the quality of music is sacrificed in order to facilitate a vehicle to arrive at the opportunity to solo; although, there are some amazing jam bands out there. I stopped playing in a band for a bit and tried to write with no ensemble set ups in mind and just go where each song was telling me to go.  Then I think I tried to synthesize all that into the sound of the band today, then I tried to tailor my guitar sound from a perspective as to what serves each song.

TR: List of Guitars you play?

MH: a 90’s Gibson 135,  a 90’s Epi Les Paul,  60’s Hagstrom,  Luthier Classical, and Yamaha acoustic.  I don’t remember the years on any of them.

TR: What gauge and brand of strings do you use and what material are your strings made of?

MH: 11 gauge, D’Addario’s, nickel

TR: Have you ever gotten any custom work done on your guitars?

MH:  I customized my Hagstrom with two separate output and pickup systems.  I’m still tweaking that idea a bit to get a cleaner tone and choice of each string.  I am in the process of designing some specific pick-ups for that idea.

TR: A trusted Luthier?

MH: Me, right now but I’m looking for a trained professional who really knows what they are doing.


You can check out Michael Hannigan and My Antenna at

Mike from My Antenna playing a borrowed White Les Paul

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