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On The Grind with Hang Tight

On The Grind with Hang Tight

Hang Tight is a pop punk band ready to rock their way into the big leagues.  Formerly known as Picture Perfect, Hang Tight presents a new beginning for this hard working New Jersey based collective.  Hang Tight’s high energy debut Grind EP has been unleashed via Standby Records, and they are on tour with His Dreams Of Lions all throughout the month of December.  We recently caught up with Hang Tight’s charismatic front man Pete Zengerle to find out more about this dynamic band on the rise you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the New Year and beyond…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Hang Tight, and how long the band has been together.
Yo! I’m Pete! I sing and play guitar in Hang Tight, we’ve been a band for technically almost two years, but we just put out first EP last month.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of central Jersey. The local scene in New Jersey is thriving, from New Brunswick basement shows to the hardcore scene along the shore to VFW hall shows in the suburbs.

How did you wind up signing with Standby Records?
We were stuck in a seemly never ending cycle of talking to labels and one day I saw a post by Standby on Facebook, so I shot them an email. Standby was the first label to give us their full confidence from the start. There was no convincing needed, they heard our music and believed in it. We’re happy knowing that our label has got our back!

Is there any overall story or concept behind the EP title Grind?
So when we were touring with our old band Picture Perfect, we always heard the term Grind from other bands that we were on the road with. It means keep chipping away at your goal until it finally materializes. Also grind has a double meaning for us, because we all love skateboarding haha

Select two songs from Grind and what inspired the lyrics.
The Rents – This song was written when I had just been kicked out of my parents house. I had to no money. No car. Just my studio equipment. I wrote and demoed out The Rents in one night to get out all my frustration.

Pretty In True Blue – This song was written about a girl I had been engaged to who passed away. Sometimes the only way I can cope with things is to write about them.

Who produced Grind and what was it like working with them?
I actually ended up recording and producing the EP, but we did get it mixed by James Paul Wisner who worked on some huge bands like Paramore, New Found Glory, and Underoath. Working with James was awesome, he definitely brought all our tones to the next level and he did a really good job at understanding what we were going for with our first release.

What made you decide to change the name of your band from Picture Perfect to Hang Tight?
Picture Perfect was definitely a learning experience for us. We had gone through so many different members and different sounds, it was time to start fresh with Hang Tight and have a focused sound/mentality.

When you look back on your Picture Perfect recordings, what do you think of them now?
Sonically… it makes me want to slam my head into a wall haha I recorded and mixed all of PPs releases as I was still learning how to record and mix. But I will say every time I listen to old songs, they bring me back to the first tours we had, our first record deals, our first couple fans, and all the friends we made along the way.

What could one expect from a live Hang Tight show?
You can expect all around high energy! We sit around for hours everyday on tour, so when we finally get to play we make the most of every second.

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming your with His Dream Of Lions?
Well first off, we’re all always excited to tour in general! But I’m excited to hang out in Nashville! We have only played there once in the past but didn’t get a lot of time to explore the city. So I’m pumped we have an off day there so that we can eat some local food and head bang to country music.

If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Its hard to pick one, so I’ll just say a bunch haha. First off… Pantera, because they’re the heaviest band in the world. Next… Rage Against The Machine because they’re also the heaviest band in the world. Sum 41 and Blink 182 because those bands molded my entire life and my band will hate me for this, but I would really like to open up for Avril Lavigne. Why? because Avril Lavigne is sick.

What’s up in the New Year for Hang Tight?
We’re going to be touring as much as possible. Also I’ve been documenting our tours with my camera, so you can expect episode 1 of “Hang Tight Home Movies” to be out soon. We’ll also be putting some time aside in early spring to start writing a full length album.

Any final words of wisdom?
To anyone who read this: if you haven’t already… start a band, write some songs. It’s the most rewarding thing you will ever do. And when your new band is operational… Hit us up! We’d love to play a show with you.

Hang Tight is Pete Zengerle, Bill Cardella, Sterling Drake, and Montana Voegtlin

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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