Hard-Ons interview

Photos by Corey Nichols

Emerging from suburban Sydney way (way) back 1982, the Hard-Ons hit their stride by ’84 and stuck their first record out in ’85. Countless releases have followed, and they’ve toured all over the globe playing their amped up rockNroll, which rarely ever follows convention.

Along the way they’ve collaborated with the likes of Henry Rollins and Poison Idea’s Jerry A. Their most recent studio album (“Most People are Nicer Than Us”) was a firestorm of hardcore and heavy metallic fury, whilst its predecessor “Most People Are a Waste of Time” saw them firmly in tune-soaked poppy punk mode. And their latest release is “Suck ‘n Swallow” a 25 track compilation on Boss Tuneage Records.

The Hard-Ons arrive back in Europe in March 2009 for a 5 week tour, including a few dates in the UK. Pete Craven sent guitarist/vocalist Blackie a few questions down the tube to Australia to jog a few memory cells…

By my reckoning you first came to Europe in 1988, 21 years ago… how many times have you toured since?

I’m pretty sure that this will be the 15th… or is it 16th… or is it… hmmm???

Is there a particular tour that sticks in mind?

Hahah! Some things stay with ya but not for the right reasons… umm – look they have all been an adventure … long tours do things to people but Europe is so killer to tour, the people so accommodating and fun that we LOVE coming back here again and again!

Are there any favourite spots you always look forward to?

I would have to say that Spain is a LOT of fun, as is Italy. For us it’s great that Europe is the size of Australia (maybe a little smaller) and in just a few short hours drive you’re somewhere completely different!

And anywhere you wouldn’t want to go back??!!

I don’t wanna answer!! Maybe some small towns in Eastern Germany are a little scary… or some of the northern little villages of England are strange. There is a father of a pretty girl in Copenhagen who has promised to kill me so… oh I’m sorry I’m making this up…

Do you keep a manual note of all the gigs you’ve played?? Have you got a grand total to give us?!!

I’ve lost mine and had to start again (again)… I’m up to 17!!

You must have a thousand stories to tell. It seems like every two-bit artiste is penning his/her memoirs these days… have you any such literary plans??

Well ya never say never, but right now I’m trying to finish writing a movie script! It’s about a group of misfits that save the world but have to fight on two different realms… its highly original and will have lots of kung fu…

I saw a nice picture of you guys being joined on-stage by Dave Grohl… how did you get to know him??

I met him on an on-line dating agency wayyyyyyyyy back… he’s very nice and knows how to please a woman…

Talking of drummers… I read you’ve got Gregor Eshman from (the ace) Jed Whitey is behind the kit for this tour… what’s the story there??

Peter has just had a baby girl and can’t leave his misses all alone with a new born. We didn’t even care if Greg drummed good or not, but he had to look great with his shirt off!!

You’ve got a new compilation CD out (“Suck ‘n Swallow” on Boss Tuneage Record) with 25 songs culled from the past 25 years of Hard-Ons recordings. How did you decide which tracks made the final cut?

We just picked the best 25 songs to do the dishes to. That’s what most people want music for!!

Track 25 is a brand new song; have you any more new recordings in the pipeline??

Yeah that new song is a beauty eh!! The next album is gonna be a killer and we will start recording it in June…

Ok, thanks for your time! But before I go… is there any way 25 years ago, when you started out, you thought you’d still be a Hard-On??? Was it a good career move??

Well I know I will always be playing music. Life is too short not to be doing something so awesome!!!!

Find the Hard-Ons this month at the following UK dates:

March 26th Sawyers, Kettering
27th Town Mill, Mansfield
28th Fighting Cocks, Kingston
29th Underworld, London
30th Prince Albert, Brighton