Interview : James Schmidt
The Hard-Ons kicked off their I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken tour – their first tour with new singer Tim Rogers – in March, only to hit a hurdle after the first three shows. Covid hit the band, and while they were able to go on and play later dates, their entire NSW run had to be postponed. Those shows – in Wollongong, Sydney, Newscastle and Avalon kicked off this week, and the band has also now announced a long anticipated run of West Australian shows in August.
The Hard-Ons‘ tour follows the unprecedented chart success and fantastic response to their new I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken album – their first with new singer Tim Rogers. As the shows too fate have proven, the tour is unmissable; the band is in magical form. The magic comes in part from the fact that Tim Rogers has proven himself the perfect new addition to the band, which in turn is partly due to the fact that he has long been one of the band’s biggest fans.
The Everblack Podcast sat down with Ray Ahn, bass god from Aussie punk institution The Hard-Ons. Ray talks about 40 years of punk, how the band have evolved over the course of an almost half centuary, how hard it is to get noticed by the mainstream when you name your band “The Hardons (and how much that doesn’t matter) and how their latest album, featuring You Am I’s Tim Rogers, is their biggest release yet.
Watch / listen to the interview here :
One of Australia’s most loved and influential bands from the mid- ‘80s through to now, the Hard-Ons came out of the multicultural South-West Sydney suburb Punchbowl and quickly won a large following nationally with their irreverent attitude and catchy, noisy high energy sound. Appearing on the Radio Birdman-influenced Sydney scene of the early ‘80s and preceding the punk-pop boom of the ‘90s, the Hard-Ons were a musical bridge and became a punk and alternative music sensation, blowing open doors by incorporating disparate elements – like a range of metal styles, from glam to thrash – which were previously unheard in Australian punk. All the while they were forced to push through other barriers; barriers that appeared because of their mixed ethnicity and their wilfully transgressive and irreverent nature, which was typified by their name, and by Ray’s outrageous artwork.
In their early days, the Hard-Ons shared bills with the likes of the Ramones and Nirvana and appeared on numerous Big Days Out. They scored a never-bettered 17 consecutive number 1s on the Australian independent charts and in 1989 were the only Australian band still based in Australia to hit the top 5 in the NME charts (the only Australian artists to have achieved that – Nick Cave and the Go-Betweens – had both been UK-based). Despite break-ups and the formation of other bands (Ray & Blackie’s other ongoing band Nunchukka Superfly) and, in Blackie’s case, a solo career, the Hard-Ons undertook their 19th European tour in 2018, when they played the massive metal festival Hellfest, alongside Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Joan Jett. Soon to celebrate 40 years together, their new album with new kid Tim Rogers is their 13th.
Over the years, the Hard-Ons have won the vocal support of artists like Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, and Jello Biafra. They’ve influenced subsequent generations of punk bands – from the Meanies to Frenzal Rhomb to Private Function – as well as a wide-ranging groundswell of Australian alternative artists – from You Am I to Spiderbait to Silverchair to Regurgitator to Magic Dirt to Powderfinger to the Dirty Three to the Chats – each of whom have been inspired by the Hard-Ons’ energy, free spirit and uncompromising dedication.
The Hard-Ons – ‘I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken’ is out now
Order here : https://bit.ly/3NUIxFp
The Hard-Ons kicked off their I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken tour :
Sat June 4 – Avalon, Avalon RSL (with guests Raising Ravens) – tickets here
The West Australian run is as follows:
Thu Aug 4 – The Prince, Bunbury TIX
Fri Aug 5 – Amplifier. Perth TIX
Sat Aug 6 – Indian Ocean Hotel, Scarborough TIX
Sun Aug 7 – Mojo’s, Fremantle TIX