I N T E R V I E W
Keish of Hard-Ons
Pic O'Neill caught up with Keish of Aussie punks Hard-Ons, for a Q and A ahead of their Raglan show on 19th May with 5 Girls, Illicit Wah Wahs and amazingly, Mobile Stud Unit!
Keish (drums/vox) founded the band along with Blackie (guitar/vox) from their bedroom aged around 14 yrs old, after Blackie first saw the Sex Pistols on TV, and declared "We're gonna make a band like this!".
Initially on guitar, within a year Ray Ahn (bass) had joined and Keish took on drums and singing. Hard-ons roared into life with over 17 consecutive no1 singles on the Australian alternative charts between 1985 and 1993! Dozens of tours of Europe, Australia, Japan, US and New Zealand ensued, where the band sharing stages with Butthole Surfers, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Ramones, and Cosmic Psychos.
Pic: What are you listening to at the moment?
Keish: I've been revisiting Are We Not Men, we are" Devo " lately, and our bass player Ray put me onto Dungen, from Switzerland, I just downloaded their 2017 album so. They are a psychedelic rock band , they sound good in the car so that's good man.
What's on the radar for 2018?
We are putting out a new album, and we want it to be something special, something that people really stop and go 'WOW!' as we've never done an album as a 4 piece before. It's well underway, the last few weeks have been jamming new ideas and growing the album really. We've been busy with gigs , so it's nice to be jamming for a different purpose other than getting ready for a show, it's been a lot of fun.
Hard-ons are also returning for their 19th European tour...
Yeah, I think that's about right, We are playing a huge festival "HELLFEST" in France with ahh, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden headlining I think...Joan Jett, Hellacopters, also...it should be fantastic. I haven't played any festivals for a long time so really looking forward to that. Europe is such a good time for us, the people are so accommodating, the promoters all look after us well. You know touring can be really hard if you haven't got good people helping you out so it's great they look after bands so well over there and the crowds are really cool. Fun times!
Going back to the new album...what is the songwriting process for The Hard-Ons like?
Well Blackie is very prolific in creating material, (yes he is, solo he put out a studio song a day for the entire 2016 year! Plus (Psychedelic punkers) Nunchukka Superfly, so he comes in with plenty of songs and ideas.
Over a coffee, Blackie said to me we that need a new record as a 4 piece with you back in the band . So it's fresh for everyone in The Hard-Ons ya know...we have a formula for our sound, it will be some power pop, with punk n metal and melody in there as well. I've got some songs also so it's a new collaboration on an old formula, We won't stray to far, I remember "too far gone" kinda went over people's heads, we wanna keep our fans happy but also force 'em to take notice and be like 'WOW!; with the new material, take it to another level aye.
It's a winning formula...
Yeah mate ha ha I like it...hopefully it should keep us going for another 10-15 years.
You're back in NZ and Raglan within a year of your last visit...it had been quite some years between previous visits...
We just really enjoyed ourselves so much last time, the tour management and the Y.O.T club looked after us so well and the gigs were great with great bands Contenders & Illicit Wah-WahZ. The Y.O.T club was an absolute blast to play, a real loose party atmosphere, your'e very lucky there with such a great venue and owner. We met some great people and are amping to come back and deliver some new tracks for them and everyone who wants to get along for a piece of power pop/punk paradise!