Rose Tattoo’s Never Too Loud, released in 1997 through Repertoire Records Germany, was a Popumentary Series, spanning the band’s career at the time.
Now, 22 years on, The Hard-Ons, join Rose Tattoo on their Still Never To Loud tour heading out nationally. Thirty-five years since their formation, the Hard-Ons have amassed an unprecedented and never-to-be-paralleled seventeen consecutive number one releases on the Australian alternative charts, making them one of Australia’s most commercially successful independent bands. Their cult following extends into Europe and the UK, and as of 2019, their brand of unapologetic punk rock has never sounded better.
The band are fresh out of the studio having just finished recording their 12th studio album due to be released later this year. Strap yourself in for an explosive night of unadulterated rock and punk power pop to heighten the senses on the Still Never Too Loud shows! Ray Ahn answers a few quick questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
How did the tour with Rose Tattoo come about?
Rose Tattoo approached us. We are friends with them
Have you thought much about the type of set you might play on this tour?
NOT AT ALL. We will play our usual set. A bit of stuff from all periods. We’ve been playing live since 1984 so there is a bit to choose from. We will play a few songs from our upcoming album So That I Could Have Them Destroyed. It is coming out locally on Music Farmers/ Inertia.
Do you like the challenge of being able to win over someone else’s crowd?No. We play our shows exactly the same way whether there are 20 people or 20, 000 people, whether they are our fans or somebody else’s. It should not matter.
Do you still love touring just as much now as you did in the beginning?
Yes especially if we end up in places we’ve never played before. In 2018 we played Clisson, and Mannheim for the first time. This year we will play Chelsea and Doncaster.
How do you feel looking back at 35 years of the Hard Ons?
It does not feel that long.
How do you celebrate the milestones?
Normally we do not.
Are you excited to be releasing your new album later this year?
Yes, because these days we do not release a new LP every year. That is just how it is. It will be our inaugural LP with the four piece line-up.
How do you think the Hard Ons sound has evolved over the years?
I think the heavy element has gotten heavier, the weird elements have gotten weirder and the pop elements have gotten even more melodic, and we play our instruments a bit better without losing an unhinged sound.
Was the recording process a relatively pain free process?
Recording is never ever pain free. It is ridiculously exhausting and sometimes stressful. There are doubts hovering at every turn. You have to make decisions on the run. It helps to do a great deal of pre-production, keeping a handful of things up in the air as well, in case some random from leftfield fluke happens too.
Beyond this tour what’s the plan for the Hard Ons?
We want to release our Record Store Day single Harder And Harder then release our album, and then, we want to tour Scandinavia and Japan eventually.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Rose Tattoo and The Hard-Ons this Friday at The Gov…