A staggering 30 years after their inaugural live concert at the Vulcan Hotel in Ultimo, Sydney, the Hard-ons have delivered to the world a mesmerising document of their current incarnation. Witness: PEEL ME LIKE A EGG. Tomatrax caught up with Ray Ahn to ask a few questions.
It’s 30 years since your inaugural live concert, did you think you’d be around for this long when you played that concert?
Not at all. We existed day to day, then it became week-to week very quickly once the band started getting a flood of gigs. Once we recorded, we started planning more and looking more into the future. At the beginning it was all very mysterious as to how long we would last and what sort of career we would have. We did not really look too far ahead initially. We were too busy fielding gig offers and practising
What made you pick Peel me like a egg as the title track?
It is my favourite track on the album so I suggested it to Blackie and Murray.
Your latest album has been described as your most adventurous, was that the intention when you started writing the album?
It is important for the Hard-ons to try to better each album. At this stage of our career if we try to just retrace our footsteps with our albums, we might as well give it away.
It is also your first album with drummer Murray Ruse, how has it been with a new member in the band?
Murray’s drummimg is very much appreciated. He is a very instinctive drummer and his approach really suits the nature of our band. The trick is to rein in the three of us with discipline so we never stop playing the “song”. Murray has excellent flexibility and swing to go with his power.
You recently played shows in Argentina, how did that go?
It is indescribable. We played to 700 on the second night and the promoter organised a last minute gig, where we handed out handbills at the end of the Saturday show and on Sunday we got 110 payers in a small room. It was good. The reception was just some of the best we had with lots of pople knowing the words to our songs etc. Some fans had waited more than 25 years to see us. Others had traveled to Europe to see us before
Given your large back catalogue, is it hard to pick what you play at your shows?
It is quite easy. Unless we are doing rare 30th anniversary shows we play the most recently written songs, this recent run of shows we will play a lot of songs from PEEL ME LIKE A EGG
You recently released deluxe re-issues of your back catalogue, what was it like to have your previous work re-released?
It was about time quite frankly. The original CD reissues were released after we had broken up so we should have put more input. Now, we own the rights to our back catalogue we are making sure they sound good and are jam packed with extras for the fans
The re-releases have a lot of bonus material, how did you pick what to include as the bonus material?
We mainly went for firstly outtakes from the album sessions. Then available FM broadcasts. Then available demos. Then live stuff. In a lot of cases we had no room for live stuff.
You’ve also been working on a new Nunchukka Superfly album, how does making music for Nunchukka Superfly compare with making music for the Hard Ons?
Same process but with less money.
When you write music do you know whether it will be a Hard-Ons or Nunchukka Superfly song?
It is quite obvious most of the time. Blackie who writes most of the music tends to know quite quickly. He takes into account things like the drummer’s rhythmic approach etc,
Across your music you cover various styles of rock from pop, to punk to metal, is there any musical style you’ve wanted to cover but are yet to?
I don’t think there is any need. If there is a need to do say Bossanova, one of us can form a new band
Do the Hard Ons have anything else planned for this year?
Less touring. I want to stay home with my family more. But eventually a new album and more shows
Hard-Ons’ shows are listed below. Check out the Hard-Ons’ facebook page to find out more!
Friday, 24th April 2015
Brisbane, Crowbar – QLD
guests: Goon On The Rocks & Walken
Satruday, 25th April 2015
Melbourne, The Tote Hotel – VIC
guests: Chainsaw Hookers, Batpiss, Flour