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 willfully transgressive and irreverent nature, which was typified by their name, and by Ray’s outrageous artwork. “The Hard-Ons were and still are amazing” – Warren Ellis (Dirty Three/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
“(The Hard-Ons) should be in the ARIA Hall of Fame!” – Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus)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 will be 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.
“Hard-Ons are trailblazers!” – Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)
Stay tuned for the first product of the ‘new’ Hard-Ons – the single “Hold Tight” will be out August 13. The already-recorded album, I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken, is out October 8. Both will be coming to you via Cheersquad Records & Tapes.
Likewise keep an eye out for tour dates.