Hard-Ons' Ray Ahn On New Single "In Falls Everything," Touring, You Am I, KISS, The Chats & More

Hard-Ons' Ray Ahn On New Single

Show Video

it's the palro cast now with Daren Bel  let's get ready to listen to your favorite artist outro thank you for taking the time uh good  morning right it's the absolute earliest morning   for you right now right 6: a.m. yeah 6: a.m. is  not too bad at all it's it's uh I wake up early   anyway so that's fine wow were you always this  way because punk rock people usually get up at   two or three uh I have to tell you Darren I'm I'm  not punk rock at all um I've got two kids and I've   got a family so I wake up early to make lunch uh  like you know um breakfast and lunch for them and   stuff and get them ready for school anyway so  fine well stylistically you're still punk rock   even though you're showing Thin Lizzy influence  on one of the new singles oh we love Thin Lizzy um   yeah I think we're we we just happen to play punk  rock but um uh I think as people we're not really   pure punk people um a lot of a lot of my friends  are like that we grew up in the suburbs we don't   have that you know we don't have that punk rock um  uh mentality we I I think we we're we're more like   classic rock people that happen to uh like a lot  of punk so we just kind of drifted into it Punk   was happening because it was kind of uh a lot of  fun you know right well my first exposure to your   band was the very exciting album I was sent it to  be reviewed for this punk rock scene here in New   York and then a couple years later I saw that  you were collaborating with one of my favorite   comedians Neil hamburger and then suddenly you  realize wow hardons is a Legendary Legendary   band and this is fantastic stuff but in the US  unfortunately it's a cult thing when's the last   time you got over to the states sadly we haven't  been there since 2006 um which is uh hell of a   long time ago when you think about it it's like 17  years ago um yeah yeah it's it's just too uh we'd   love to go there again really soon we love we love  playing the states um because it's like a parallel   universe it's uh very similar to Australia in a  lot of ways but it's um I don't know if you've   been to Australia but it's completely different  uh the the states is a different to any other   place we've ever been to but at the same time  it's very familiar because we've seen it on TV   and it's it's like obviously the world's uh most  influential country so um we know all about it   but at the same time it's still a shot when we get  there how different it is to Australia some of our   best friends here in New York originally from  Australia and the way they describe Australia   they're from New South Wales originally is that  there's the coasts and then there's the middle of   the country politically uh culturally Etc and it's  the same kind of thing in the states where what   happens on the coasts is usually very different  than the whole middle of the country um yeah I I   I noticed that too I mean I've Got Friends in  uh Portland Oregon I've Got Friends in um Los   Angeles and I've got lots of friends in New York  actually um and they think quite differently to   um uh they what they're saying is they they they  they don't really I think similarly to people from   say uh Mobile Alabama for example but I have  friends in um also Austin Texas and they seem   like they seem to be very similar to people from  New York to me yeah they say that there's Texas   and then there's Austin so is the outlier so uh  you know back to the fact that you have these   two new singles are they from a forthcoming full  length album or EP th those two singles are from   um uh that that an album called Ripper 23 which  is um that that should be that should be coming   out very soon in in the state as far as I know  through Golden Robot records in the states that   that's right yes Golden Robot is fascinating to  me because it's full of artists who have toured   at a big level ours who've had big record deals  but now they own their master and call their own   shots so in in other words Legacy artists who are  still making great music like yourself when did   you kind of realized hey let's control our own  career and not worry about the charts uh that   was when um I think I think the hardons have been  like that from day one uh we we've never worried   about the charts because um uh we called the  band The hardons which um which just meant that   when when we first started we just could not um  crack the charts at all I mean we we sold enough   records to uh make the charts at the time but um  uh the charts you know I mean we didn't get played   on radio we were never on television because of  the name of the band especially 40 years ago it   was considered reasonably offensive um but and  also also the fact that um uh by and large just   in Australia the the the music industry showed  um you know we we although we were at one stage   quite popular more popular than the bands that  were appearing on TV really um we just didn't   really um get um much interest from the mainstream  um music industry so you know we we've always felt   like we were not really a part of the of anything  we just always felt like we were just on our own   even even with the whole idea of punk rock I mean  um when when we started most of the Bands had um   you know kind of like spiky hair and stuff like  that for punk rock we we just didn't have that   kind of stuff and we always had long hair and  stuff so it just felt like um we didn't really   belong anywhere but um uh I I don't think it's the  most important thing uh belonging somewhere it's   it's good to it's good to be like um what's the  word um your own Island yeah yeah or an outcast   or whatever right a cottage industry a niche uh  whatever you want to call it your band is still   doing that all these years later and with uh Mr  Umi himself joining the band One thing I could   never figure out how exactly did that happen um  well when when we started um uh playing a lot of   shows and stuff one of the one of the young kids  that used to come and see us play was uh Tim from   Umi he he was like a fan of the band and um so  we became friends when he was a teenager uh and   I guess we would have been in our early 20s and he  was a teenager he's he's a few years younger than   us and so we've been friends for like 35 years  maybe longer so uh we've had a friendship for   a long time but uh we kind of didn't see each  other for a long time because um I'm not sure   about um the the his profile in in the States but  in Australia he's quite quite um busy you know uh   because he has a high profile so um uh we our path  didn't cross too much if you know what I mean um   so uh uh when we do catch up when we did catch up  every now and then it was always really good to   see him so uh one day just sh of the blue I just  called him and said look I um I haven't spoken   to you for maybe uh you know a whole year but um  would you want to uh sing on our new album and he   he said yes straight away but we've been friends  for a long long time and he knows the band really   well um so he he's very familiar with um the our  our that catalog he knows all the songs from you   know I mean the bands had a had a lot of record  out but he he he seemed to know every song from   every record so he was a perfect person to join  the band except for the fact that he's actually   obviously really busy so yes um yeah he's always  doing something um which is I mean which is a   great thing as well I mean um uh he's um yeah he's  a very talented uh young man well this is not that   young anymore but um is are you am I um uh quite  popular in the States and I think they should be   because uh they they seem to tour there reasonably  often it's the kind of thing where whatever the   profile is in Australia and the UK it's more of a  niche thing so in other words if you're playing to   15,000 people a night in Australia it's probably  playing to a thousand people here but the records   came out on major labels uh situations here in  the states it's just it didn't crack and I I my   theory would be it's very expensive to get a ban  from Australia to the states and put them on tour   when all the equipment has to be freighted there's  crew salaries Etc so at a certain point the major   label goes are we going to put our money to  this or put our money into the band that is   already here so I think that we have a history of  Australian bands who are Arena bands in the native   land and then come over here and it's a club band  like for example The Living End uh Club Band here   in the states G Club Band but if you you know do  your research you see wow these bands are playing   to 30,000 people at at festivals and stadiums  and then 300 people here in the states it's   this weird existence where you're Legends here  and cult Heroes here you know yes yes yes that   that that does make a lot of sense but um uh and  also um in a lot of cases I think um Australian   bands are so um uniquely uh a Australian and they  sing about Australian things and and um they they   sound Australian so that that might not resonate  on a ma u m major scale with um people from other   countries but uh they they're very popular here I  mean greenspoon and uh living and uh like I mean   almost every single person in Australia know  knows the names of those bands here but in the   case of the chats uh I think they are so overthe  toop Australian that it appeals to everybody if   that makes sense oh yeah that would be that effect  would be something like crocodile dunde you know   yeah so it's by taking crocodile dunde and um uh  people's uh idea of uh what Australia is in a in   a a caricatured and cartoon kind of a way and  apply that to um very catchy punk rock uh and   then uh give it to the rest of the world and they  understand it because it's been presented in a uh   direct um caricatured way there there is no um  little nuances that uh that that that might be   lost it's it's completely um uh in yourf face and  understandable uh it's similar to what you know   um um well Paul Hogan and um um uh the the movie  was about but I'll have to say I'm a big fan of   the chats there yeah firstly they're incredibly  nice people and secondly the music is so catchy   that it you know it's hard to dislike you know  yeah I I if I was going to do the mount Rush more   to use an American term of Australian stereotypes  that people think are real but aren't I would say   crocodile dunde the chats Foster's beer and the  back steakhous and yes yes but but hey back to   you in the hardons what's coming up besides the  new record in the singles is it Festival season   coming up within the next six months that steady  touring well we we have to basically quite frankly   we have to regroup uh we have to um uh we have  to figure out when at the moment Tim's touring   a lot with his other project our Lee singer so  at the moment uh We've uh retreated to all all   of us have retre to um our personal music projects  other than the hardons and also um uh the three of   us uh me the guitar player and the drummer are  in the studio um getting new songs together um   all the time um we're just waiting to uh figure  out what we we're going to do uh based on Tim's   um uh availability so at the moment uh we're  unsure about um what shows we have coming up   but the moment uh Tim is able to tell us I have  this time available we we'll just do whatever uh   we can whether it might be going to Japan Europe  or the states um but we' we'd love to but a big   plan would be to come to the states for sure um  uh we we'd love to go uh we haven't been there for   such a long time and uh uh even if we play like  one show I'd like to go there because um it it's   such a fascinating place for better and for worse  it is so if we can summarize Tim is basically uh   in exess to Jimmy Barnes is uh to hardons to Tim  where you go I don't know what he's doing can we   get him I don't know um well we kind of do know  and he's he's very um do know what he's doing   and his calendar seems to be very full so i' I'd  say there's a uh we're trying to um shoehorn him   into maybe touring uh the states later in the  year uh next year yeah we'd love to go um uh we   don't necessarily have to go to uh say de Mo Iowa  unless there's a really good offer if there's a   really good offer only de Mo you're doing a casino  residency in De Mo okay well the reason I say this   is because um uh we we it's looking like we can't  to the last time we toured USA it was for four   weeks but it's more likely that we could already  go for say two weeks because of um schedule of   everyone's lives and things like that right so  but um I've looked at the map of uh the states   and uh it's a very big country and uh there are  a lot of big big cities to travel to so I I think   what we would do is probably stick to places like  New York and um uh places where we know um there   will be interest in the band like Baltimore uh we  seem to get a lot of emails from people there uh   uh San Francisco Los Angeles we we would probably  play if we could we'd go to Austin because we seem   to get a lot of last time we played Austin it was  really successful um uh it was very successful in   places like our I mean it was very successful in  places like um Portland Oregon for example that   we seem to do really well there um so we'd like  to play places where we know there' be people   turning up I mean um so no disres to um de Mo  iy at all I mean I've only been there a couple   of times in my life and um uh um but yeah we just  we just wanted to go to places where um we we know   we could um do reasonably well if you know the  same places s to interrup the same places Neil   hamburger would do really well because people  get it and that's that oh exactly and um I mean   Neil Neil's he's my all-time favorite comedian  and um even even now when it comes to Australia   when people don't understand him they get really  offended and they yell Abus and stuff and it just   EGS him on and you know um you know um you know  the one somebody was I remember 10 years ago   somebody was absolutely giving it to him from  the crowd and screaming at him to get off and   and Ne Neil hamburger just replied please spit  the come out of your mouth before speaking to me sir so funny yeah the before I ask my last  question here they he was brought on tour by   Tenacious D at the peak of them playing Arenas  and I think the point was just to incite and   anger the audience because most of the audience  did not know what that was that Neil was doing   so I think when you get it you're a fan for life  and not everybody gets it but yeah no no no but   you know when um when the uh the the hardons did  a show and um uh tenacious they were in town and   both of them turned up to our show and um I went  up to um both of them and gave uh the the the   seven in record that we did with Neil hamburger I  gave that to Jack Black and the other guy I come   his name yeah Kyle yes and I and um Kyle just  looked at it and and grunted and walked away   but Jack Black was like oh thank you thank you and  he and he was really grateful you know yeah uh and   Jack Black's wife most people don't realize great  musician from a musical family who's had a lot of   record deals so they know music in that the black  household oh right right yeah well he he seemed   to know the hardons you know he um the the the  editor from um the editor from Rolling Stone rang   me and he said guess who's going to your show and  I said who Tenacious D I said oh oh do you want   me to put them on the guest list I said no they'  have already contacted the venue they're already   on the guest list and and I and I said I didn't  think they would know who the hard were and I   thought oh wait a minute they've been touring the  states with Neil hamburger so they would know us   through Neil hamburger and the editor said I Know  Jack Black already knew you he was really looking   forward to seeing you play so I was a bit shocked  there's a chance when we eventually see you in   the United States that a large percentage of the  crowd is just celebrities we'll put that rumor   out there that you're the uh American celebrities  favorite punk band and have been all these years   oh that'd be great I'd love to meet I'd love  to meet more American celebrities I like I like well my last question which is a a dumb one  but you said before that classic rock has been a   big part of your musical DNA as opposed to punk  now kiss there were years when kiss could only   tour Australia they had no following in the US  and they couldn't really get tours was kiss one   of those bands that made you want to play music  early on oh yeah that that were my first love I   love kiss um they they um when I was young I put  out a I help put out a a tribute record to kiss   uh with um lots of different bands um doing kiss  covers the hardons did one Nana did a song for   it and the Melvin the come on and uh is it called  to believe Do You Love Me by Nirvana was on that   compilation yes that was a first time that song  appeared on that uh compilation you did that so   I'm sorry yes yes I put that together I put  that together for the hardons record company   at the time Waterfront records because uh that  was specifically referenced I think by Dave Gro   in an interview a week or two ago he was on  Conan O'Brien and they were talking about how   Steve Albini prank phone called uh Jean Simmons  pretending to be Kirk Cobain so you're responsible   for that Ray yes that's right so you just created  musical history Without Really realizing that no   no I I I I didn't even really know who Nana were  I I'd heard of the name of the band but um our   record company uh at the time Waterfront records  in Sydney they said uh there's a band in in in   this in um um Seattle called Nana they want to be  on this compilation so so they're going to be on   it I said yeah let's hear it and and I heard the  tape and I thought it was fantastic and um they   actually bleach was actually released in Australia  on the same label so we were label mates with Nana   but at the time not many people knew and and we  knew Dave of course we knew Dave Gro um from um   uh his his other band Scream because hard on  played with scream in in um uh uh in um London   uh Birmingham we played with him in uh couple  of times in in the states as well in 1988 so   um but at the time when that single came out Dave  wasn't in in Nana so I didn't really know any of   the people in Nana at that time at all but uh  and they were the there were some offs School   band from Seattle at the time um and when when  Dave joined um when Dave joined um uh Nana he   he came out to Australia uh and we caught up and  uh and we play with them at at this big festival   called the big day out festival and um and uh our  lead singer for that show was Henry Rollins from   Black flag so he was our L singer for that show  and uh uh so um it was um a pretty pretty great   uh a festival to play at but yeah we just um  yeah we we real the record with Henry Rollins   are doing an ACDC cover so Henry came out and and  he he was singing for us at that Festival um so   it was really bizarre when I when I think about  it I'm thinking well yeah it was such a long time   ago but it happened and um it was it was weird I  still think about I think it's really weird how   uh popular um Nevada became because you know you  just I just wouldn't have thought that you know   any of the people that I knew personally would  become that famous and and that's what happened I   mean I I I saw um food Fighters play um um and I I  went backstage to say hello to Dave and I said did   you see how many people people watching you play  uh this is a couple of years ago in in Australia   maybe maybe um five or six years ago before Co  and he said yeah I said I think there were 50,000   people there and he said and Dave Gro said to me  yeah I know every now and then I'll look at in   the crowd I think what's going on and and and uh  he said because I'm still the same guy and I said   yeah I know it's just really yeah it's it's it's  hard to believe yeah so same guy so summing that   all up the the ray story here is a lot of bumping  into Geniuses that you find out are kind of fans   and peers of yours so Tenacious D Nirvana Rollins  Etc so it seems like uh things are just exciting   still all these years later for the hardons that  the best is yet to come in a lot of respects oh   I I think I think we're we're um I think we're  we're lucky um um that we got a good attitude   towards the band I mean um we've never um thought  that we would make a career out of it we thought   it would just be something that we did because we  we really enjoyed um you know playing music was   something that we really enjoyed and we NE never  really thought about um uh this being um anything   other than uh a a lot hell of a lot of fun you  know something that's really important to do   but really fun and um uh so we we didn't put a um  any sort of uh pressure on ourselves to become you   know uh famous or anything like that and in fact  we got rid of that pressure from day one I think   by calling the band The hardons you know um For  Better or Worse um but I you know the whole idea   that um a band has a lifespan or you know somebody  has a used by dat is you know not necessarily true   for a lot of bands I mean some some bands uh  can continue for a very long time and still   play really good music and I and I hopefully the  hard on of one of those bands I mean I'm I'm in   my 50s now and um I don't feel that old I mean I  think the band's better than ever um so you know   I'd like to continue playing well thank you for  the many years of great art that's the best way   I can sum that up Ray oh thank you Darren thank  you for um having a quick chat with me outro cast

2023-11-14 16:08

Show Video

Other news