Hard Ons: “…..we still act like we have nothing to lose.”

The Hard-Ons. Simply our favourite band ever here at Rip It Up. 25 years + umpteen albums on – still as vital as ever.
Ray Ahn was kind enough to fill us in on whats been going recently;
A hectic time at Hard-Ons HQ then Ray? – a new drummer, a new wife, the mother of all re-issue anthologies, tours, ‘sideline’ band activity….sleep is overrated anyway isn’t it?!
It has been reasonably stressful but also it has been worthwhile. The SMELL MY FINGER reissue I think most people will enjoy the new packaged version.
It was a lot of work. In one case the original master tape had to be rescued via ALBERT studio and cleaned up, it was a slow and laboured process. For what? a muddy sounding Stooges cover. But I was happy to be preserved as these things are important, if not to everyone, to the members of the Hard-ons and a handful of Hard-ons fans.
CD 1:
Smell my finger 12″
Hot for your love baby 12″
All Set to go 7″
Surfin’ on my face 7″
Girl in the sweater 7″
CD 2: Live stuff and demos from this era including “Why march when you can riot” compilation stuff and unreleased stuff from the sessions: SHOW US WOT YA GOT, COFFS HARBOUR BLUES, SQUATHOUSE, SCHOOL DAYS,1970…..
All remastered. Digitally restored original artwork.
New liner-notes from participants. Never before published photographs from the archives.
Apart from the fact that Murray [recently replaced the terrific Pete Kostic after his 10 year stint on drums] has a fine grind-core pedigree, I don’t know that much about him. Could you give us the lowdown on your new sticksman?
Murray has been into punk music since the 80s as a little lad. He is also in CONATION a melodic HC band. Murray is a fantastic drummer and a very nice guy who is very easy to be around, as he is very accommodating and personable.
He is into a lot of modern day punk and metal so through Hard-ons he discovers a lot of classsic old stuff while Blackie and I hear about exciting new bands, that may normally bypass the ears of old men like us. Murray had a lot of Hard-ons songs well memorised as he had a lot of our LPs already. That was a big help of course.
Above – Hard-Ons lineup l-r: Peter”Blackie”Black-Guitar/Voc   Ray Ahn-Bass/Voc/Artwork   Murray Ruse-Drums
What was the reason for deciding to do the 5-part Anthology – Is it just like a bookmark in the ongoing Hard-Ons story?
Many emails were received asking for older titles. It’s only fair that these LPs get reissued. They’ve not been available since the early 90’s…
I’m not the biggest nostalgic around, sooo if I’m brutally honest I would have preferred to have 2 new Hard-Ons albums rather than a 5-album retrospective [don’t get me wrong I’m excited about it and will be buying them all!]. Any views on the trend for ‘older’ bands playing the ‘Cabaret-set’  like they do on the big nostalgia festival circuit? [This was noticeable at the Garage gig with you last year – The Test Tube Babies were fantastic but played almost the same set
as I saw them do in 1984!!!]
Hard-ons have only managed to survive by having the same attitude that served us well: to not look back, not look down but just continue to do new stuff.
Even when people in the crowd are yelling at us to play just old stuff.
Nothing more pointless than nostalgia being the norm.
Nostalgia I feel should be not the focus, rather just a simple byproduct when a look back happens every now and then. We had to reissue our back catalogue as it was better than saying GO TO EBAY constantly to fans.
Now that it has happened the members of Hard-ons can be nostalgic momentarily, then move on forward. Many bands allow nostalgia to enslave them. A fear of failure in continuing to grow and a warped over-reliance on the successful past will eventually destroy and mock them. That will not happen to Hard-ons as we still act like we have nothing to lose. Afterall it’s just a band and if we break up tomorrow it really is no big deal.
Blackie’s solo project – I love his one-man stuff – But also I think they would sound fabulous as full-band Hard-Ons tunes!!! What do you think?
There is new Nunchukka Superfly [Ray + Blackies other band] stuff out soon?
NS have recorded the basic tracks for our new album. It is utterly and absolutely fun to play in that band, if anything that band has even a more free approach to a MUSIC CAREER.
Blackie’s tunes would be good with an amplified band but to be honest that would really defeat the purpose of his minimalist approach. His new album in a lot of ways is far less minimal than Hard-ons as it has string arrangements etc.
Here in the UK, the much-missed John Peel and his monstrous record archive is about to go public – See the piece below + here [http://thespace.org/items/s000004uI’m guessing you have a sizeable collection? [Ray still works in a record-shop] What are your most prized records?
I have SAINTS I’M STRANDED on the FATAL records, I have two VICTIMS singles, Original mono first two 13th floor elevators LP, a BEATLES 10 inch that was made by someone at EMI of Strawberry Hills outtakes that was from a master tape secretly taken into the cutting room…whereupon about 30 10inch records were cut…PRICELESS
So do yourself a big favour and go and buy anything or everything by them.
UK release of the re-issue will be out on Boss Tuneage shortly.
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