Getting to see the The Hard Aches’s first show outside of their native Australia was fantastic. The band started off their set semi-reserved, clearly slightly unsure of what to expect being so far from home. However, it was incredible to see a band gain confidence so quickly with the groups of fans singing nearly every word back at the band having an obvious effect. After a gorgeous collab on ‘Happy’ with Muncie Girls’ singer, Lande Hekt, the band closed their set off with a large crowd singalong with favourite, ‘I Get Like This’. A successful first show for the band’s 12 date run of the UK.
Here’s what vocalist and guitarist, Ben had to say before the show:
For anyone who doesn’t know you already, how would you describe The Hard Aches?
We’re a 2 piece band, that sings about things that people are scared to talk about, from Australia.
Geographically, Australia’s a lot bigger than The UK. How do you start being able to branch out and play different places?
Through pure stupidity. I’ve been touring since about 2009 non-stop and it didn’t get to the point where it was managing itself financially until like a couple of years ago. I love bringing bands over from overseas or being with bands from overseas because they don’t really grasp how far away everything is. Sometimes you’re driving 12 hours between gigs and it’s just fucking insane. It’s obviously not good for morale but if you want to do it you’ve got to really fucking commit to it in Aus which is cool. Obviously we get to fly everywhere which people find very weird but it’s still annoying as shit being on airplanes every single day so I would trade to be able to get in a van, drive, and sleep in the van like they do it over here over what we’ve got to do back home any day. It’s brutal.
What are you expecting from the UK, have you been here before?
Never, so it’s really cool! It’s nice driving around and recognising heaps of names of places and landmarks mostly from songs, it’s been really cool. But yeah we’ve never been this far from home before especially for music, we’ve actually both never even travelled before! It feels exactly like back home just on the other side of the globe. We don’t have any pre-existing expectations of what the shows are gonna be or what the crowds are gonna be like or if people are gonna like us. We’re just stoked to be over here playing music and getting to play you know? It’s cool that we’re doing such a pretty intense UK tour because we’re going everywhere. We were in Exeter a couple of nights ago then in Bristol last night and now we’re in Manchester and tomorrow we’re gonna be somewhere else, it’s really cool to get to see everywhere that’s not just London and the bigger places.
How was the reaction when you brought out your second album?
Really good. It was really nice because it was the first album that we felt one hundred percent stoked about how everything went with it. Production-wise, song-wise and even release-wise. We haven’t really done a tour back home yet to really gauge how it went there; the tour we did for the album started on the same day as the album came out so we’re going back after this tour to do our next headline Australian tour. It’s gonna be cool to really gauge the reaction for the new songs because it’s the first time that people have had a while to sit on it and either learn the songs or hate the songs. It’s gonna be cool to see what they’re digging because we’re obviously able to play a lot more of the new album and we’re going to be really excited for that. Here like we’re doing shorter sets and it’s our first time over so it’s a bit of a mix match of everything. But yeah, we one hundred percent achieved everything we wanted to achieve from the record which is awesome.
What can people expect from your first UK headline shows?
We get to do a longer set, we get to play more songs obviously and have a bit more of like a hang out with the audience kind of vibe show rather than having to finish everything in 30 or 40 minutes. I’m really looking forward to that. The coolest thing for us is being able to see the other bands that we’re gonna be playing with which is sick ‘cause most of them we don’t know the people or their music, they’ve just been recommended to us. We love meeting new bands and we love the fact that we get to do that with our own shows in the UK is really cool. We’re stoked.
You’ve got some pretty cool music videos and the new video for “I Feel Like I’m Dying” is maybe your best! How did the idea for that video come about?
We’ve been sitting on that idea for a long time! We didn’t know what song we were gonna push next from the record and that was the song that kind of made most sense with that video and it just kind of came together pretty easily. The song’s very short and because as much as there’s like a story line to it, it’s really just an unfortunate and a fortunate series of events so it’s quite easy to come up with a whole bunch of ideas. We got to work with our friend Kieran who we’ve done a few videos with now and he’s absolutely killing it. The idea of doing the simultaneous days was a bit of a challenge finding things that weren’t gonna be boring the other way round. Kieran is very, very talented, we just give him an idea and he comes to us with “how about we do it like this” or “how about we try it like this”, we trusted him again and he fucking nailed.
Finally, any Australian bands you reckon the UK should be made aware of?
There’s so many Australian bands. My favourite Australian band at the moment is a band called Bugs, they’re killing it. They’re a very, very special band. My other favourite band would be this band called Waxx. There’s honestly so many great bands in Australia, there’s great bands everywhere but you know we’re lucky to be friends with these bands that we also consider our favourite bands. It’s really nice to you know you’re surrounded by these bands that you love as people and as musicians.
By Mike Gardner