We recently did an interview with Hard Fall Hearts who describe themselves with this quote “We came here to rock your ass and chew bubble gum…and we are all outta bubble gum!” love it
How would you describe your music?
Bryan- It’s a mix of punk and rockabilly that has been termed “punkabilly.” But at the end of the day it’s all rock n’ roll really. 😉
Eli- Can’t we just call it Rock n roll haha!?? Too many sub-genres to keep track of these days…
Tell us about the history of the band?
Bryan- Hard Fall Hearts was started way back in 2008. I was fronting a more rockabilly trio, The Handsome Devils, that I had started at the time. However after a few years I decided I needed to get a more dedicated rhythm section so I put the feelers out for new players in the area. It was then that I met our first bass player Ian aka “Rocket” who was playing in another band with our drummer Eli. They were looking to get out of their current jump blues project and try something a little harder musically. As the story goes, we played our first show 24 hours after our first rehearsal. This is what inspired us to name our first album, ‘Last 24 Hours’. Eli and I have been rockin’ ever since. Andrew is our fourth bass player and he’s been with us for going on 4 years now. It’s been great having him in the band and we all click very well musically. The name, Hard Fall Hearts, derives from our belief that we are very passionate about what we do. In essence, our hearts have fallen hard for our brand of music. We seek to evoke some sort of emotion from our fans thru our music and at our live shows. We want you to feel a connection with us and what we do, not just be background noise.
Eli- Yeah, we’re gonna celebrate 10 years of playing together this coming March 2018! It’s been a lot of fun. We’re also excited about our upcoming Fall European tour. It will be our 4th time heading over the big pond. Each tour seems to get better and we meet more amazing friends and fans over there. We’ve also toured pretty extensively throughout North America and really love touring the West Coast especially! It’s our own backyard ya know…
What are your influences/ musical heroes?
Bryan- Green Day was a big influence on me in my youth. I really liked Billie Joe’s guitar/vocal style and stage presence. These days my guitar style owes a lot to Chris Cheney from the Living End. I’m always amazed at his technique and songwriting capabilities.
Eli- I was always really into 2nd wave punk, dark wave, ska/rocksteady, and Oi growing up. I’m from Generation X and started attending punk shows in the mid 80’s. My first show was The Circle Jerks with JFA. I love everything from The Cult to Social Distortion, Cocksparrer, The Specials, Misfits, The Smiths, TSOL. I really love drummers like Stewart Copeland from The Police. I think John Bonham is one of the best drummers to have ever lived even though I’m not a huge fan of Led Zeppelin. I’d prefer to listen to his isolated tracks haha!
What inspires you?
Bryan- I’m always inspired by great musicians of any genre who are dedicated to their craft. Those that constantly strive to be better or expand upon what they already have achieved. In my songwriting I would say that life and my experiences are my biggest pool of inspiration. For me it’s always easier to write about something I know about or have experienced first hand.
Eli- Life in general inspires me! I think I’ve learned a lot and that fear is really an illusion we create in our own minds! As soon a you’re free of fear, there’s really nothing holding us back from our dreams. I’m inspired by true talent and songwriting that comes from the heart. Of course we are an “edgy” type of band but we really need melody and dynamics as well. A healthy balance of rocking the f*ck out and emotion!! Songs that give me chills inspire me!
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
Bryan-I usually don’t write on the road. I find the road to be too distracting for any kind of serious songwriting to get done. I have scribbled down a few lyrical ideas while on the road but that’s about it. I tend to write at home where I can really focus and develop a song before I bring it to the band.
Eli- I actually have written a few songs for us (generally just the lyrics). Then we usually compose the rest of the song together as a band. I actually wrote the words to our 2013 EP title track “Die Before We Die” in Bonn Germany while on tour in 2011. I’m really into eastern philosophy and that phrase in a book I was reading at the time really resonated within me. If you think about it….it’s a way of being free of “self” during our lifespan a way of putting self to death before we die. It’s quite a liberating feeling!
What is your favourite song to perform live?
Bryan- It changes from time to time but honestly, I really enjoy playing ‘Sweet Savannah’ off our 2013 EP. I just really enjoy playing the solo!! It’s got a good groove!! Haha!!
Eli- We usually play a medley about mid set most nights. A cover of The Cure “Just Like Heaven” and then straight into an original song called “To Remember”. Fun stuff!!
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
Bryan- I would really love to go on tour with Green Day!! Aside from the fanboy in me losing his shit, I think it would be a great learning experience. I mean those guys have such a strong work ethic and are constantly pushing themselves to give the best shows they can night after night.
Eli- To be honest just go out and rock with some of our dear friends bands from Japan, Europe and UK!! Not huge, well know names…it would be Hard Fall Hearts, Graveyard Johnny’s (UK), The Sewer Rats (Germany) ,and Dice for Lights (Japan). Of course if someone like Morrissey asked us to support a tour, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm!!
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
Bryan- What music industry?!! Hahaha!!! The old business model for the music industry is definitely dead and it has been for awhile. Artists aren’t discovered in the same way as they used to be and certainly don’t make the same kind of revenue that they used to from their music. It seems bands have to rely mostly on touring now to have a sustainable career. I suppose I do like that there doesn’t seem to be any particular trend in music these days. I mean any type of song from any genre could be a hit. That opens the doors of opportunity up to DIY (do it yourself) bands like us for sure.
Eli- Yeah, it’s a whole new world out there. Actually so many great opportunities if you’re willing to work hard. Yes DIY is the majority of what we do, but we still get help from our record label Splatterhouse Wreckords http://splatterhousewreckords.com/ Big thanks to Patrick for that! Also we have some endorsements like Gretsch guitars http://www.gretschguitars.com/ and T-Cymbals http://tcymbals.com/ etc. Also the digital distribution industry has gotten better at paying bands for downloads and streaming. But yes I agree with Bryan that most bands revenue is usually touring and selling merchandise!!
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
Bryan- After almost 10 years it’s hard to remember every little silly thing that’s happened on tour but I suppose a few stand out. Waking up in our hostel in Belgium to find one of our former bass players drunkenly pissing in the corner of the room cause he thought he was in the bathroom definitely stands out. Haha!!! Another time we were staying at a venue owners place after a show and the owner’s big ass dog had wandered into the room I was staying in in the middle of the night and stood still at the end of the bed quietly growling. I thought to myself, “oh great, this dog doesn’t know who I am and is gonna rip my leg off right here!!” I was too afraid to move and potentially startle the dog so I laid as still as I possibly could, closed my eyes and braced for the attack. I’m happy to say I still have both legs. 😉
Eli- Haha, yeah I remember the time our drunk bass player peed in the hotel room! I actually tapped him on the back and tried to stop him but he nearly peed on me so I let him do his business! The Belgian housekeeper was not too pleased with us to say the least. That was hilarious! As far as weird, I’d have to say the time we opened for a band called The Quakes for a Halloween show in San Bernardino California. The stage, sound, and lighting were horrible so they decided to walk off stage mid set. This caused the crowd to riot and attack the band. The lead singer Paul Roman was punched in the face. A couple years later we were at JFK airport discussing that night and our bass player at the time informed us that Paul was pissed because he thought Bryan was the one who punched him in the face!! Basically we explained that Bryan wasn’t the culprit and all is good with our mates The Quakes now haha!
What are your future plans?
Bryan- Right now we’re gearing up for our fourth European tour to help promote our new live album, ‘Hard Fall Hearts: Live At The Merrow’. We recorded it right here in our hometown of San Diego and had a blast making it. We’ll be heading out towards the end of October and will spend about a month over there. We’re really looking forward to seeing old friends/fans and of course making new ones along the way. After that we come home and get to work on crafting some new material for a 2018 release. I’m really excited about that and I’m sure our fans will be too!!!
Eli- We’ll be traveling to some amazing venues in some familiar countries, but also visiting Switzerland for the first time! Keep track of all our tour dates at http://hardfallhearts.com/ . Look out for our new EP in 2018. Keep on rockin on!!