The Hard Way: Rocking It Rude and Crude on the Sunset Strip
Meet The Hard Way, a Los Angeles based collective rocking it out in the wilds of the Sunset Strip and beyond. Bringing the glory days of the Hollywood music scene back with all-out vengeance, The Hard Way packs the crowds in at venues such as the world famous Whisky. Their live shows feature super catchy tunes played by a tremendously talented and charismatic band, and super hot strippers dancing to the raging beats. With an upcoming show at The Whisky opening for the legendary Y&T on September 10th, expect The Hard Way to win over a whole new collections of fans in a big and glorious way! Here is a recent interview we conducted with Eric Jeffreys, the wondrously irrepressible front man for The Hard Way! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Hard Way, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Eric Jeffreys, vocalist for THE HARD WAY. I had been in a multitude of bands in the 80’s & 90’s ranging from Boston, MA to Los Angeles but had kinda gotten out of it when the industry collapsed. However, I kept writing songs because that’s what I love to do & once it’s in your blood, you can never completely walk away. In 2009, I met Joe Drock & we started recording this archive of material & found that we really clicked together. This was never supposed to be a band but really more of a vanity project but the material came out so strong that we felt the need to go out & play it for the people. Thus, THE HARD WAY was born…..
What do you think about our local Los Angeles music scene and how does The Hard Way fit into the scheme of things?
Honestly, the scene has really deteriorated over the years. With the loss of so many great live venues like The Country Club, FM Station, Cathouse, Lucy 51, Harpers, The Key Club & most recently The House of Blues, it’s getting tougher & tougher to bring what you do to the masses. Our home on the strip is The World Famous Whisky-a-gogo. We’ve done extremely well there & the owner, promoters & staff have become family to us. We’re really fortunate in that respect.
How did everyone meet in The Hard Way and what bands were you in prior to joining up to The Hard Way?
Joe Drock & I started this thing. Joe’s an incredibly accomplished guitarist that can literally play any style extremely well. Not only does he read music well but he’s also a very talented engineer/producer. Joe & I are the only 2 original members in the band.
After we opened for Michael Schenker at the Key Club in October 2012, we had to make some personnel changes. I’m really good friends with Howie Simon (Alcatrazz/Jeff Scott Soto/Nelson) & through Howie, I became acquainted with bassist Tim Luce (Alcatrazz) and was always extremely impressed with his talent, stage presence & candor. He also has an incredible voice & you’ll never find a nicer guy. Tim has loads of writing & producing credits to his name as well performing & recording with members of UFO, KISS, The Who, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper etc.
We met our other guitarist, Swedish virtuoso John Huldt at one of Howie Simon’s gigs here in town & we became fast friends. John is nothing short of incredible. He’s the advanced rock instructor at LA Music Academy & was voted the Guitar Player of the Year at the South Bay Music Awards in 2012. He’s immensely talented & is an “outside the box” kinda thinker so you never know what intricate, quirky thing he’s gonna come up with in the writing process. Which is a total blessing for us.
And last but definitely not least is Bobby Rock (Lita Ford/Vinnie Vincent Invasion/Alcatrazz/Slaughter/Hardline/Nelson). What can I say about Bobby that hasn’t already been said? He’s a fucking MONSTER!!! Best drummer I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. Bobby & I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston at the same time. Who would’ve ever thought we’d be playing in the same band all the years later? Again, I have to thank Howie Simon for hooking that up. Maybe he should get a credit & a residual for helping put this band together. LOL
Is Diabolical Bitch based on a true story?
Not only is it a true story but it’s also a reflection of how all gold-digging relationships always turn into shit. It’s a very relatable song because practically everybody’s got one of these skeletons in their closet. They suck you in & walk all over you. And it’s not just girls that do this. I know quite a few douchebag dudes that milk women out of their money while they’re busy fucking all their friends & anything else they can get their hands on. This is Hollywood for Christ sakes. This town is loaded with these people. Sad but true.
Select two other The Hard Way songs and what inspired the lyrics.
Hahahaa…well we’ve got a new song called CUM that’s about an AIDS infected hooker that has to prostitute herself on Hollywood boulevard to feed her heroin habit. So that’s a fun one. Lol
We also have another new one called POLICE BRUTALITY and with all that’s going on in the news about cops beating, brutalizing & murdering unarmed citizens in the streets, it kinda speaks for itself. They almost always walk away scot-free with no indictments or even reprimands. They actually go on PAID administrative leave til people forget about it & then they’re back out on the streets terrorizing us again. See….you probably don’t wanna get me started on that fucking subject. lol
What could one expect from a live The Hard Way show?
A full house!!! We haven’t played a single show that wasn’t completely sold out in the last 2 years. We’re rude, crude & socially unacceptable & we’re absolutely gonna kick you in the teeth. Lots of punch & precision as well as the extremely sexxxy HARD WAY DANCERS!!! I wanna give a special shout out to my girls Coco Cline, Stephanie Metcalf & Juliett. Those girls can really light up a room & the fans really love them.
Who are some of the bands you have opened up for in the past? Any particularly memorable experiences?
Geez, we’ve opened up for practicably everybody…MICHAEL SCHENKER, GILBY CLARKE, WARRANT, KROKUS, LITA FORD, GREAT WHITE, FASTER PUSSYCAT, DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB, BULLETBOYS, RICHIE KOTZEN, ENUFF Z’NUFF, MICHAEL MONROE, STEPHEN PEARCY, TUFF, DIZZY REED, PRETTY BOY FLOYD, KIX, KEEL, TUFF, STEEL PANTHER….God the list goes on & on. I’m truly excited about our upcoming show at the Whisky with Y&T on September 10th. I’ve been trying to get on a bill with them for 5 years now so this one is gonna be a personal “big deal” for me. Another memorable experience for me was when we opened for ENUFF Z’NUFF a few years back when Donnie Vie was still in the band. Donnie’s my favorite songwriter & nobody can wrap themselves around a song quite like him… He’s one of my favorite singers as well.
If The Hard Way could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
As far as now….I want to go on tour in Europe with WASP. Blackie & the boys sound just as great as they always have & it’s such a powerhouse show. Also, a KISS show would be awesome! That question is so loaded with possibilities that it would take me forever to completely answer & forever for you to type out my response. Lol
Any strange or scary happenings while on the road or at a show?
I have to say that the strangest experience I’ve had in this business was back in the winter of ’84 when I was in the Boston band EXPOSE. We opened up for MOTORHEAD back when they were doing the 2 guitar concept with Wurzel & Phil Campbell. I was all of 22 at the time & this was the biggest bill I had ever been on. As soon as we hit the stage & before we played one single note, the crowd started chanting, “MOTORHEAD!!! MOTORHEAD!!! YOU SUCK!!! YOU SUCK!!!” over & over again. Talk about scaring the shit out of you…lol Eventually we turned the crowd around & even got an encore but it was definitely a trial by fire. Hahahaa…
What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
I like Canadian beer…Molson, Moosehead..that kinda thing. I have been getting into Guinness Extra Stout lately but it’s really more of a sipping beer. When you’re out partying in Hollywood you’re not really looking for a sipping beer. lol
Where is the best place to see strippers in LA these days?
At THE HARD WAY shows!!! The Hard Way Girlz (Coco Cline, Stephanie Metcalf & Juliett) are incredible dancers & unbelievably sexy. They will certainly keep your attention!!!
Any new music coming out in the near future – album or EP?
We’re in the process of recording our second album. We’re about 6 songs in & it absolutely has the punch of our live show. We’re hoping to have it out by the first of the year. We’ve been recording at NRG Studios in North Hollywood. Great facility with top of the line equipment. Their client list includes SLASH, BON JOVI, BUCKCHERRY, BLACK VEIL BRIDES, AFI, BUSH, DAVE NAVARRO, FOO FIGHTERS, DROWNING POOL, GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE, MOTORHEAD, etc. So this record is gonna be very slickly produced for us by our good friend Jon E Love (Love/Hate). He’s also our stage manager & sound engineer for our live shows so he knows us & our sound extremely well.
What’s up next for The Hard Way?
We are playing the Rainbow Labor Day Bash on September 6th with Jack Russell’s Great White, Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel, Leatherwolf & Jon E Love & the Haters. And then we’re back home at the Whisky-a-gogo with Y&T four days later on September 10th. Then it’s back in the studio to finish the record.
Any final words of wisdom?
Yeah….this goes out to all you wannabe rockstars out there.
GO INTO BANKING INSTEAD!!! There’s more money in it. lol
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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