The Hard Way: Local Legends On The Sunset Strip

The Hard Way: Local Legends On The Sunset Strip

The Hard Way will rock your world!  If you go to The Whisky, chances are you’ve already seen Eric Jeffreys and his band supporting the likes of Krokus, KIX, Dokken, Angel and many others.  The Hard Way will return to the world famous Whisky on December 1st, this time opening for the one and only Zebra.  Highwire Daze recently chatted with the one and only Eric Jeffreys to find out about The Hard Way experience, their recent Police Brutality manifesto, thoughts on today’s Los Angeles music scene, and more!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Hard Way, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Eric Jeffreys. I’m the founder & lead vocalist for the Hollywood based band THE HARD WAY. We’re an all original hard rock band that has been together for over 9 years & have performed with just about everybody you can imagine.

What do you think about the current state of the local Los Angeles music scene today and how does The Hard Way fit into the scheme of things?
It’s hard out there. It’s a truckload of work with not much return. You have to have a burning desire & need in your heart to do this business. Otherwise you’re wasting your time. We’re like junkies that know what we’re doing is bad for us but continually abuse ourselves because we can’t stop. You bust your ass, spend all your money & have to give away all your intellectual property & you still get no respect. That’s why the unsigned artists out there are the true heroes of rock n roll. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for us anymore. People want everything for free & constantly bitch about how all local bands suck but aren’t willing to invest themselves into looking for the next big thing. That combination will pretty much spell the end of this genre. How does THE HARD WAY fit in? Fuck if I know. We just keep digging the trench…

Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Police Brutality?
Absolutely!  I’m just really sick & fucking tired of unarmed citizens being brutalized & murdered by those we pay to protect us. Whether it’s a traffic stop, street interaction or a no knock raid at the wrong address.  It’s disgusting & criminal but nothing ever seems to happen to these lawless cops. They go on PAID administrative leave until we forget about it due to the nonstop daily shit show we experience as a nation & then they’re back on the street to pick up where they left off. No indictments, no firings, no nothing. Since we obviously have no power to stop them, the least I can do is bitch & scream loudly & proudly & at the top of my lungs. See? You really don’t want to get me started on that fucking subject.

Select two songs from Police Brutality and what inspired the lyrics?
Hahahaa…Well the opening track is called CUM. I know, classy, right? It’s about an AIDS infected hooker that has to suck dick on Hollywood Blvd to feed her heroin habit. Obviously, I like to write about things I know a little bit about. Hahaa. Another good one is THAT AIN’T LOVE which is about domestic violence. To borrow a line from the song, “If you’re hitting each other, THAT AIN’T FUCKING LOVE!”

What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming show with Zebra at The Whisky on December 1st?
Hanging out with the guys from Zebra again. They really are the fucking coolest. We did our record release party with them at the Whisky-a-Go Go on February 9th & the most incredible thing happened. While we were setting up for sound check, they were doing their meet & greet. Once we started playing, they halted their meet & greet and walked over in front of the stage to watch our sound check. Talk about amazing! And all throughout the night they told us how much they loved our band & were truly supportive the entire evening. Oh, and Stuttering John Melendez from the Howard Stern show was their stage manager. Hahahaaa… Just fucking great! I’m really excited about this show!

At one particular Hard Way show, you had esteemed drummer Matt Star performing in both your band and in the headlining Joe Lynn Turner band who was on tour.  How did that come about and was that stressful at all for you or for Matt?
Matt is family & he had some really big shoes to fill since he was replacing the “God of Thunder” Bobby Rock (Lita Ford/Vinnie Vincent/Hardline/Gary Hoey/Nelson). Matt is truly amazing & a really great singer as well. A true professional in every sense of the word. He is our brother & will be joining us for the Zebra show at The Whisky in December as well so if you haven’t seen him with THE HARD WAY, you’re in for a real treat & you don’t wanna miss it. I invite everybody to come & join the fun! We’re gonna rip the place up that night!

The Hard Way has opened for so many well-known bands.  What have been some of your favorite bands to open for and why?
Oh God there’s soooo many. Michael Schenker, Michael Monroe, Warrant, Angel, King’s X…the list goes on & on. One of my personal favorites was when we played with Enuff Znuff several years ago when Donnie Vie was still in the band. Donnie is a musical hero of mine. He’s my favorite singer/songwriter & is so underrated. Nobody can wrap themselves around a song quite like him.

What is it about the iconic Whisky that has made it the perfect place to discover bands like The Hard Way and many others?
The Whisky feels like home & for us, it truly is home. I feel love for all the owners, management & staff at The Whisky. They’ve always been so supportive, warm & welcoming. I can’t say enough good things about them. The Maglieri’s understand the importance of this venue & that it’s a Hollywood landmark that needs to be protected & preserved. In this day & age, there’s all these deep pocket developers are gobbling up all the historical clubs to turn them into mega-hotels or whatever. They’re all about the money & not the significance. They could really give a fuck if The Whisky exists or not. It’s just prime real estate to them to be exploited. Mike Maglieri is a true hero for not allowing that to happen & we can’t thank him enough.

What’s up next for The Hard Way?
We’re currently working on new material for the next record. It will definitely reflect significant musical growth for us as the songwriting has evolved. This one will be more “single” oriented than the last one. And as for live performances, our next show is at the World Famous Whisky-a-Gogo on December 1st with Zebra & we’ve got a few other special things coming up in the New Year as well so stay tuned…

Any final words of wisdom?
Yes. If anybody out there is considering going into the music business, do yourself, your friends & your family a favor…Go into banking instead! There’s waaaayyyyy more money in it! lol

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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