The full-length debut CD, “Underbelly” (13 songs).
The follow-up EP release, “Underbelly: Deeper Cuts” (7 songs).
Reviewers have praised their refreshing sound, strong vocals, cool attitude,
excellent musicianship, great arrangements, memorable hooks, marketable
songs, solid lyrics, tight dynamics, convincing energy, and impressive
recordings. The band has certainly gathered a nice fan base for themselves
on MySpace and other Internet sites, as well.
I started on the violin in 1st grade. Then, at 11, my uncle introduced me to
the guitar. It was a lot sexier than the violin and I realized that you could
get girls with a guitar, so...
I played snare drum and percussion in school from 7th to 10th grade, and
I’ve been singing since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. The guitar and I
initially hit it off when I was 12 and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s my
main squeeze......except when I cheat on it with keyboards and bass. I’m
also a very prolific songwriter.
I've been playing keyboards since I was 18.
Getting started as a band:
Mario and I started writing pop songs together as teens and Ronnie is our
bass-playing cousin. That working relationship evolved into a band. We
recruited Doug from a sort of rival band and the rest is, as they say,..........
...(I won't say it.)
Origin of the name "HardLeft":
We were becoming pretty bored with the musical direction we were in and
we needed a refreshing change. We took a “hard left” into this edgier
direction, so when Mario suggested the name “HardLeft”, it certainly fit.
We made an abrupt turn in our musical direction, so the name seemed
appropriate. It was actually very cathartic to tear down the sort of walls or
barriers that we had built and to write, record, and perform the kind of
music that we really wanted to do.
Mario mentioned the name to me. I gather he had already decided on it. I
thought it was a cool name given our departure from a more mainstream
Describe HardLeft’s sound:
Describing your sound is like describing what purple looks like...it's kind of
impossible to do. That said, it's probably a mixture of riff-oriented rock, pop,
and some electronic influences. See, that's the problem with describing your
sound...it's inherently sort of reductive.
While there is a continuity that exists from song to song, various influences
have gradually crept into what is now the "HardLeft sound". What makes it
different is not just the overall sound of our music (which is a result of our
musical influences) but the lyrical substance of each song. There is an
intellect to our music that, I believe, is rarely found in popular music.
Let’s go with “hard, sexy, melodic, and kick-ass”. Some bands would kill
just to have ONE of those descriptive words. We’ve got all four. Heh heh.
Everything and everyone I have ever heard. Music is such a large part of
my life. It's hard to imagine where or what I'd be without it. It is as
essential as air. There was no possible way to listen to any type of music
and not be impacted by it in some way.
I prefer Rock, in general, but I’m all over the board with what influences
me. I love artistic/emotional sincerity in music, most of all. It can be any
genre or mood. All I know is that it sucks to hear songs that sound like
paint-by-number fluff, with the artists just phoning-it-in, although, radio
seems to love that stuff.
Way too many to list. That's a bit like saying, what kind of girls do you like?
Personally, I love Prince, Depeche Mode, Soundgarden, Beck....music that's
pop but has some interesting textures and rhythms...stuff that gives a real
unique twist to the conventional 3-and-a-half-minute song.
HardLeft’s music and what does it mean:
Well, our latest CD is "Underbelly: Deeper Cuts." Obviously, we all have an
intimate connection to all of the songs, all of which are a reflection of our
sometimes fucked up emotional and mental states. But unlike so many who
choose therapy, we chose to write songs to heal. It doesn't seem to be
working. But we got some good tunes out of the deal.
Live performance experiences and industry showcases:
We’ve played at South by Southwest and have performed extensively
throughout our individual and collective years. Together, we have probably
done upwards of 1,000 shows, from dives and dumps to outdoor festivals
and arenas (the latter as an opening act; we're not filling up arenas
ourselves--yet). We’ve stopped doing live gigs for now, though, while we
Our worst gig was at the opening night for a new club that had done
absolutely no promotion, and it was inside of a caboose (or some kind of
left-over train car), and it was thunder storming outside. There was literally
nobody in the club, besides the soundman. It was an awesome, paid
practice. I think the club closed down a few weeks later. Lesson: Don't open
a club in a train.
The process of promoting HardLeft’s music:
It's much more labor intensive than one might imagine. But at least we hold
the reigns. We can take our music where we want it to go without fear of
losing our own artistic vision. No one cares about your career like you do.
We never had any illusions that the music business would be easy, though.
Music and lobster fishing are not career choices for sissies.
The image that HardLeft’s music conveys:
Ultimately, we’re inside of the music, so it's impossible for us to say. That's
really up to the listener to decide.
We think it conveys a collage of the complexity of relationships. We, as a
society, have bought into the concept of fairy tale romances, big weddings,
happily-ever-after, and all of that. But HardLeft takes a much more honest
and realistic approach - heartbreak, anger, inadequacy, infidelity, obsession,
and jealousy - the elements of real, and sometimes, unhealthy relationships.
And it does so, on a level to which everyone with a failed relationship can
relate. It's the darkness that love can create - the residual side effect of love
gone wrong or gone away.
Long-term music goals:
To be immortalized.
HardLeft CDs/Audio Files for sale:
We sell our music via physical CDs, iTunes, various Internet sites, etc.
Anyone who doesn't make their music available via every platform possible
is missing great opportunities for exposure. There's so much great music
out there on so many platforms, that you have to do what you can to be
Here’s some of the online places our music is at:
Wild stories of the road:
We have lots, actually......but we have to honor the “Code Of The Road”.
Sorry, everybody. ;-)