After last year’s release of the standalone single Brain Drain and a sold-out tour, Adelaide’s indie-punk duo, The Hard Aches are releasing their sophomore album, Mess, out April 13 via Anchorhead. This comes accompanied by a national tour in support of the album. We chat to vocalist Ben David.
Hey guys! Congrats on the upcoming release of your newest album Mess, and also the release of brand new single also titled, Mess. How have you found the reaction to your latest drop?
We dropped ‘Mess’ about two months ago now and we’re stoked with the response. It’s kind of a different direction in this record in comparison to the last EP that we put out which was foot-to-the-floor rock and roll. This album is the best representation of us as a band and the production value we wanted for our music. We are 100 per cent stoked with the sound. We are 100 per cent stoked with the songs. We are 100 per cent stoked with everything. All the little things worked out exactly like we wanted them to which is a nice feeling.
You have stated that ‘Mess’ is in-part a reflection of the struggles of mental health. Do you guys have a personal connection to mental illness?
100 per cent. It is something that has been really prominent in my songs and everything we represent forever. This was the first time that I took a step back and consciously went about writing a record that is inclusive of people suffering from mental illness and people close to me and shining a light on the issue. I really wanted to break the stigma of the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude which is so real.
Mental health is seen as a weakness and at the end of the day it isn’t a weakness. It isn’t weak to struggle with day-to-day life and it’s something that we wanted to contribute to instead of getting into the woe is me bullshit that is the one-track of a lot of bands. I mean even I am guilty of writing songs that say ‘this is my life and my life is hard’ songs but with this one I wanted to say that we all go through shit directly or indirectly but it all can get better. I think we managed to pull it off in some way by hopefully inspiring people to be able to talk about their problems.
You’re heading off on a national album launch tour for ‘Mess’. How do you find getting out on the road? Do you enjoy it?
We really love it. We have done it so much that we have gotten pretty good at it. Its meant to be enjoyable, hence why we book the bands we do and we do the tours we do in the way that we do them because we know that its going to be enjoyable. We did our time of playing a show then driving overnight to play our next show then getting a few hours sleep and driving to another show. First of all, it isn’t safe and second of all it isn’t good for your sanity! Tours are meant to be fun and music is meant to be fun so we try to ensure that as much as we are there to do a job and play these shows and hang out with all of these people, we are actually there for ourselves because we enjoy what we are doing.
With your album now all done, are you going to enjoy the fruits of your labour, or are you always looking towards the next thing?
We are always looking forward to the next thing but we are definitely going to sit back and take it a bit easier this year. I mean we say that now, but that can change really quickly. We’ve worked really hard in the last few years, we’ve released this record that we’re really proud of and we are about to go on the biggest tour we’ve ever been on so we’ll take a breather after that. But we’ll write new material and even look to maybe release another album in the next year so we’ll be trying to piece that together.
Release: Mess is out April 13 via Anchorhead
When & Where: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – April 13.
Written by Daniel Jubb
Image sourced via The Hard Aches socials