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Interview With 'Hard Fall Hearts'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Bryan Kelly is the "front man"... wailing on a Gretsch guitar and belting out melodies with conviction! Eli Rinek plays drums and sings backing vocals. Andrew Verdugo is the "new face on bass" even though he's coming up on 5 years as a member of Hard Fall Hearts. We appreciate Andrew's youthful approach and enthusiasm playing upright slap bass and also adding melody on backing vocals.

Bryan & Eli met in March of 2008. Eli's band The Del Fi's had just split up right before a gig for his Birthday celebration and at the same time Bryan Kelly had just fired his rhythm section in his band "The Handsome Devils". Our original bass player at the time Ian Watson aka "Rocket" introduced us all and we got together for a rehearsal shortly after. We all clicked and agreed to play the B-day celebration gig that had been booked for weeks at The Tower Bar in San Diego. Basically our first gig after our first rehearsal was about 24 hours! That itself influenced the debut album title "Last 24 Hours" which we released later in 2008. Almost 10 years later, several North American, Scandinavia, and European tours under our belt. Combined with 2 full length albums, 1 EP, and a recent live album leaves us with a diverse catalog of original material that keeps our fan base enthralled. We are kicking off our 4th European tour October 27th 2017 and then will be taking some time off in early 2018 to write and record a new EP.

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

Bryan: Music has always been my dream and passion. It's really the only thing that I'm good at. Life without music for me, is no life at all. I've been in bands since middle school. Once the music bug bit me it was all over!

Eli: I started playing drums professionally and building homes/framing 30 years ago. If I was to give up one for the other, it would definitely not be music!! There's a saying "don't give up your day job". That's fine and all, but if we were given the opportunity to play, record, and tour full time we would. For now, we have a healthy balance and still tour enough nationally & internationally.

Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.

Bryan: Our most recent release is our very first live album recorded right here in our hometown of San Diego, CA. It's a chance to listen to HFH in its purest form. It's the second best thing to being at the live show in person.

Eli: Yeah the most recent release is called "Live At The Merrow" released in 2016. 15 live tracks & 2 bonus studio tracks on Splatterhouse Wreckords . Including a single titled "The Devil Lives Downstream". We released an official video for that single on YouTube as well.

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

Bryan: We always try to bring a lot of energy to our live show. I can't stand still on stage!! We also like to joke with the crowd, sometimes at our own expense. ;) We always try to give 110%, we never just phone it in as they say. Expect to have a good time and to feel some sort of connection with us thru our music.

Eli: At our live shows definitely expect high energy & passion combined with dynamics & melodic overtones! Our fans enjoy our broad original sound coming from many influences including Punk, Rocksteady, Dark Wave, Rockabilly, and just straight up Rock n Roll!!

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

Bryan: I would love to go on tour with Green Day. Billie Joe Armstrong is the guy that made me wanna pick up a guitar!!! When I turned on "MTV" and saw the ' Basket Case' video it ignited some sort of new identity within me that was waiting to get out. His attitude, stage presence, and strong yet humble demeanour really resonated with my 12 year old mind. I think I could learn a lot from him.

Eli: For me it would be The Living End from Australia!! I just love their diverse musical influence, songwriting skills, and composition. Just enough Punk and Rockabilly influence with a huge dose of Rock n Roll!! Another great 3 piece band much like Green Day and many others such as The Police, Stray Cats, & Reverend Horton Heat. We strive to be as good as or better than these class acts!

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

Bryan: I guess I wouldn't mind getting a one hour guitar lesson from Brian Setzer. The guy is a master of his craft and I want some of that magic to rub off on me!!! ;)

Eli: Ohhh, if only John Bonham were still alive! I'm a huge fan and could listen to his isolated studio tracks for hours even though I'm not much of a Led Zepplin fan. He was so far ahead of his time with his style! We'd be speaking about triplet and quadruplet fills! Ohh and of course Stewart Copeland from The Police.

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Bryan: Ha! Die Hard a Christmas movie? Not for me but that's a different story. ;)

Eli: Haha! No definitely not a Christmas movie in my eyes. I'm honestly not a fan of cheesy Xmas movies. I can definitely handle Die Hard!!

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