5 Minutes With Hard-Fi

Following an instant sell-out show in London last year, indie icons Hard-Fi return to venues across the country for the first time in over a decade next month.

We caught up with frontman Richard Archer fresh from a packed performance at Victorious Festival to discuss what to expect from the comedback, their iconic artwork and more.

Check out the full interview below.

You’ve just played Victorious Festival and have a headline tour lined up for this Autumn – what’s the current mood in the Hard-Fi camp?

Victorious was a bit nerve racking to be honest. We’re used to playing solely to our fans and haven’t really played festivals for about ten years now, so it was weird walking out and seeing a wave of people. Festivals have changed since we were last doing them – there’s all sorts going on from fancy food to a wide range of acts on the line-up. Victorious is a great festival and the reception was great, which gives us a lot of excitement for our own shows.

When you announced your return last year at O2 Forum Kentish Town it sold out rapidly – does this give you added confidence that a comeback was the correct decision?

We didn’t really know what the reaction would be and it was a shot in the dark. We were conscious we hadn’t done an awful lot to tell people about it and we aren’t really active on social media, so it was a bit of a relief to see it sell out.

The iconic camera from ‘Stars of CCTV’ appeared on the London tube quite subtly which drummed up a lot of excitement – is it surreal from a band POV that the imagery is still so recognisable almost 20 years on?

Back in the day we were sort of known because of that camera, and it was our tour agent who masterminded all the posters for the London show. There weren’t actually THAT many posters, but luckily we managed to get them in the right places – then as is the case with social media it snowballed and ended up all over Twitter and Instagram. Our fans shared it a lot and it was quite mad to see it blow up so much, and quite nice to see that people still instantly think of the band when they see it.

The tour this time around is rolling into some places you haven’t been for over a decade – how does that feel?

There are a few places where it has been more than a decade - Liverpool is definitely one of those! We’re conscious of this and will have to work on the set to make sure that we play the songs that people want to hear. We respect our fans and don’t want to go out and play ten songs that no one has ever heard. People came from all over to see our London and Manchester shows last year so it is definitely going to be exciting to see more of the UK and meeting people across the country.

Does it feel like more than a decade since you headed to some of these cities, or has it flown by from a band point of view?

Sometimes we sit and think ‘wow it has been 18 years since Stars of ‘CCTV’ came out’ and wonder where the time has gone. If that album came out the year you were born, you’re now a legal adult who can vote and drink and do all sorts so it is quite unbelievable really. At the time of its release we were caught up with touring non-stop for two years before releasing ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. Then all of a sudden we’re releasing ‘Killer Sounds’ and people were saying it has been six years since the debut came out and it blows you away. For me personally, I’ve been writing for other people and working on projects and I know I’m privileged because people have always asked what Hard-Fi are up to so there has always been an interest there even when we weren’t touring or writing as a band.

Do you think that by not touring constantly it has given fans a chance to miss you, so to say?

I think so! You see some bands that have kept going and riding the wave of their fortunes going up and down, but there’s definitely something important about letting people re-appreciate what we were about. Musically we were fortunate to break through in that golden era of 2004 to 2006, but we were never really part of a scene or genre – we just made our tunes and at first people didn’t know where to place it which was hard at the time. Now, though, it doesn’t feel like ‘Stars of CCTV’ has dated or fits in with a certain era and there are people only discovering it now because they wrote it off at the time.

For anyone still on the fence about grabbing tickets, what would you say to them?

I would say that it is going to be a great night and we're going to play some banging tunes. Hopefully everyone will walk away happy, sweaty and singing all the tunes they know. Most shows are almost sold out now so if you’re on the fence this is probably your last chance to pick up tickets.

Final tickets for Hard-Fi's shows next month -are on sale now.

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Hey - I'm Callum. Fan of The National, collector of vinyl, season ticket holder at Leeds United, owner of Dougal the cat.

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