Everything was coming up for The Hara. They had released some EPs, doubled down on some tours and were finally about to play the stages they deserved to be on. Of course, global health crises wait for no man, leaving the plans of the Brit-rock upcomers in ashes. With a frontman that can belt the holy shit out of a tune, it’s a wonder they didn’t spend last year grieving the loss of the 2020 that they deserved to have.
“Last year we got booked for the festivals for the first time,” guitarist Zack Breen recounts to Blunt Magazine. “It was a dream come true. Everything that we’d wanted to do as a band. And then the world decided to shut down.” Frontman Josh Taylor laughs: “We had such big plans for last year, didn’t we, boys?”
It’s not exactly their ideal scenario, but the audience of The Hara during this time is growing faster than ever. At first, they were reticent to the idea that caused the amplification, which they’d be kicking themselves about right now. Why is their audience multiplying like a colony of rabbits? They’re among the very few that are killing it on Tik Tok.
“It feels like we live two different lives as a band,” Zack continues. “We’re now this Tik Tok band, but before that, we were touring every day pretty much.” On the platform, where The Hara currently boast over 200,000 followers, he notes that they actually “refused to do it for ages.” With a little help from their friends, a.k.a. their agent and manager, they eventually decided to have some fun with it, and the rest is history. “It’s just gone crazy,” Zack concludes. “We can’t believe it.”
The allure is understandable, with short sharp bursts of covers, original tunes and more coming from the outfit’s channel. It’s a feat to manage to convince their listeners of their talent in approximately 30 seconds, not that it stops them. The energy of frontman Josh is formidable, compressed within what’s trending, what’s theirs and what’s requested.
The secret? “It’s ADHD and cans of Stella at 11 in the morning,” he reveals. “We had Foster’s the other day,” Zack adds. “That’s an Australian beer, isn’t it?” All jokes aside, they make an effort to mix up their content, and we can’t say it isn’t working. “We mix it up with the rock stuff and our own stuff,” Zack explains. “I guess that is who we are, at the end of the day.” Josh expands, “we found our own thing and our own way of doing it. And I don’t really know other people or other bands that do what we’re doing.”
“We’re doing this every day and we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t want to sell out stadiums across the world.”
Part of it is that they’re so good at what they do, and the other part is fearlessness, the capacity to do whatever they’re in the mood for without letting vanity get in the way of experimentation. They were raised on different genres of music – with frontman Josh even shamelessly admitting to being really into Robbie Williams. His deliveries are shaped by the hallmarks of great performers: presence and talent, all rolled into one tempest of confidence and virtuosity.
“It all helps to refine our collective sound off,” says Josh on being unafraid to pull their inspiration from different places. “It’s far more interesting to have a different taste for each of us, than all of us liking Led Zeppelin. We’d just be called Led Zeppelin. You know what I’m saying?”
The north star for The Hara is staying true to that sense of not putting it on. They may wear costumes to perform shanties in vogue on our most elusive little social media platform right now, but they’re being real about why they’re doing it. In fact, they refuse to bullshit even slightly, letting themselves be guided by their own integrity across the board.
As Josh articulates, The Hara did have “a conversation and we were like, people always ask us, what do we stand for and that. We don’t want to be this preachy, ‘Yeah, we stand for this – we love mental health and this is what we do and this is our message.’ That’s just not what we do. We just write what we want to write at the time and it’s truthful. And if it’s truthful and if other people can connect to it in their own way, that’s all that matters to us.” He continues: “I think, you can listen to one of our songs and it could mean something completely different to you, and that’s cool. And I think that’s the magic of what we like to do.”
And do they shall, with their sights set on ultimately releasing a full-length album. The hope is to formally start it this year, though there are some factors that might see it fermenting a little longer depending on “if the world opens up.” As for everything else, the endgame is clearly defined and shared by the trio.
Josh concludes: “We’re literally broke as hell right now, we got no money. We’re doing this every day and we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t want to sell out stadiums across the world. We’ve all got the same dream and that’s why we do it.”