-- Hardridge gets shredded! --

Stijn Daneels
Interview conducted and written by Stijn "Metal Shredder" Daneels.

Fall 2018 I attended the Luchtbal Rock Rally which took place near my home and wherein 5 bands competed for free recording time at the Dunk!Studio. The winner of that contest was the local alternative rock band Hardridge. One year later, on 15 november 2019, I went to youth bar the Muze to finally get Hardridge shredded!

So I sat together with Joe and his crew to discuss Hardridge’s origins and its many musical influences. Also their upcoming single recorded at Dunk!Studios and their other interesting side-projects are put on the Shredder table.

BMS: Hello Hardridge! Let’s get started with a typical introduction! How did this project come to fruition?
Joe: I started Hardridge a few years ago as a solo-project. I’ve been very active in multi-instrumental music and songwriting from a very young age and one day I decided to build a little recording studio in my home and record the songs I’ve had written over the years. I’ve played all the instruments and then had the recordings mixed for a reasonable price and the end result is the Hardridge debut album “Mirror,” which I released in late 2017.

Joe: I did, however, always have the intent to turn Hardridge into a live act and the “Mirror” album gave my project some good exposure. And now I’m beyond thankful to have these 3 gentlemen here!
BMS: Yeah! You’ve got yourself a friendly, talented crew. Let’s ask them how they’ve joined Hardridge! Lou, you go first!
Lou: Sure thing! My dad is a good friend of Joe’s dad and they introduced us to each other. Like Joe, I’ve always had an appetite for alternative rock and we instantly clicked.

Inigo: While I had started off as a classical guitarist I eventually transitioned to bass and Lou was aware of that. We both attended the same high school and one day, as I was getting my bike, Lou tapped me on the shoulder and he asked me if I were interested in joining Joe’s project.

Warren: Over the years I’ve posted several videos of me covering metal songs on guitar and through mutual friends I’ve got into contact with Lou. He invited me to jam with him, Joe and Inigo to judge our personal and musical chemistry. And it was an instant success!
BMS: That’s a sweet origin story of friendship and mutual ambition. Great! Let’s get back to you, Joe. What are your main inspirations for Hardridge’s sound?
Joe: I’d say the sound has a classic hard rock foundation with influences from alternative & progressive metal. But I believe the other guys can offer extra details.

Lou: Warren and I have similar musical tastes and we wanted it integrated into Hardridge’s sound. Those tastes include Black Sabbath, Gojira and Opeth.

Warren: Indeed, plus I’m a huge AC/DC fan!

Inigo: My musical preferences are quite extreme compared to the other Hardridge guys. While a lot of metal-minded people start off with the classics like Priest, Maiden or Sabbath I instantly jumped on the extreme bandwagon thanks to the “Death Metal” album by classic Swedish death metal act Dismember and it was only later that I became more acquainted with the less-extreme metal subgenres.

BMS: If I were to describe the Hardridge style I would describe it as alternative metal comparable to such acts like Alice in Chains along with progressive touches. I also love the dynamic between Lou’s relaxed vocals and Indigo’s raging screams. It gives the songs a nice sense of duality. Now, last year you won the Luchtbal Rock Rally and earned free studio time at the Dunk!Studio!
Joe: Indeed! And we’re much honored to have this chance to record a song in this great studio for free! So we’re currently writing new material and we’re going to take the best from those new tunes to record in there! Those new tunes will also be significantly heavier compared to the songs on “Mirror,” mainly because we’re now doing the songwriting together!
BMS: I’m looking forward to it! What else is in store for Hardridge in the future?
Joe: We’re putting our sights on getting more gigs, particularly in the Ghent-region since we’re now part of the JonGeduld initiative of the Kinky Star venue.
BMS: What are your other activities?
Warren: I’m a student in biology and I also have experience as a drummer. I recall one gig in the Ressort youth bar in Geraardsbergen wherein I replaced Lou on drums since he had fallen ill just a day or two before the show.

Lou: I have another project, it’s a progressive folk band called MakiMura and I’m also following drum lessons in the Ghent Auditorium. I’m very glad to be part of both MakiMura and Hardridge and I’m constantly perfecting my musical craft.

Indigo: I play bass in a fledging rock project called Vorst wherein the songs are in multiple languages like English, Dutch and German. Aside from that, I’m a law student, a gym-rat and a lover of non-fiction novels and poetry.

Joe: I’m studying to become an osteopath and I’m also very interested in the technical side of audio production.
BMS: Great stuff! So, do you guys have anything else to add before we take the picture?
Indigo: I highly recommend you and your Shredders to check out the other excellent bands from our Zottegem region like King’s Summit, Hammeramp, Ironborn and If I May and of course, Dunk!Records!

Joe: It was great talking to you, Metal Shredder! Thanks for buying our “Mirror” album.
BMS: And thank you for buying our Shredder shirt! See you all later!