There’s no road map in life. Joe Bailey will be the first to tell you that. When he started the UK indie pop outfit HARDACTORS, he initially envisioned a full band. Little did he know it would morph into a full-fledged solo project. But what he discovered along the way goes beyond the project’s 2014 debut EP, Bloom, and its follow-up effort It’s My Life. He learned that to get anywhere worthwhile you’ve got to chart your own territory. And when you do, unexpected things occur.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” he explains. When HARDACTORS formed in late 2012, it was with two other members. But after a couple years both members dispersed and Bailey began steering the helm on his own. What at first seemed like an unfortunate circumstance turned into a serendipitous situation: an ongoing collaboration with producer Ian Curnow (Talk Talk) was burgeoning. And the HARDACTORS sound was headed in a new direction.
“We started stripping down our unreleased future songs. Plus for the sake of live performances we stripped down all of the existing ones too. HARDACTORS’ sound had evolved into a semi-electronic, acoustic pop sound – with all the same choppy guitar and wailing vocals it always had.”
Vocally reminiscent of Radiohead and Muse, HARDACTORS takes modern indie pop and fuses it with 80s tinge. From the Bloom tracks “Dig Your Heels” and “Half Moon Eyes”; to its cover of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life” on the unorthodox EP of the same name – HARDACTORS at its core is about experimentation, carving its own path out of today’s vast musical landscape. Primarily a studio project with the occasional live performance, Bailey’s focus is to keep putting out new material. With two albums worth of music already written, HARDACTORS have a proper follow-up to Bloom in the works.