The HardLore: Stories from Tour podcast aims to inspire the next generation of hardcore artists
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For nearly 15 years, Colin Young (God’s Hate, Twitching Tongues) and Bo Lueders (Harm’s Way) grinded it out on the hardcore touring circuit, playing venues across the world, sleeping on floors and dining at just about every fast-food restaurant imaginable. Now in 2022, the hardcore veterans have joined forces, in partnership with the Knotfest for their very own podcast, HardLore: Stories From Tour. Every episode, they tell their favorite tales from the road, offer tour advice, cautionary tales and their hottest takes on fast-food culture. Young and Lueders also invite a special guest to the show from a range of prominent heavy bands, including the Acacia Strain, Slipknot, Have Heart and Every Time I Die, to reminisce on the good and bad times from the road. They also make sure to ask guests the hard-hitting questions, including their go-to McDonald’s orders, experiences with the paranormal or simply the last time they defecated their pants on the road.
HardLore’s success comes at an opportune time, as hardcore is experiencing a major resurgence in its own right and has led the hosts to travel to major music festivals such as Sound And Fury and Furnace Fest to take their show on the road and provide compelling entertainment for their rabid community of supporters. It’s clear that HardLore is only just getting started, and next year, they plan to ramp up the show even further in terms of production, guest appearances and a host of inventive new content pillars.
What was the catalyst to start this podcast together and link up with Knotfest?
COLIN YOUNG: Bo was my tech support for about two years, which is insane to think about now since he fucks everything up every episode. Anytime I had a tech question, we’d end up talking for hours on Zoom, and there were times when we were like, “Man, if we just recorded this, it would probably be fun to watch.” A year went by, and we didn't even think about it again. However, Jay Weinberg [Slipknot] got me a gig at Knotfest doing a weekly show about wrestling. Then my point man at the company Chris Hudson was basically like, “Let’s give your hardcore tour stories show a start,” and it’s really only because Knotfest, as an entity, believes in hardcore and wants it to grow. I knew I had to do it with Bo since we’ve known each other for so long.
BO LUEDERS: We both listened to Loveline back in the day, and it’s the same kind of thing where there is chemistry between the hosts. My favorite episodes of Loveline are the ones without the guests where it’s just Adam [Carolla] and Dr. Drew [Pinksy] talking.
You bring up the chemistry, and it’s clear that there is so much history between you, but did it take time to build up a rhythm as an interviewer?
YOUNG: I don’t think we consider ourselves interviewers, and we’re not journalists — this is just the boys chatting. We don’t want the guests to feel like it’s a chore of an interview. There are a lot of guests who aren’t into doing interviews, but by the end of our show, they are like, “Can we go another hour?”
Does it feel rewarding to share these “war stories” from the road to not only say that you made it through and persevered, but does it also give you a more unique perspective on the music industry?
YOUNG: We grinded for years and want to talk to other people who also did so. The fun part is that the thousands of people a week who listen to this did not have to [grind like that] and won’t ever have to because times have changed. People don’t know what it’s like to get McDonald’s after the show in a trailer.
LUEDERS: It’s also because we’re not journalists — we’re just guys who have toured, and it helps break down a barrier.
YOUNG: There’s a universal language that every touring musician speaks, and we could genuinely have Billie Eilish on the show tomorrow and be like, “When the vent breaks your bunk, what do you do?,” and she could easily be like, “Yeah, I know!”
What does a week of developing a HardLore episode entail?
YOUNG: This is the part that sucks. [Laughs.] The production and wrangling of a person [to come on the show] is strenuous labor. Almost every episode is done at the 11th hour. I make the reels and clips at 6 a.m. the morning that the episode goes up, and Bo will wake up at noon his time and just be like, “Yeah man, cool clip.”
The success of HardLore comes at an exciting time within the hardcore scene because the genre is experiencing a major resurgence in terms of popularity and commercial viability. What do you make of the state of hardcore today?
LUEDERS: I think it’s a rising tide, and with bands like Turnstile and Knocked Loose doing bigger things that are literally commercial — I think it helps what we’re doing, for sure. Colin, do you think five years ago [this show] would have been popular?
YOUNG: I don’t think so. I was never approached in this way for any of my bands [in the past]. There was never a major publication that I grew up reading wanting to reach out and talk about this, so it’s very different for us. The time is so special and is leading us to have two generations of listeners.
LUEDERS: As guitar music fluctuates in popularity, anything that gets younger people that aren’t the stereotypical white males into heavier music can only mean good things for the music as a whole. I genuinely mean that.
What are some pieces of advice or cautionary tales you would give to the next generation of touring musicians?
YOUNG: Just don’t be a dick. I was definitely a dick for a long time for no reason, and the other thing I came to terms with recently is to be as welcoming and friendly to as many people as I can.
LUEDERS: There’s no reason to be a dick to anyone ever, whether that’s at the venue, the gas station, the hotel — whatever. Being nice feels really good.
YOUNG: I feel so good being good.
You’ve had a presence at several prominent music festivals such as Sound And Fury and Furnace Fest. What would you say is the most fulfilling part about taking the show on the road?
YOUNG: The most fulfilling thing is getting to do it in the first place. It feels like a culmination, and this wouldn’t have happened without all of the shit we ate for the past 15 years or so. Sound And Fury was extra special — it was basically two days of friends bands playing, and it felt like our generation reaching its apex at one singular event.
What do you envision for the future of HardLore?
YOUNG: The pod is here to stay, and it’s basically a full-time job now.
LUEDERS: We had a blast doing [ghost hunting spin-off series] HauntLore and really want to explore that more. Ideally, for example, it would be so fun to go to Louisville with Knocked Loose in their hometown and go with them to the show, get some food and then see some scary shit together.
It sounds like you need to link up with Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures.
YOUNG: That’s my fucking dream — I worship that motherfucker.