May 14, 2008
Prior to seeing the 3Tards performance at the Horseshoe last Saturday, I felt a little skeptical. Their Myspace page reeked of post-Blink 182 humour, featuring songs about sniffing glue, sex jokes, mullets and man-rapists, topics most men in their 30s don’t typically sing about. But the atmosphere at the Horseshoe was different this night: filled wall to wall with aging punk rockers, studded jackets and the kind of Mohawks I haven’t seen since high school Warped Tours, all in the name of headliner D.O.A.’s 30th anniversary tour.
The audience loved it, and after a few songs I understood why.
The 3Tards may sing about stupid and obscure topics, but they are serious musicians. Their guitar solos ripped through the venue with heavy metal distinction, made stronger by the recent addition of fifth member guitarist De Tard. Their vocals are loud and piercing, filled with the kind of energy that makes everyone feel happily buzzed off too many vodka-Redbulls. Their stage presence is theatrical, hilarious and entirely over-the-top, which is precisely the point.
“It’s not a gimmick, it’s about having fun,” John Tard said as he removed his foot boot to put ice on his grossly swollen, incredibly bruised foot. “Music is boring. To sit around and play music sucks until you involve fun with it. We bring it to a new level. We try to do what we can with the limited funds we have. Village people with the Misfits, whatever we do it’s to say fuck it, we’re here to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. That’s why the girls love us because they like guys who like having fun. We have a Red Hot Chili Peppers brain with a heavy metal, punk rock mentality.”
One of the characteristics that was instantly noticeable about the 3Tards was their love of telling stories. If their music isn’t outlandish enough, their tales are even more bizarre.
Take for example the song “Gay Heavy Metal Singer.” Initially the band recorded it with the entire beginning to Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight,” but dropped the intro due to their record label’s fears of getting sued, replacing it with more original licks.
“Now looking back on it, we should have released it with the ‘Living After Midnight’ intro and let them sue us and make us fuckin’ famous!” John Tard said. “We were so stupid back then! Rob Halford from Judas Preist has a copy of it and told us personally, told Fox our bass player, that he loves it. You know why? Rob Halford has a great sense of humour. Although we have a ton of gay content, we are not homophobic. We get that sometimes, and we’re not homophobic, we love everybody. We sing about this and we sing about that and if you can’t handle it, that’s your problem. Halford loves it and he’s the guy and if he loves it then shut the fuck up.”
The 3Tards have done a lot of crazy antics on stage including “giving birth” and performing gay marriages, but what can you honestly expect from a band with matching stage names? The aforementioned vocalist John Tard, bassist Fox Tard, guitarists Le Tard and De Tard and drummer Keith Tard have a very unique style that leaves politics and romance at the door.
“I played for a long, long time in a political band and I got bored,” Le Tard said. “I just wanted to have fun. There’s too many bands that are all I hate the government, I hate the cops, even though we do, there’s too much of that.”
The 3Tards claim to have brought over 20,000 people through the doors of the Big Bop since their inception in 2002, have been featured in a plethora of national newspapers and magazines and have been both heralded and hated. They’ve sold out shows in Moncton and will return there this summer during their East Coast tour.
The 3Tards will be playing an all-ages show at the Kathedral on June 7 and they’re currently working on songs for a new album to be recorded in the fall. To check out their music visit www.myspace.com/the3tards , but I recommend seeing them live before you formulate any opinions. They are definitely entertaining and unique.