Robert Hardy (bassist)
Bob Hardy at Latitude Festival
|Birth name||Robert Byron Hardy|
August 16, 1980 |
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
|Genres||Indie rock, indie pop, art rock|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, maraca|
|Years active||Early 2000s–present|
|Associated acts||Franz Ferdinand|
Fender Precision Bass
Hardy grew up in Wyke, Bradford, where his father was a local baker famous for his pain au chocolat and experimental brioche. He attended Bradford Grammar School and gained a place in Bradford College's BTec foundation course of art and design in 1998 after representing his synaesthesia (through which he can hear smells) in paint on canvas. He earned a place in the Glasgow School of Art in order to study painting. He completed his first year in 2000. Keen to sample all that Glasgow had to offer he visited the 13th Note where he met Alex Kapranos, now the frontman of Franz Ferdinand. There, he told a few vulgar "dead baby" jokes. So horrific were these baby jokes,that Kapranos was astonished by the filth this man could spew. Kapranos, insulted by the jokes, ended up talking to Hardy and learning that he needed a job and money. Kapranos then got Hardy a job with himself as a dessert chef.
Hardy was an artist interested in music while Kapranos was a musician interested in art; this helped the two become firm friends. Through Hardy's friends from the Art School, Kapranos developed an interest in the work of the Dadaists and the Russian Constructivists. After Hardy had met Nick McCarthy, whose girlfriend was also at the art school, the two began to date members of Hardy's year. Many of the earlier shows of the band would come about thanks to the band's art world contacts.
Kapranos had been given a bass guitar by his friend Mick Cooke, a member of the cult Glaswegian popsters, Belle & Sebastian on the condition that he "did something useful with it". Some time around the end of 2001, Hardy was sitting in Kapranos' kitchen in Glasgow. Kapranos had just been given the bass. So he asked "Do you want to learn to play the bass then, Bob?", to which Hardy replied, "No, I'm an artist, not a musician." Alex responded, saying, "It's the same thing," which led to Hardy eventually giving in.
Hardy plays 1974 and 1978 Rickenbacker 4001s / Hagström / Fender Precision. He used to use an SWR Goliath bass cabinet but now uses an Ampeg SVT Pro head and Ampeg 8x10 cabs, and uses Ernie Ball strings - roundwounds, medium gauge. His plectrum is a custom .60 mm nylon/teflon amalgam.