The 3tards perform at the Opera House in Toronto, opening for Green Jelly (July 4, 2008)
|Origin||Brampton, Ontario, Canada|
|Labels||Wounded Paw, Spinerazor, Universal Music Canada|
|Past members||John Romanelli
The 3tards were a Canadian hardcore punk rock band that was formed in Brampton, Ontario, in 2001. The 3tards released two full-length albums - Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Wounded Paw, 2004, re-released by Spinerazor/Universal Music Canada, 2006) and Crystal Balls (Spinerazor/Universal Music Canada, 2005).
They were known for their provocative, vulgar and sexual lyrics, theatrical costumed live shows and political satire. They have been described as "Canada's most politically incorrect punk band."
Early Years (2001-2003)
In late 2001, vocalist John Romanelli (John Tard) and guitarist Michael Korban (Mike Tard), best friends since childhood in Brampton, formed The Trouser Snakes with John Tard's brother-in-law Rich on bass. The pair began writing songs and playing then with the help of a drum machine, until they recruited another childhood friend of John Tard's, Rob Mills (Rob Tard), who was also drumming for Ontario metal band Razor. At this point the band's name was changed to The 3tards, and they played their first and only show with this line-up at Harry Flashman's in Brampton.
Shortly thereafter Rich left the band, and Mills took over the bass. Gus Pynn (Gus Tard), who had played Toronto thrash band Sacrifice and later rejoined them, was approached to play drums. This line-up played ten shows in the Toronto area.
Wounded Paw Years (2003-2005)
In August 2003, Rob Tard left the band and Andrew Fox (Fox Tard), formerly of Toronto punk bands Delirium Tremor, Shitloads of Fuck-All and Los Goblynz, joined as bassist. It was at this time that the band was signed by Preston Sims of Toronto punk label Wounded Paw to record their first album, Greatest Hits, Vol 2. Recorded over December 2003 and January 2004, the album included "3tarded", "Bigger The Better", and "Gay Heavy Metal Singer", an ode to Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford.
During recording, the band was invited to play a benefit concert at Toronto club The Kathedral. This was the band's first large-scale exposure to an all ages crowd, with several hundred teenagers in attendance. The 3tards also played with the Misfits, Dayglo Abortions, The Dickies, Ripcordz, and Agent Orange.
In 2004, the band formed promotional company Little Dog, and began promoting their own local shows. They began promoting local up-and-coming punk bands by organizing large-scale, youth-friendly events. The band either headlined the shows themselves or brought in touring acts, including D.O.A., Forgotten Rebels and SNFU.
Spinerazor/Universal years (2005-2007)
In 2005, Wounded Paw merged with Spinerazor Records, who had a distribution partnership with Universal Music Canada. Through Universal, The 3tards recorded of their second album, Crystal Balls in the fall of 2005. Produced by Rob Sanzo at Signal 2 Noise Studio in downtown Toronto, the record was released in stores across Canada, and included the title track, Stuck On You, and Manrapist. It was 28 minutes long, and received generally negative reviews.
On June 10, 2006 the band played inside the street-level studio of Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge. Hundreds of fans, mainly teenagers, showed up, far past the capacity for the small studio. The crowd spilled out onto Yonge Street, closing down a portion of the busy traffic artery, and resulting in the station being cited by local police.
One week later the band played their final show with Mike Tard, opening for D.O.A. at the Kathedral. Eric Carr (Le Tard), formerly of Toronto punk legends Bunchofuckingoofs, joined as lead guitarist, playing his first 3tards show that July with The Unseen, also at the Kathedral.
On December 16, 2006, Beetlejuice of the Howard Stern Show o MC'd and opened for The 3tards at the Kathedral. The show was filmed for DVD release as The 3tards & Beetlejuice: Live 3tardation. With the assistance of a licensed tattoo artist, Beetlejuice managed to tattoo half his name, "Beetle" across one half of John's chest during the show. He then entertained the crowd with a few jokes, introduced the 3tards set, and joined them in their anthem 3tarded.
Recent History (2007-present)
The 3tards spent the next two years touring across Canada. In the summer of 2007 Gus Tard left the band, and was replaced by Keith MacIntyre (Keith Tard), formerly of The Antics. Work began immediately on the writing of the band's third album, 333: Halfway To Hell.
In 2008, for the first time, the band became a five-piece by adding Fox Tard's brother, Devin Shael Fox (Dee Tard), of Toronto bands Platypi and The New Effector, as rhythm guitarist.
The Oshawa Incident
The 3tards played a benefit concert for breast cancer research in June, 2009 at Memorial Park in Oshawa, Ontario, along with The Groopies, Black Cat Attack and Caution Inc. Because of concerns about possible alcohol abuse and property damage, the event was at first considered "too risky" to be promoted on Oshawa's municipal website, but after receiving a number of letters from 3tards fans, the city council allowed the promotion.
On the day of the concert, limited promotion, a late start and pouring rain led to a small crowd, and no money was raised for Breast Cancer. Bubble bath added to the fountain by members of the crowd overflowed onto the park grounds. The 3tards commenced their set late, at approximately 7:30 pm, and during their fourth song Durham Region police arrived to shut down the event when the event permit expired at 8 pm. Because of noise complaints and an out-of-control crowd, power was cut to the stage, and some arrests were made.  In spite of more letters from fans, the Oshawa City Council declined to add The 3tards to the city's Canada Day Lakeview Park concert event.
The 3tards performed their final show on July 18 at the Kathedral in Toronto. Their third and final album 333: Halfway To Hell was released at the show. The 3tards then disbanded; John Tard went on to be the lead singer of a new band, The Terrorchargers. Dee Tard began playing bass for Toronto pop rock band Crush Luther.
The 3tards' music shows influences from Frank Zappa and has been compared to The Dead Milkmen and Forgotten Rebels, that is, punk with some metal, but with crude, repetitive lyrical themes. Their comedy style has been compared to Chevy Chase. The anarcho-punk zine Slug and Lettuce referred to Crystal Balls as "the worst record ever" and of the band said "[t]hey thank their wives. For all that is sacred in this world, I hope these knobs do not breed."
- Allmusic: The 3tards
- "The Night The Kathedral Died". Torontoist, By Alex Nino Gheciu, January 2010
- Dickie, M. (December 2007), "3tards: Asscore for the masses", Gasoline Magazine
- Mastronardi, L.; Coutts, A.; Wong, B. (2007-01-04), "Punk band brings incorrectness to Office", London Free Press January 4, 2007.
- First show
- Bromstein, E. (2005-12-01), "Tard'n'heavy", NOW Magazine
- FUCK benefit
- "Then & Now: The Big Bop, part 2". Toronto Nightlife History, DENISE BENSON January 29, 2015
- "On Disc: The 3tards Album: Crystal Balls". UWO Gazette, Dean Percy. April 7th, 2009
- Phelan, A., "RockMidgets.com review of The 3tards' Crystal Balls" Retrieved on 2009-03-08 Archived at the Wayback Machine.
- The 3tards (06-10-06), "Little Dog Big Dick & 3tarded at 102.1 The Edge studio"
- "Brampton Gets 3tarded". The Brampton News 10/20/2006 Phil Winslade
- Cole, L. (2009-06-03), "Local band's website too risky for city", Oshawa Express.
- Follert, J. (2009-06-17), "City Hall boosts punk band", Oshawa This Week
- Follert, J. (2009-06-22), "Police, City shut down 3tards punk concert in Oshawa", Oshawa This Week
- Follert, J. (2009-07-03), "City wouldn't put punk band on Canada Day bill", Oshawa This Week
- Sharpe, J. (2006-01-05), "The 3tards' Crystal Balls CD Review", The Scene Magazine
- Patchez, J.P. (July 2004), "Off the Record", The Nerve Magazine
- tnt (Winter 2006), "The 3tards-Crystal Balls", Slug and Lettuce.
- The 3tards Official website