The Hard Times

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The Hard Times
"Punk News Comin’ Your Way!"[1][2]
Logo of The Hard Times
TypeSatirical website
Founder(s)Matt Saincome
Bill Conway
Ed Saincome
Staff writers250-300 contributors (July 2017)[3]
FoundedDecember 2014
HeadquartersSan Francisco[4]

The Hard Times is a satirical website with a focus on punk (especially hardcore punk and first wave screamo), alt music, and millennial culture[3][1][5][6] founded in 2014 by former SF Weekly music editor Matt Saincome,[1][2][7] his brother Ed Saincome, and comedian Bill Conway.[5][6][8] It has been compared to The Onion, ClickHole, and Reductress in style,[1][5] and has received praise for its specificity and niche appeal.[8][9]

The Hard Times also publishes Hard Drive, a satirical video game vertical, hosts stand-up comedy shows at music festivals, and produces podcasts.[3][6][10]

Content published by The Hard Times is typically virally spread through engagement on social media such as Facebook.[1][5][8] The site averages between 2 and 6 million views a month.[3][8]


Founder Matt Saincome began pitching the idea for The Hard Times in 2012 as a junior studying journalism at San Francisco State.[9][11][4][12][10] He formally founded The Hard Times with his brother Ed and comedian Bill Conway in December 2014, following a soft launch earlier in the year.[1]

In September 2016, the site passed 3 million views, and entered into an advertising partnership with Vice Media.[5]

In 2017, the site launched Hard Drive to publish video game related articles,[3] and began developing video content.[9]

In 2018, The Hard Times began work on a book and a television show.[6][11]

In 2019, several editors of The Hard Times and actor Phil Jamesson created parody presidential candidate Ace Watkins on Twitter, with the fictional candidate claiming to aspire to be "the first gamer president".[13] The Twitter account amassed more than 40,000 followers within several days after the account's creation.[13]


As of 2018, staff members include:[2]

  • Matt Saincome — Founder, Editor-in-Chief
  • Bill Conway — Co-Founder, Managing Editor, Head Writer
  • Ed Saincome — Co-Founder
  • Amber Bennoui — Chief Technology Officer
  • Ryan Long — Head of Video
  • Shelby Kettrick — Photo Editor
  • Chris Bavaria — Art Director
  • Ian Fishman — Copy Editor
  • Dan Rice — Hard Style Editor
  • Eric Navarro — Hard Style Editor
  • Kristofer Fiore — Hard Style Copy Editor
  • Mirinda Moriarty — Hard Style Photo Editor
  • Krissy Howard — Book and Special Projects Editor
  • Jeremy Kaplowitz — Hard Drive Editor-in-Chief
  • Mike Amory — Hard Drive Managing Editor
  • Mark Roebuck — Hard Drive Managing Editor
  • Peter Kemme — Video Producer
  • Rashad Rivers — Video Producer
  • Sam Shepp — Head of Merchandising
  • Fred Pessaro — Advisor
  • Nick Dill — Live Event Manager

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Raggett, Ned. "Punk And Irony Are Dead; Long Live The Hard Times". The Concourse. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  2. ^ a b c "About - The Hard Times". The Hard Times. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e Daniels, Melissa. "How The Hard Times Is Building A Bridge Between Punk and Comedy". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  4. ^ a b "The Hard Times founder sent us this article he wrote about himself - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  5. ^ a b c d e "The Hard Times is perfecting punk satire | The Daily Dot". The Daily Dot. 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  6. ^ a b c d "Spotlight: 'The Hard Times' Founder Matt Saincome on Turning Punk Into Comedy & Developing a New TV Show". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  7. ^ "The Hard Times Unveils Its First Ever Documentary - October 4, 2016 - SF Weekly". SF Weekly. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  8. ^ a b c d Brown, August. "In strange times for Internet satire, the Hard Times grows beyond its punk niche - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  9. ^ a b c "'The Hard Times' Founder Gives An Inside Look At His Punk Satire Site". UPROXX. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  10. ^ a b Douglas, Nick. "We're the Founders of the Hard Times, and This Is How We Work". Lifehacker. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  11. ^ a b "Area Punk, Founder of 'The Hard Times', and Entertainer of Millions Lands Major Interview with | Riot Fest". Riot Fest. 2018-01-05. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  12. ^ "Alum Matt Saincome Founded Satirical Punk-Rock Website The Hard Times | College of Liberal & Creative Arts". Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  13. ^ a b "Ace Watkins, the first 'gamer candidate,' gains thousands of Twitter followers". The Daily Dot. 13 July 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.