Singer Eric Jeffrey’s band The Hard Way is among the best rock acts you’ve probably never heard of, but the group is just one big break from striking it big
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large
HOLLYWOOD — The plan 25 years ago was to be a millionaire rock star by now. After all, young singer Eric Jeffreys had the look, the training (including graduating from Berklee School of Music) and certainly the desire, as he was plugging away on the Sunset Strips side-by-side with Poison, Guns N’ Roses and Warrant in the late 1980s.
He is 50 years old today, and like a California version of Anvil, Jeffreys has yet to strike it big, but he still loves the chase, even more now than ever.
He is the frontman for The Hard Way, one of Hollywood’s top unsigned rock bands, and the truth is the group is rather good and thoroughly entertaining with catchy songs, lively performances and an overall accessible package that harkens back to an era when rock was king.
Best of all, Jeffreys has a good attitude, and as everyone knows that can go a long way. The band has opened for such acts as Lita Ford, Steel Panther, Faster Pussycat, BulletBoys, Great White, Michael Monroe, Stephen Pearcy, Enuff Z’Nuff Keel. Undoubtedly, The Hard Way would prefer some of these bands opening for them instead of the other way around, but Jeffreys and his mates have to keep on paying their dues, and they’re OK with it.
“Is it frustrating? Yes and no,” Jeffreys said. “I like playing with a lot of these bands that we’ve played with, and it’s always nice to play in front of a big crowd. I’m not discouraged. It is what it is. I love to play, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t put it the time and expense that it takes to be in a band. It’s got to be a labor of love, or otherwise you’re wasting your time.”
Back in the day, Jeffreys started out with such forgotten Sunset Strip bands as Expose, Top Cat and Broken Toys. The Hard Way was formed in 2009, and everyone is a total pro, including drummer Bobby Rock — whom Jeffereys first met at music college before Rock went on to join Lita Ford’s band – in addition to bassist Tim Luce (ex-Alcatrazz) and guitarists John Huldt and Joe “Drock” Johnson.
Rock is doing double duty with both Ford and The Hard Way, and he also has played with Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Slaughter, Hardline, Nitro and others.
Luce, a gifted singer in addition to his skills as a bassist, has toured the world several times over with acts ranging from Nelson to Roger Daltry. His experience live and in the studio has proved a big benefit.
Drock, Jeffreys, Huldt, Rock & Luce
Johnson was the first one Jeffrey’s hooked up with in forming The Hard Way, and two have a good chemistry together. Co-guitarist Huldt, who also plays in the band Ampora, has major stripes, including a teaching gig at L.A. Music Academy in addition to performing clinics and participating in various tours through the USA and Europe. He has won several talent competitions including being named Guitar Player of the Year in 2012 by the South Bay Music Awards.
Eric Jeffreys with sexy tattooed Hard Way girl Coco and Tim Luce
Eric with Michael Starr of Steel Panther
The Nelson Triplets
A fan approaches Eric at Home Depot to say hello
The Hard Way is playing on Thursday, June 26 at the Whisky in Hollywood in support of Let It Rawk, an all-star band featuring singer Jaime St. James (ex-Black N’ Blue and ex-Warrant) and bassist Robbie Craine (ex-Ratt).
Jeffereys is also a successful business owner, but being on stage is where he truly feels at home. Plus, the band has put out two CDs.
The one thing Jeffreys has vowed is to not give up, and Sludge wishes him the best.
“Hey, if we could finally grab the brass ring, that would awesome,” Jeffreys said. “But the bottom line is, I wouldn’t be doing this at all if I didn’t love doing it.”
The Hard Way summer shows:
June 26th 2014 “Whisky-A-Go-Go” West Hollywood, CA w/ Let It Rawk – Tix INFO
July 25th 2014 “Whisky-A-Go-Go” West Hollywood, CA w/ L.A. Guns - Tix INFO
August 22nd 2014 “Whisky-A-Go-Go” West Hollywood, CA w/ That Metal Show
Gerry Gittelson can be reached at [email protected]