Drinking beer slaying poseurs

Toronto hardcore band Hassler keep it simple

Jon Sharron’s no stranger to the Toronto punk scene — over the years he’s offered up his pummeling bullshit-free guitar parts to legendary acts like Brutal Knights Chokehold and Rammer. Occasionally he still makes music with Career Suicide (the legendary hardcore band that also includes Jonah Falco one-upping his work in Fucked Up) and with the newer project Valley Boys. It sounds like he’s spread fairly thin but he still manages to write inventive mind-blowing guitar parts for the no-frills hardcore band Hassler.

“I’m the ‘dad’ of the band and I write a lot of the music” he tells me. “I also figure out what time band practice is going to be with a flurry of text messages.”

Along with Sharron Hassler boasts a packed lineup of hardcore scene vets with other members having played in Reprobates Bad Skin Mad Men Toxic Holocaust and many others. It’s not merely a side-project however — in their brief existence (since April of 2012) the group has already pounded out two explosive EPs of straight-ahead punk. According to Sharron that’s just the beginning. In fact they’re starting to give off an air of ambition with a cross-Canada tour under way and plans for a debut LP.

“We will for sure not start touring year round” Sharron is quick to explain. “Christ that sounds exhausting. Also my girlfriend and boss would both kill me…. Stuff fell into place very easily for us to play a bunch of shows this summer. It’s been really fun so far. We actually aren’t that ambitious but we do plan on playing around if we can and if it’s fun.”

As for the album the process has been slow and steady. “We are having a really great time in the jam space putting songs together for an LP and hanging out over beers” he says. “We have been lucky with ideas and have a lot of material to fool around with.”

While some Toronto hardcore bands adapted to the album format by writing longer songs with weirder ideas Sharron admits the band is shifting in a different direction. “I would say the songs for the LP are different from the stuff on our two EPs…. It’s more punk sounding and more rocking” he explains. “Good-time tunes for shit punks.”

As for how they’ll fill out an album’s worth of material don’t expect any sweeping conceptual statement. “We will expand to that format by putting more songs on the record” he says with a laugh. “It worked for DRI.”

Okay so they’re not exactly circling in on a booking agent and the right PR campaign. In fact their goals as a band are perfectly down to earth. “Our plans for the future are to drink beer and have a blast playing for the love of hardcore and punk” Sharron says. “We would like to release a couple records play some shows and slay all trendy poseurs.”

Though he doesn’t use the term himself Sharron is certainly a lifer within the punk and hardcore community. “I’ve pretty much had a punk-type band going in some form or another since around 1990” he says. “If there is an age limit on playing hardcore I’m probably well past it but I couldn’t give a fuck. Punk for me is not a social clique or a fashion scene you take part in till you’re 27 or so. It’s also got nothing to do with farting around on the Internet trying to figure out what’s cool….

“Without this outlet I would just be some construction-working weekend warrior dumbass” he continues laughing. “Maybe I will eventually start an old white guy blues band or a Stooges cover band or something.”