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Interview:
The Hard Lessons returning from parenting hiatus
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The last we saw of the Hard Lessons — playing music, at least — was during the Metro Times Blowout in March, before the trio went on hiatus.

But with good reason; keyboardist Korin Visocchi gave birth to a son, Santino Dante, on July 26, and she and Hard Lessons frontman Augie Visocchi have been cocooning ever since.

Now, however, they’re back to making music, with a new holiday single — “My Kind,” which features a photo of baby Santino on the disc — a return to playing live and a new album for 2012 release.

“From a band that went about eight years without going longer than a month off from gigging, this has felt like an eternity to us,” says Augie Visocchi, 30, who started the Hard Lessons with Korin during 2003, when both were students at Michigan State University. “As much as we’ve filled our hearts with our son and all the things that come with that, our first baby will always be rock ’n’ roll — that’s how we met, how we fell in love, how we married. ...

“I just feel like we’ve taken time to establish our nuclear family, but I never want to neglect the family that we created playing music. So we’ve got a lot of visiting to do.”

Music hasn’t entirely been on the back burner for the Hard Lessons, however. Enjoying the “freedom” of time off, Visocchi found himself “writing a lot of songs and working with Ko on melodies.” “My Kind,” a rootsy track with acoustic slide guitar and piano, is unlike anything the group has done before, and Visocchi says the other material the Hard Lessons have been working on with longtime producer Zach Shipps (The Colonel of the Electric Six) shows the growth and new perspective that comes from being parents.

“We still rock, though,” Visocchi adds. “As much as we’ve softened in some aspects, it almost invigorates you in a way that, ‘We’re not done. We’re gonna turn up (the volume). We’re gonna show people why they’ve celebrated us for close to a decade.

“Zach finishes (touring) with the Electric Six in January, so we’re going to get back in (the studio) and let these songs happen and not overthink them and knock them out. Hopefully we can bring them to fruition very quickly and then get back out there and see if the family’s still waiting for us.”

The Hard Lessons, the Vatican, Destroy This Place, Deadbeat Beat and Smudge Candy perform Monday, Dec. 26, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11.11. Call 313-961-8961 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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