HARD TON

They are irriverent, they are provocative, they are so damn cool. We are talking about Hard Ton, an outlandish Italian duo. Strongly inspired by art and fashion, they make our booty move to their disco music beat.

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1- The body is fundamental in your exhibitions and in your image. Your performances are not only about music but about theatre and images too. Are music and body inseparable elements in your artistic path? Is there an element who arrived before the other in the development of your artistic identity?

WAWASHI: Absolutely they are, it is not casual, I would say that our project is sewn on Max’s body; actually it wasn’t possible doing it in a different way, since the goal and first step were his colossal presence.

MAURO: Our idea was exaggerating this element instead of trying to make it become normal. It is also true that, since we have an inner camp nature, there was no issue about choosing between these two options…

2- What’s your relationship with your body out of the stage?

M: I must admit that 5 years of live exhibitions, showing half naked like a drag in front of the public, have been a really important personal school. I gained in consciousness and self-assurance. I’m a singer since I was a teen-ager, but always in heavy metal groups, which is a kind of music that I have always loved. But the background, the attitude and the public are completely different and harder to face.

W: It is hard to believe, but Max is still very shy. I have always been astonished by the way he becomes a different person when he is on the stage… or when he is in front of a camera. It is not a case the fact that I am the man in the shadow, I wouldn’t be able to do what he does, and this magical transformation doesn’t work with me.

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3- Your reinterpretation of the iconic image of Grace Jones recorded by Jean-Paul Goude is genius. How did you develop this idea?

W: Actually it was a totally casual brainwave. We are both big fans of Grace, and that image allowed us to combine many different aspects: making a parody of really famous image, distorting it in order to give it a different content, being an extremely kitsch camp, playing with the gender idea, being ironic about the meaning of being a diva.

M: That picture code name is Dis-grace Jones. A common friend of us showed the picture to Miss Jones and his son. They both laughed a lot.

4- It seams to us that in your work there are many references to art and fashion, sometimes they are explicit sometimes hidden; it also seams to us that the use you do of these quotations is often irreverent and provocative. Do you agree with this interpretation?

M: Sure, we are happy that these references are noticed. For us it is an extra way to play with codes, imaginaries, icons and pop culture in general, both in explicit tributes (like the one to Botero, Roy Lichtestein, or Picasso in our last video “You Made The World Go Round”), both in winks to the visionary fashion of very different stylists like Walter Van Beirendonck, Comme Des Garçons, Pierre Cardin, Yazbukey, Elsa Schiaparelli etc.

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5- Where do you live? How does Italy receive your work?

W: I live in Bologna, where I moved in 20 years ago, starting working with DJs and living in a very rich cultural and musical environment.

M: I was born in Venice, a city where appearance, masking, extreme Baroque are a sort of typical style of the city. Now I moved back to mainland, Venice is not at all confortable if you have to go out the city often. In Italy, we have fewer followers than in the rest of Europe; we have never understood why. Sometimes I think it is because of the camp and queer style of our project, but I’m not sure it is the definitive answer.