Last week, Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer joined The Evening Show with Dan O'Connell on Radio X.

Speaking at length to Dan O’Connell, Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer admitted that the decade-long wait for the band to release new music is due to the group ‘not pulling their finger out,’ with other commitments taking precedent. But talking up the band’s exciting new EP, reflecting on nearly 20 years of Stars of CCTV, and the influence of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, Richard also discussed the musical and political inspiration behind the band’s new single, ‘Don’t Go Making Plans.’ Richard also teased that the band will release further new music next year…

Hard-Fi’s Richard Archer says decade-long wait for new music is down to the band ‘struggling to pull their finger out’ as he discusses ‘Blockheads and Wham!’ inspired new single

DOC: “Can I just start with, why so long? Because it was 2011 the last time you put any new music out.”

RA: “I think we’ve always struggled to pull our finger out, basically. It kind of all came together in lock down; I did a little acoustic session, I did Stars of CCTV. And I was kind of thinking like, you know, a couple of my friends will watch it, but it got a great reaction. So I was like, okay, maybe people are ready again, hungry.”

DOC: “I mean, it’s over 20 years since you first formed as a band. Has the landscape changed? Is it as easy, is it harder? How do you find it?”

RA: “I mean, in regards to sort of writing music and tunes, I just sort of always do it, you know? Finishing them, that’s another matter. You know, it’s always like getting ideas together. But in the sort of landscape out there now, I mean, it has completely changed. Now everything is different to how it works when we were around. And, you know, I think it's really hard – if you’re a new band now, it’s really hard. We were lucky, you know? It was this radio station that gave us our first play, literally from our manager walking in with a CD. So we were lucky that that happened, you know? You know, hopefully that can still happen.

DOC: “What is the song about, Richard? What’s the inspiration?”

RA: “I kind of got the groove together first, right. And it was quite summery – and I was thinking, imagine if the Blockheads and Wham! and Kid Croele went out and got drunk together. I’m loving this, right. So, but it feels like it needs to have a kind of to counteract that, a heavy lyric. It all just went in about five minutes. It feels at the moment that the people in charge aren’t really taking care of business. You know, they’re not really running things. I don’t know what they’re doing, they’re just setting fires about the place. And you know, you want to do something about it, and they’re cracking down and criminalising protests. It was that feeling of don’t upset the applecart, don’t rock the boat about this; don’t even think about doing anything about it.”

DOC: “Is that going to be the theme of the whole EP?”

RA: “Not necessarily. I mean, we’ve always spoke about what we see around us, but there’s other facets to it as well. It just felt right, and it came together so quickly, and sometimes you can spend three days on high hats. And sometimes, when you look back, you know, you’ve got to go with what came first. Because that’s the raw and undiluted essence. So it was like, no, let’s stick with that. This feels right. The high hats are brilliant though!”

Hard-Fi’s Richard Archer says the band will ‘definitely do something’ to celebrate Stars of CCTV’s 20 years anniversary next year

DOC: “It is the 20th anniversary of Stars… next year, and I wondered is there something special planned? Have you got things afoot?”

RA: “Yeah, obviously we have, kind of. We had a little bit of a ‘back of the fag packet’ kind of plan about what we wanted to do. And we’d sort of earmarked that anniversary. Because it was a major moment for us, and there's lots of people to get in touch with us saying that album was a pivotal moment in their lives. We put up a post the other day about five shows we did at Brixton Academy back in 2006, and they were all sold out. We had Paul Weller come up with us, and Mick Jones and Billy Brag. And people reply and say, ‘oh yeah we mentioned you in our wedding speech, I mentioned the gig; I met my wife there,’ and all that sort of stuff. So we’re definitely going to do something, we’ve got a few things in the oven.”

Hard-Fi’s Richard Archer claims he ‘literally got the haircut’ as he talks up the influence of Oasis’ seminal album Definitely Maybe

DOC: “I tell you what else has a birthday, which we need to talk about. Definitely Maybe. Did you rinse that album back in the day? Are you of that generation?”

RA: “Yeah, I literally got the haircut . I went and got the haircut; I got all the singles. Because I was quite into rock. You know, I used to sit and listen to like The Doors, and The [Rolling] Stones, and obviously the Manchester thing. It was cool, it was all great, and then Nirvana came along. And then, the fact that then suddenly for me it was kind of a real punk record. That was just it then, and they’re from the UK, brilliant. I was in. Yeah, totally in.”

Hard-Fi’s frontman and Brentford fan Richard Archer says Thomas Frank would be ‘making a mistake’ if he takes Manchester United job

DOC: “I wanted to mention this because I know you’re a big Brentford fan. Apparently there’s interest in the Manchester United scenario – the manager, Thomas Frank, is he going up to Manchester?”

RA: “Well, I think if he does it will be a mistake. You know, the sort of guy he is you know, he’s not going be afforded the sort of time up there that he’s had at Brentford. You know, if it doesn’t work out in five minutes, they’re going to start all kicking off. So, he knows that at Brentford he’s in a good spot. But obviously, you know, it’s Manchester United, they’re one of the biggest teams in the world. They’re probably going to offer him a lot more money. The thing about Brentford is they’ve got hit replacement already worked out. So it he goes, he goes. Hopefully he’ll stay.”