Richard Archer


Richard Archer

Infobox Musical artist



Img_size = 150
Name = Richard Archer
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Richard John Archer
Born = birth date and age|1977|1|18
Died =
Origin = Staines, Surrey, England
Instrument = Guitar, Melodica and Piano/Keyboard
Genre = Alternative rock, Indie, Punk
Occupation = Singer-songwriter
Years_active = 1997 - present
Label =
Associated_acts = Hard-Fi Contempo
URL = [http://www.hard-fi.com/ Hard-Fi]
Notable_instruments = Fender Telecaster Custom, Yamaha Acoustic

Richard John Archer (born January 18, 1977) is the frontman of UK indie-rock band Hard-Fi. As well as being the lead singer, he is also the principal songwriter and composer. He also plays guitar live. He is a fan of Brentford F.C. The influence of his hometown of Staines is often evident in his lyrics. He used to front Contempo in the early 00s. Also contributed to French electro band Tommy Hools' single "Givin' up" and features in the video.

Hard-Fi were eventually signed to Necessary Records and spawned various top 10 hits along with two #1 albums.

History

Richard Archer is a music graduate from Kingston University.

He grew up in Staines, a suburban location of London which has become a huge influence in the lyrics of the songs he has written with band Hard-Fi. He explains, "There's no record shops, there's no decent pubs, there's no venues, there's no decent clothes shops. Look around, it's quite pleasant but if you're a young person living here then you're into a certain type of music - chart house - and a certain fashion, and if you're not into that there is nothing here for you. Here, you can't get home if you're out in central London after eleven. There's no night bus, there's no late train, you have to get a cab if you can find one and that'll charge you eighty quid to get home from central London. A lot of people live like that."cite web|url=http://www.fender.co.uk/news/index.php?display_article=104|title=Fender.co.uk|publisher="Fender"|format=HTML]

His main interest was music, and his first ever band was formed when he was at school. They had a "ridiculous" name said Archer. They were, as Archer describes, a "joke heavy metal band, which was kind of like Spinal Tap meets Bad News". This gave them an excuse to wear unusual clothes on stage. He was also into football, and is a fan of Brentford F.C.

Forming the band

Contempo (1997 - 2000)

Contempo formed in Staines during the summer of 1997, originally going by the name "Parachute".

Mick Jones produced demos that were intended to be released on an album which was initially had a release date planned for the end of March 2000, which was eventually delayed until September/October 2000, however the release was cancelled. Some tracks have been reworked as Hard-Fi songs. [ [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=44200715 Contempo - Staines, UK - Alternative] ]

Contempo's first release was a limited 7" vinyl on the Blue Dog label which had the tracks "On The Floor" and "Stronger" (the latter was released as a b-side for the Hard-Fi single, Hard to Beat). [ [http://www.hard-fi.com/discography.php Hard-Fi : Discography] ]

In November 2000 Contempo announced they had left London Records after months of having a mutual tense relationship. After these events, Contempo released a six track EP called "This Is Contempo", which featured the ska song "Ain't Going Out Tonight" on their own label "Nu-Suburban Sounds". Another record was "Contempo - The Demos", this however was a CDr released by fans which featured demos of what would be Hard-Fi tracks: "Better Do Better, Can't Get Along (Without You), Living for the Weekend (then named "Living 4 the Weekend"), Move On Now and Unnecessary Trouble.

In the wake of Contempo splitting up, Archer claims that music business insiders tried to dissuade the band's manager Warren Clarke (not the actor of the same name) from managing him. "People told him, don't bother with Archer, he's damaged goods, you're wasting your time'."cite web|url=http://www.hard-fi.com/flash.html|title=Hard-Fi flash|publisher="Hard-Fi"|format=Flash] cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvAspgJdhlA|title=Hard-Fi - Rockin' The City Video Podcast Part One|publisher="Hard-Fi"|format=HTML]

Archer asked his publishers for some money to record the some new songs that he had written, they terminated his contract instead.He eventually formed Hard-Fi whose line up includes Ross Phillips on lead guitar, Kai Stephens on bass, and Steve Kemp on drums, who also provided drums for Contempo as their career was coming to an end.

Archer went back to his home town of Staines, "I moved back to Staines because I ran out of money and it was quite a shock," he says. "There's no record shops, there's no decent pubs, there's no venues, there's no decent clothes shops. Look around, it's quite pleasant but if you're a young person living here then you're into a certain type of music - chart house - and a certain fashion, and if you're not into that there is nothing here for you. Here, you can't get home if you're out in central London after eleven. There's no night bus, there's no late train, you have to get a cab if you can find one and that'll charge you eighty quid to get home from central London. A lot of people live like that."cite web|url=http://www.fender.co.uk/news/index.php?display_article=104|title=Fender.co.uk|publisher="Fender"|format=HTML]

Hard-Fi (2003 - Present)

In the wake of Contempo splitting up, Archer claims that music business insiders tried to dissuade the band's manager Warren Clarke (not the actor of the same name) from managing him. "People told him, don't bother with Archer, he's damaged goods, you're wasting your time'."cite web|url=http://www.hard-fi.com/flash.html|title=Hard-Fi flash|publisher="Hard-Fi"|format=Flash] cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvAspgJdhlA|title=Hard-Fi - Rockin' The City Video Podcast Part One|publisher="Hard-Fi"|format=HTML]

Archer asked his publishers for some money to record the new songs that he had written, they terminated his contract instead.

When talking about how the band met, Archer said:

cquote|I kind of started the band. I got introduced to the drummer by a guy who remixed our debut album. We then put an ad in the NME, Loot and all the places to find musicians. Loads of people got back to us. None of them were right. Some of them literally couldn't play a note.

I knew Kai from back in Staines. After a bit of ringing around I got in contact with him. He still played bass but worked for Rentokill. He turned up at our studio a few days later having learnt all the songs I sent him. He was great and he was in! Also he had a van to move stuff about. You can't get clamped in a Rentokill van!

Ross worked in the local Hi-Fi store. I'd go in there to listen to my mixes. One day he came over to me and said who's playing guitar on this? Its me. He said it was shit. So I said come on then. After looking for people all over the country we found a band that all came from Staines. It gives us a real sense of identity. [ [http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/id/652 Hard-Fi Interview - Nottingham Articles - LeftLion.co.uk] ]

The band were signed to newly formed independent label, Necessary Records, owned by Clarke. The majority of Stars of CCTV was recorded in a variety of unusual acoustic environments - in bedrooms, in pubs, and played back in their producer, Wolsey White's, BMW. 1000 copies of this record were pressed with only 500 going on public sale, and the initial plan was to sell 1000 each time. However, it quickly sold out, receiving critical acclaim and radio play, proving a lot more successful than the band had imagined. In a disused mini cab office, which cost them about £300, is where most the album was recorded and is known to this day as the "Cherry Lips" Studio. The band used to try and make their music sound more environmental by putting a microphone in the corridor, which added echo, however, people would walk passed whistling or humming as well as the fact that planes would fly by and could be heard while the band recorded the album, and, if listened to carefully, it can still be heard on the record.

Archer desperately tried to generate publicity for the band through the local paper, the Staines Observer, without success. "We sent them a press release and a photo," said Archer. "The press release was all like, the hard-hitting sound of the streets and stuff. And the article came out going, 'Richard Archer, former pupil of Thamesmead School ...' Whatever you say, they seem to be most interested in what school you went to."

The band were then licensed to the Atlantic Records label (a major) in December 2004, where they were given the chance to re-record the album. The band were offered the chance to record in the renowned Abbey Road Studios among other well known studios however, the band went back to the cab office to maintain their sound.

Hard-Fi finally saw success with their debut album Stars of CCTV reaching #1 and followed up with another #1 record Once Upon a Time in the West. The band went on to be nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2005 and BRIT Awards among others. Archer wrote all the songs on the albums, while the Hard to Beat single featured a track called "Stronger" which he had originally written with Contempo.

Friendship with Mick Jones

Richard first met Mick Jones when he was still with Contempo. The band were looking for a producer when one of the members of the record company suggested Jones, to which the band agreed to. At a rehearsal in Putney, Richard compared his dress sense to that of "the Godfather". ["Mick Jones & Richard Archer." The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] [ [http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2383432638_5e7ccb7434.jpg?v=0 A Scan of "Mick Jones & Richard Archer" from The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] ]

After working on the bands first record for a year where things did not turn out as planned due to problems with the record company. ["Mick Jones & Richard Archer." The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] [ [http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2383432638_5e7ccb7434.jpg?v=0 A Scan of "Mick Jones & Richard Archer" from The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] ]

Talking about Archer, Jones said;

"I guess I can have a lot of fun at this stage in my career and I like working with young people such as Rich because they're full of new ideas. I wouldn't say I'm a mentor to him, though. I just like to try to have some fun and play a few tunes. ["Mick Jones & Richard Archer." The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] [ [http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2383432638_5e7ccb7434.jpg?v=0 A Scan of "Mick Jones & Richard Archer" from The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (March 9, 2008)] ]

On March 1, 2008, rumours started appearing that the two would be forming a new band after Archer joined Jones and his new band, Carbon/Silicon, during a show in London. They revealed that they were thinking about combining the two bands to form a project called "Hard Carbon". [ [http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/music/music-news/2008/03/01/hard-fi-s-richard-archer-set-for-clash-link-up-86908-20336064/ Hard-Fi's Richard Archer Set For Clash Link-Up] ]

Media

In 2006 there was a story generated by the media that Archer was having a relationship with Scarlett Johansson while she was filming Woody Allen movie Scoop in London. Archer had never said anything of the sort. It did in fact turn out to be a false rumour, which was confirmed when Johansson declared "I've never met him, and until all this started, I'd never even heard of him", one newspaper accused Archer of creating the rumours himself. He says:

"A paper phoned our manager and said: "We know he’s dating Scarlett Johansson, her people have told us." We told them it wasn’t true and that I’d never even met her. They ran the story anyway, saying I was secretly dating Scarlett Johansson. A week later they ran another story saying her people were denying it and that: "Richard Archer, from Hard-Fi, is a fantasist." and that I'd made the whole thing up for publicity. The wankers. It was quite funny until I ended up looking like a prick." [ [http://www.metro.co.uk/fame/interviews/article.html?in_article_id=75901&in_page_id=11 60 SECONDS: Richard Archer | Metro.co.uk ] ] [ [http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/hard-fi%20frontman%20slams%20journalists_1042737 Richard Archer - Hard-Fi Frontman Slams Journalists ] ]

In the same year, Archer was nominated for "Sexiest Male", alongside Liam Gallagher and Pete Doherty who actually won the award, Archer told Britain's Cosmopolitan magazine, "At the NME awards, I was nominated for Sexiest Man but I didn't win it... Crackhead Pete Doherty did." [ [http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/hard-fis%20archer%20bitter%20over%20doherty%20win_1002451 Richard Archer - Hard-Fi'S Archer Bitter Over Doherty Win ] ]

During a performance in Staines, Richard spoke out against critics.

“We had success because real people heard our music.

“Working-class musicians are supposed to be idiots who get drunk rather than people who have something to say.

“Sometimes it’s nice to have that to work against but what annoys me is when I think of our fans. You have to wonder what the people slating our record know about music when they’re essentially slagging off the fans of the band.

“You can take the piss out of my hair, my clothes – I don’t give a f***. But take the piss out of the fans and that is out of order.” [ [http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/31962/Leave-our-fans-alone/ Playlist :: Leave Our Fans Alone] ]

References


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