For Hardy, being accepted in the rock world means more to him than simply a professional accomplishment. Rock and roll is a significant part of his roots—and to this day, it influences how he writes and performs his music.

"My childhood was post-grunge and the butt rock era," he told Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights Tuesday night (Sept. 19).

"I love it, man. Staind, all that stuff. Obviously, I was super big into a lot of '90s rock, as well. And my high school years, I was turned onto a little bit more of the deathcore scene or metalcore, all the scenes that end in core. If it had a breakdown, I liked it."

Knowing his roots and that connection to "all the scenes that end in core," it's no surprise that Hardy joined Beartooth for their new track, "The Better Me," which will be on Beartooth's upcoming record, The Surface.

"I was a big Beartooth fan and actually, believe it or not, an Attack Attack! fan," Hardy explained about his longtime appreciation for Caleb Shomo. "I'm buddies with Jack Fowler, who plays for Jelly Roll, and he used to play for Sleeping With Sirens. I texted him one day and was like, 'Do you know Caleb Shomo?' And I asked him to connect us or just tell him I'm a fan."

That text message led to an eventual connection with Shomo and as Hardy explained, they hit it off and became buddies.

"We started hanging out and sharing music and stuff like that and the next thing I know, Caleb just asked me to be on the record. It was a really natural progression."

Hardy's Dream Collaboration

As Chuck heard this story about Hardy and Shomo becoming friends and eventually working together, he asked Hardy who else might be out there who would be a dream partner on a song one day.

It didn't take long for Hardy to answer.

"I haven't met him yet, but we've texted a little bit. Corey Taylor."

Hardy said he thinks a collaboration with Taylor would be "freaking sick," and as far as he knows, he's a fan of what Hardy is doing.

"We'll make it happen one day."

David Draiman's Approval of Guys Like Hardy and Jelly Roll

A couple of months after Hardy released The Mockingbird & the Crow—and a couple of months before Jelly Roll released Whitsitt ChapelDavid Draiman took to his Twitter platform to publicly praise the music that the two artists were creating:

When Jelly Roll was on Loudwire Nights, he shared his deep appreciation for Draiman's support. Hardy, on the other hand, had never heard about this tweet until Chuck brought it up.

READ MORE: Jelly Roll Opens Up About Country + Rock

"Those guys are legends," Hardy said. "That's super cool. That's a perfect example of how great the rock n' roll world has been to me. Obviously, rock n' roll has more haters than country, I knew that getting into it. But the artists, the bloggers, the journalists, the radio— everybody has been so open arms, dude."

As he thought about Draiman's support, Hardy admitted that it's more than just another pat on the back.

"It makes me feel like I'm not completely crazy for doing this."

What Else Did Hardy Discuss on Loudwire Nights

  • What fans can expect from his new music in 2024: "It's different ... I can tell you it's going to be awesome."
  • How he approaches his songwriting with both country and rock influences
  • Why he's always working on and writing new songs

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Hardy joined Loudwire Nights on Tuesday, Sept. 19; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream The Mockingbird & the Crow at this location and then check out Hardy's full tour schedule.

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