Preview: Hard Core Logo Live (BFL Theatre)

BFL Theatre has brought Hard Core Logo to life with a staging of Hard Core Logo Live, a blending of stage performance and live music that showcases both the trials and tribulations of a fictional punk band’s reunion tour and their music. Running at the Dance Cave until March 26th, the show aims to blend the original 1993 book and Bruce McDonald’s 1996 mockumentary film into a cohesive, definitive production.

Mooney on Theatre was lucky enough to get a short email interview with Al Nolan, starring as Hard Core Logo’s lead singer Joe Dick (and an accomplished Punk artist himself) as well as Jeremy Knowles, the Musical Director.

MoT: Let’s start off with an easy one: Tell me about Hard Core Logo Live. What can we expect to see in this show?

Al: Hard Core Logo: Live is a  story of what it’s like to really be on the road,  touring clubs across Canada. Not just the shows, but the relationships, the love and hate that happens among bands, among relationships.

Mot:  Al, Tell us about your character Joe Dick, and how much of your experiences as a musician were you able to draw on to bring the character to life?

Al: Joe Dick is an asshole, but he loves Billy , The Hard Core Logos,  and does everything, even the shit stuff for Billy.  I don’t know how much I draw on being an asshole, but I certainly am bring my touring experience to the character. I’ve played all these same towns and venues a 100 times over.

MoT:  Punk music is, to put it lightly, a rather chaotic genre of music and many of its performances often mirror that uncontrollable spirit. What challenges did you face as Musical Director, Jeremy, when trying to capture that energy for the musical pieces?

Jeremy: Punk is not chaotic, but rather calculated release. With Hard Core Logo: Live the music expresses this  inward aggression of Joe Dick and his love for Billy Tallent.   Getting that energy out of  the cast was not a challenge, the challenge was focussing that energy to let those emotions come out through the music and feel like they’ve been a band for 20 years.  You can hear it  best during Blue Tattoo.

Mot:  Hard Core Logo Live is being put on at the Dance Cave, a pretty non-traditional choice for a stage production. What was the thought process behind that decision?

Jeremy: There was no other choice, and by that I mean that Hard Core Logo: Live is not suited for a traditional theatre space. We wanted the audience to feel immersed in the show, the smell and taste of punk, of touring, of what it feels like to be in a band. Doing the show in a venue that lives and breathes touring bands, seems like the perfect fit.

MoT: Hard Core Logo has now existed in some form for 24 years. What do you feel is the reason for its longevity?

It’s not just punk rock, it’s a story of human condition of  love and hate  through the lens of a touring band, not just any band, but your favourite band. It’s romantic.


  • Hard Core Logo Live is playing from March 9-26th at the Dance Cave (Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St W)
  • Shows run Tuesday to Sunday at 7:30 PM, doors open at 7 PM
  • Tickets are $36
  • Tickets are available online.