It's been an exciting year for Brian Hardy. A 2008 graduate of Northeast High School, Hardy has seen his professional wrestling and musical careers ascend to new heights in 2019.
“This has been a big year in WWE for me,” said Hardy, who appeared on a September 2 airing of WWE’s Monday Night Raw program at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.
A musician as well, Hardy released his second full-length album “Other Side of the Tracks” on June 7. “So far, very positive response back about the entire album,” he said.
During his most recent WWE appearance, Hardy took to the ring using a new alias: Brian Thomas.
“The coolest thing about the whole entire experience was that they allowed me to use my first name and my middle name,” he said. “To actually be myself on TV was really cool.”
Hardy entered the ring as a part of a tag-team duo with Tyler Hastings, who hails from Salisbury. (See the video here)
“Two Maryland boys against two of the top WWE guys right now,” said Hardy, who squared off against The Viking Raiders.
Hardy’s first WWE appearance was as Frank Venezia during a 2012 SmackDown match. After years on the independent wrestling circuit and a few spot appearances for the WWE along the East Coast, the thrill of performing in front of thousands in an arena and millions on television is as great as it’s ever been for Hardy. This year, he's seen more onscreen and in-the-ring time than any other year.
“I don't know what it's like to do drugs, but I wouldn't want to because you couldn't get me higher than the energy from one of these shows can get me,” he said.
As much excitement as the bright lights of the WWE has brought to Hardy, his passion is shared with his music.
“I love the wrestling business with all my heart and it will always have a special place in my heart, but the music is where it's at for me,” Hardy said.
As he describes it, “Other Side of the Tracks” has a country twang to it, though he describes his overall style as a combination of surf rock and retro rock.
Hardy's musical influences include The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Recently he's found a connection with guitarist, singer and songwriter Brian Setzer.
“As of recently, the thing that got me the sound that I was looking for is I'm absolutely obsessed with Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats,” he said. “I found my guitar tone through listening to Stray Cats and Brian Setzer.”
Album favorites so far, he said, are the title track and a song called “Letters from San Bernardino.” That song is inspired by letters his grandfather, who was stationed in San Bernardino with the Air Force, would write and send to his grandmother in Baltimore.
“I was looking for things to write about, looking for new material and I came across these letters in my attic,” he said. “I pulled them out and started reading them and I was crying my eyes out. [So] I wrote a song about it.”
Fans can catch Hardy performing live at The Office Bar and Grill in Pasadena on October 4 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
For more information about his new album or future performances, find Hardy’s pages on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram under the handle @BrianHardyMusic.