Roky Moon & BOLT's Mike Hardin Speaks Out On The Band's Breakup

Photo By Jim Bricker
Monday afternoon, Houston music fans discovered that Roky Moon & BOLT! were breaking up this coming summer after five more shows, ending a three-year reign as one of the most party-ready and beloved bands in town. Surely one of the most popular ones here at Rocks Off, and the most fun to cover.

Mike Hardin, the Roky Moon of Roky Moon & BOLT!, posted the band's intentions of disbanding this lineup on Facebook, on both his personal and band page. All of the feedback wished the members well, and the excitement for their next chapter was evident, from both sides of the post.

According to drummer Jeaof Johnson, the change of ownership at The Mink on Main last September was one of the catalysts for the band's demise.

019 Roky Moon and Bolt American Honey Sessions jeoaf beer-thumb-560x373.jpg
Other photos By Marc Brubaker
Jeoaf Johnson recording at SugarHill in early 2011
"When that place died, half the band was left without jobs, not to mention our practice room and effectively our HQ, and we were as absolutely unprepared for it as anyone else," says Johnson in an email. Note: The Mink is still open, the ownership just changed hands. -- ed.

"It's not like any of us are gonna turn into strangers or quit playing music in some respect with each other. Above all else, even though we soon won't be a band together, we're still gonna be friends and that's what's most important," he adds.

Rocks Off also reached out to Hardin to get his thoughts on the coming breakup, his own artistic future, and the Houston scene in general.

Rocks Off: What was the most pleasurable part of this band? 

Mike Hardin: Obviously getting spend so much time with really awesome people that I play with but there is more. I am glad I never listened to anyone and just played what I felt like. Standing onstage in front of people an performing can have this really intense effect on you. Playing in front of people who actually care about your music and are there for you. I got to experience a good deal of that in this band.

The record release show we did at Fitzgerald's will stay with me for the rest of my life and I get tears every time I think about it. I have never felt so special in my whole life.

017 Roky Moon and Bolt American Honey Sessions roky tight-thumb-560x373.jpg
RO: Houston really took to you guys quickly. What was the goal when the band started? 

MH: I wanted to make the coolest glam band I could. I have said it before that I really love '70s-era rock and roll, and all of the bands just stopped making music like that. I always hoped I'd be able to get it to a point where I was touring all of the time and making records but we didn't quite get there.

RO: So there are things you wanted to accomplish, but didn't?

MH I never got to convince the Summer Fest people to let us play on the big stage. I had this dream since the beginning of the band that for one of the festivals we would get a chance to play in the big stage.

I wanted to this big Houston all-stars thing and get a shitload of Houston musicians onstage playing, singing a great super-jam like "Born To Run" or "All The Young Dudes." I never got to play with this band in Europe, which I think would have gone over really well.

RO: What happens to the ZenHill recording contract now? 

MH: I suppose they'll do what they have been doing. They have been pretty busy with Sideshow Tramps stuff. I'm guessing ZenHill isn't too worried about Roky Moon breaking up.

We originally just signed a one-year contract and that expired about six months ago, so we have just kind of been in this strange limbo place. It's a good limbo place because we still worked with ZenHill, just didn't have any real contract anymore. I haven't spoken to them in some time, though.

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what does WM, buxton, robert ellis & grandfather child have to do with any of this? if roky moon and bolt REALLY wanted to pursue bigger things, then Band members moving to another city and having immediate unrealistic expectations seems rather silly. if you really want to make it and especially here in houston, then you need to work hard, take shows seriously and keep on truckin. you think WM or buxton or robert were the next big thing in a mere three years?they worked hard and progressed and it wasn't till recently that their hard work paid off. i was never into rm&b but hey, i never though buxton was a+ either until as of late. the difference is rm&b gave up and made excuses as to why they couldn't stick around instead of working for what they really want. rm&b had alot of opportunities here that most bands don't and clearly, these things weren't appreciated or good enough. so if thats the case, then good riddance and enjoy being just another band in a city where everyone and their dog on a hill are in bands.


This band wasn't very good. Total cheeseball sub-Meat Loaf stuff. The only people high on them were their 30 years old and up beer swilling beard buddies who kept getting them gigs and bro-ing down with them...oh and don't forget writing a Rocks Off article on them every week.

Oh and anonymous...You weren't missing anything by not getting gigs at the Mink. The place was a shithole that was falling apart and the staff were pricks.

And as far as your band goes I would say just give up altogether or just do it as a hobby with no intentions of achieving success. Houston is a 100% no go for having a successful music career. It's about as logical as trying to become a famous actor by living here. The people here don't care and it's like pulling teeth trying to get recognition and people to come to your shows. It's a square 9 to 5 kind of town. Everyone who lives here does their energy corridor job in their little cubicle and stays in their little safety zone. You're only hope is to try and play elsewhere by touring if you really want to. Staying here and playing gigs over and over is a dead end unless you're just doing it for the fun of it. Although there's only so many empty rooms you can take before it's not fun anymore, and trust me I was in a band that could blow Roky Moon off the stage any day of the week.


Sorry to hear about the break-up of Roky Moon & Bolt!, but at least they had an advantage other bands do not have. As the Mink's former employees they could get a gig there at the drop of a hat. I've heard reports of other bands trying to play there in the past, only to be told by the person in charge of handling bookings, "I only book my friend's bands." It is people like that who are ruining the music scene around here. That, and with the new noise ordinance in effect, It's no wonder that a new exodus of musicians is taking place all over again. When booking agents have an open mind and allow musically diverse acts who ARE good a chance to build up a following, the music scene benefits as a whole. But when people who book shows and promoters start thinking that THEY can control who gets to play and who doesn't based solely on their ability to get their drinking buddies to see them. regardless of whether or not they have ANY TALENT, then before long, the really good bands who deserve a break will go elsewhere. Hopefully, the new ownership @ the Mink will offer a more diverse musical selection of bands and broaden their horizons a bit instead of maintaining the status quo. I hear the former employees @ the Mink are now in charge of Mangos. Don't worry guys, My band won't be playing there anymore and I'll never set foot in there again. Besides, the parking there SUCKS!!!!

furioso ateo
furioso ateo

Well this blows, another Houston artist gone to Austin.


this is kind of silly

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

That's a damn shame. I love those guys. Looking forward to hearing what they'll all do next, but I will surely miss Roky Moon & Bolt.

Jacob Majors
Jacob Majors

The Mink may technically still be open, but it's dead to the scene, bro.

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

 Defeatism like this might make you feel better for your own failures, but it has no bearing on the successful, thriving Houston music scene Rocks Off covers daily.

I would be really interested in knowing which band you were in, to make such bold claims.


Pretty much...

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