History & BiographySapporo, Japan is home to Saber Tiger and so Hard Gear with its connections to that act was founded there in 1996. The band left the scene in 2008, but re-appeared in 2016 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of its founding. The reformation featured original singer Toru Watanabe and guitarist Yasuhara Tanaka.
The band was founded by Tanaka after his departure from Saber Tiger. Yoshio Isoda, who had also left Saber Tiger, joined him on drums. Both would return to Saber Tiger eventually. Former Saber Tiger singer Watanabe was also recruited, as was bassist Asano. With Shintaro Aoyagi the band was a dual-guitar formation for a while as well. It all began with the release of three Directrax demos, namely 1,2 and 3, in 1998 and 1999. There was a short bout of dates called Directrax Tour ’98 and another called Directrax Tour 2000. The Directrace One video interrupted the flow and came between the three and Directrax 4 of 2000. The first three demos were compiled unto Directrax Multiple Edition of 2000. Directrax 5 was called Infinitival Ability in 2002. The group played with Master Mind, Marge Litch, Ebony Eyes and others in Osaka in 2002. Episode Of Realism was the 2003 demo and lead to the band’s farewell demo, namely Prisoner Of Humanity. Black-Listed issued the band’s Muddy Black LP in 2007. This album was re-issued by Saber Tiger’s Edge Trax (notice the ‘x’) in 2016. The band and Alhambra played together in 2008. The two had also played together in 2004. During its first tenancy the band lost a minimum of one bassist a year and a drummer once every two years. Several Saber Tiger members came and went of course.
Ashino joined on bass in 2016 after having been part of the fold until 2008. He left in January 2018. Sampei would return. The band and Six Ride were booked for a show in Sapporo, Hokkaido for September 2021. The band was also booked to open for Saber Tiger at the latter’s Big Fang festival in the same month.