Harts has opened up about his future, after dropping the bombshell that he might be hanging up his guitar at the end of the year.
ICYMI: the riff-slinger made jaws drop during his performance at Bluesfest 2018 when he reportedly told the crowd that “this is the last year for Harts” before climactically smashing his axe to bits live onstage.
Now, speaking with triple J‘s Hack program, Darren Hart has shed more light on the stunt, confessing that he’s been “struggling with the concept that the appeal of Harts may be too niche” and feels creatively “frustrated” by the limitations of the project and constantly being compared to Prince.
“With Prince, it was kind of a blessing but also a curse, because it gave me that overnight platform and name, and that was something I didn’t expect, and there was that constant comparison to him that I was yet to shake,” Harts reveals, reflecting on his fateful visit to Paisley Park a few years back at the behest of The Purple One himself.
“People rarely let my music as Harts stand alone without referencing Prince,” he continues. “I feel that was not the reason he wanted to meet me and that was not the reason for the trip. That was definitely something he told me in person, that he did not want me to live in the shadow of him.
“I feel a lot of people pigeonholed me as a certain type of artist. I still want to pursue music but at this moment I’m reassessing the future of the Harts project.”
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be quitting music altogether.
Hart tells the J‘s that “[The audience] keeps me going, keeps me motivated”, but he wants to branch out creatively from what he feels he can do under the ‘Harts’ monicker.
While we wait to see whether Harts will live to rock again, you catch some snaps of his Bluesfest 2018 performance (possibly his final ever major festival performance as Harts?) below.