The band's origins can be traced back to Western Sydney's Punchbowl Boys High School, where all three original band members were students. The multicultural trio of Keish De Silva (of Sri Lankan descent), Blackie (Yugoslavian heritage) and Ray Ahn (Korean ancestry) were initially too young to play gigs in pubs, but honed their skills playing at parties, school dances and the famous Sydney "all ages shows" of the era.
Largely influenced by punk, metal and psychedelic bands, the Hard-Ons sound is hard to categorise, though their love of the independent punk spirit (with the members deliberately controlling their own careers: recording, booking and promoting themselves, creating their own artwork (Ray), choosing support bands and even managing the merchandise desk whilst on tour) has found the trio never short of fans (Henry Rollins being one 'celebrity' who is never short of a good word to say about them). These unconventional decisions, combined with first class songwriting talents, powerful live performances and a healthy sense of humour earned the band a large following in Europe as well as their native Australia.
In March 2016 former drummer & vocalist Keish De Silva re-joined the Hard-Ons as a singer on a permanent basis (after having joined them on stage occasionally before).