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MUSIC Performer Jane Badler helps present late son's musical vision
by Matt Simonette
2020-08-18

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Actress/musician Jane Badler said that her late son, Harry Hains, was someone who was "in a different vibration."

"He never fit in," said Badler, who is perhaps best known for her role as the villainous alien leader Diana in the '80s TV mini-series and series V. "He went to private school and he didn't know why he didn't fit in. He wasn't gay. He wasn't straight. He was kind of this genderfluid, androgynous creature. He always felt that he was never understood."

Hains, who passed away in January 2020 after struggles with addiction and mental illness, was nevertheless active as a musician and an actor—like his mother. He had small parts in the series American Horror Story and The OA. Shortly before his death, he completed work on a concept album, A Glitch in Paradise. Badler and others in Hains' family are now preparing A Glitch in Paradise for release in September.

The album is billed as "an amalgamation of rock, electronica and gothic pop, [wherein] Harry ( as the robotic character ANTIBOY ) imagines a world in which human and machine co-exist and eventually conjoin. In this robot utopia, there is no inequality, prejudice or toxicity."

Badler said that her son "had a genius way of looking at the world that was different than most people."

The ANTIBOY character was essentially a genderfluid robot living in the future, she added. "He didn't believe that there was such a thing as gender. He believed that there should be no labels and one-consciousness. This character was stuck in a virtual reality world that was malfunctioning. … The ANTIBOY character was living in a loop of heartbreak."

Hains began to think about the character four years before he passed away, Badler recalled. "He always wrote about dystopian worlds and sci-fi worlds—I think ANTIBOY came from all of that."

Hains had shelved A Glitch in Paradise but, after his death, Badler and the rest of his family listened to the album and became convinced of its potential.

"I think I spent the last seven years of his life just trying to save [Hains]," Badler said. "He was very reckless and had a lot of demons—and he was very fearless. … I figured the creative projects would 'save' him. I didn't really listen to the music [when he was alive] like I do now. Now I'm free to listen to the brilliance."

Hains' brother, Sam, who is a producer, has been working on material in tandem with A Glitch in Paradise, including a video scheduled for release on Sept. 19 accompanying the single "Bang Bang," Harry's take on the Nancy Sinatra classic.

Badler called the dystopian "Bang Bang" video "mind-blowing. It was quite beautiful to see that come to fruition through his brother's hand. That's been a beautiful by-product of this. I think we're going to be doing about four videos altogether."

Now based largely in Australia, Badler has worked steadily as a musician—Harry performed in some of her music videos—and as an actor. She will appear in an upcoming film, FreeFall, and is working on her first novel. But she is most excited to take part in the release of her son's music.

"Now when I listen to the music, now when I read his poetry, now when I read interviews, I'm struck by how extraordinary he was," she said. "It's very bittersweet, and with some of the songs, I get very emotional when I listen to them."

Badler reached a point where she experiences the music as "a kind of celebration and being about something that is bigger then me. It's about him."

The "Bang Bang" video is at bit.ly/2QeWWAt.


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