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Q&A: Clowns Chat Intimidating US Crowds And Being Genre Chameleons

Written by Brenton Harris on October 16, 2015

Aussie hardcore punk outfit Clowns have announced their Never Enough national tour, which will be the group’s final headline jaunt for 2015 in support of their latest album, Bad Blood after a killer trip of the US, including performing at the esteemed Riotfest in Chicago.

Ahead of their return to home gigs we caught up with Clowns’ Jake Laderman for a quick Q&A on the wild times of travelling the States, what to expect on Australian soils and how new music is shaping up.

1. You’ve been trekking your way through the US of late, gracing the stages of clubs and festivals, even rather popping the cherry for Australian acts at Chicago’s Riot Fest, how has the USA been treating you so far?

This last trip was our second time touring USA, I can say with great confidence that we were treated MUCH better the second time around. A huge step up from our first tour earlier in March this year. Better shows, bigger crowds and (for me) a lot more FUN. I still get ecstatic thinking about some of the times we had. I think it goes to show that regardless of if you’re touring overseas or even just Sydney, it will get more rewarding the more the return.

Riot Fest must have that name because it literally some kind of party riot. The show was great, and as “artists”, we were looked after more so than anything else we’ve ever played. They boozed us beyond drinking capability and we were free to stumble around and watch some of our favourites from side of stage. Very cool that we were the first Aussies too, hopefully they start to include some more over the next couple of years!

2. Clowns are quite a combustible act in a live environment with some of your antics making you virtually impossible to ignore wherever you are slotted on a bill, how was that approach been received in the USA?

I suppose it was received pretty well, given how most of our shows turned out. There was a couple of times where the crowd stood back looking intimidated early in the set, next minute everyone is having fun and cutting-sick up the front. It’s always a rad feeling when you can vibe-up the crowd.

They probably have this idea that ALL Australians are complete nutcases. Raising the flag high, guys.. Haha.

3. It seems cliché to ask for off-stage tour highlights, but Clowns strike me as a band that could rip it up with the best of them in a party setting, so was there anything particularly memorable that went down in the USA in that regard?

There was a lot that went down, I’d go as far to say that collectively it’s the most we’ve partied on any tour. We toured the west coast with Fat Wreck’s Get Dead who more often than not pulled back-to-back all-nighters. They really showed us the value of hiring a driver for the whole tour, everyone spent the days recovering in the van between cities haha.

One hazy memory that springs to mind is having a heavy mixed concoction of “party enhancing remedies” and then spending the night at the notorious Rainbow in Hollywood. Things got weird very fast, it’s probably inappropriate to go into too much detail, but our manager Glenn and I woke up with pierced noses.. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Watch: Clowns – Euthanise Me

4. Did you get a chance to skate any rad or iconic spots?

Our first time in the states, we skated Burnside in Portland, which ruled. Not so many “iconic” spots this time, I got to skate one pretty rad skatepark in Eugene, Oregon. Apart from that, I was usually far too drunk to be skateboarding.

5. Back home your gigs have become synonymous with a wild night, do you feel any pressure to outdo yourselves each time you do a run of shows? Can we expect anything different from you on the “Never Enough” tour?

We never feel pressured to party, because honestly it’s pretty much exactly what we want to do on the weekends anyway, regardless of whether we have a show or not haha. Catching up with friends interstate is just an even better excuse to get hammered.

I usually feel like we’re the ones pressuring other people. This upcoming tour is no exception.. Don’t be boring, come and party with us!

6. The clip for Never Enough looks like it was a blast to make and captures the vibe of a Clowns show perfectly, how did the idea to just do an old school live footage clip come up after the more narrative driven effort of Euthanise Me? Are you happy with how it came out?

Stoked with how it came out. Our very dear friend Josh Merriel really nailed it.

I think you pretty much just answered it within your question, we really just wanted to capture the nature of our live shows. I guess when you’re trying to give off a certain vibe of your band within a video, a live performance probably speaks louder than any narrated video probably can for us.

Watch: Clowns – Alone With You (Sunnyboys cover)

7. As a band you’re quite unique with your punk-as-fuck ethos and raw yet melodic sound allowing you to slot in on bills with the likes skate punk stalwarts Bodyjar just as easily as you can bands of a more hardcore or even indie persuasion. Is that chameleon quality something you strive for, or is it coincidental?

We definitely strive to play with all kinds of bands, this is because we all listen to vast ranges of different music and bands in various styles. I hate the idea of being slotted into a niche, that’s just limiting the amount of people that will discover your music! I love being able to play alongside bands of any genre.

Besides, who ACTUALLY enjoys listening to a four band bill of super similar sounding music. There’s gotta be some diversity to maintain interest, at least that’s how I feel most of the time. Mixed bills rule.

8. In keeping with this theme of adaptability, after the run of shows for Never Enough you’ll be notching up another first when you support Rise Against on their arena tour, have you given any thought as to how you’ll approach those shows? Should Rise Against be nervous going on after you?

We’ll probably approach these shows the same as we’d approach any and just give em hell. We’re really excited to playing some of these epic venues, I guess it’s something that we never thought we’d ever achieve! It’s bloody weird seeing the words “Clowns” and “Arena” on the same poster.. What the hell.

I doubt Rise Against will be nervous about playing after us if they’re selling out arenas, however they should start getting nervous about the safety of their riders. Haha. I kid, I kid.

9. Given Stevie’s utter distaste for the “horseshoe of hatred/indifference” that you see at the front of some shows, I can’t imagine he’s going to be all that respectful of a barrier?

Haha what do you reckon? Just because it’s an arena, that won’t stop him, he loves a challenge. He’s going to need at least five mic leads connected together to even make it into the crowd though.

10. Once the summer festival season is over I believe you’ll be switching focus to composing your third full-length, have you written any material yet or have any ideas of what direction you might take?

We have started writing for another record and some of it is coming together great. Already pretty stoked with the progress and it’s only early days.

The next release definitely has a bit more of a planned direction in where we want to take it, especially in comparison to our two previous records. Be excited, nervous and straight up confused. It’s coming.

Clowns’ ‘Never Enough’ tour kicks off end of October, grab all the dates and deets below!

Watch: Clowns – Never Enough

Clowns Never Enough National Tour 2015
Supported by Cosmic Kahuna

Tickets on sale 9am Thursday, 17th September

Thursday, 29th October 2015
Phoenix, Canberra
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 30th October 2015
Factory Floor, Sydney
Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 31st October 2015
Crowbar, Brisbane
Tickets: Oztix

Monday, 2nd November 2015
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
Tickets: Oztix

Tuesday, 3rd November 2015
The Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood (AA)
Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 7th November 2015
The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 20th November 2015
The Boston, Perth
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 27th November 2015
Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Tickets: Oztix

(Click to expand)
clowns 2015 never enough tour poster supplied

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