Rabbit Interview With Clowns Ahead of Dead Of Winter Festival and Bad Blood Happening This Sunday at Miami Shark Bar
The legendary, punk, 5-piece band from Melbourne, Clowns, aren’t planning on slowing their roll any time soon on the touring front. With the band set to play at Dead of Winter Festival and Bad Blood Festival next week before heading off to Europe for a massive tour that still has dates being added onto it, Rabbit Radio’s, Tayla Sudall was lucky to score some time to chat with Clowns front-man, Stevie Williams about how the year has been so far, which includes the unfortunate tale of Stevie having to buy a $300 bottle of champagne for the DZ Deathrays boys.
RR: Hey, how’s it going? It’s Tayla! What have you been up to today?
SW: Well, I’ve just been sitting on my computer, gettin’ a whole bunch of invoices and stuff done
RR: Oh fun –laughs- so you guys have had a pretty busy year already with Download and you toured with DZ Deathrays and now you’re gearing up for a European tour as well, and of course Dead of Winter, so how’s it all been going? How’s all the preparations and everything?
SW: Yeah, it’s all been going good um, gearing up! We’re just um, we’re working on our new set at the moment for our upcoming Europe tour and um, yeah, the set that we’re going to be doing at Dead of Winter and the shows surrounding as well. It’s basically our practice run for the Europe tour so I hope everyone doesn’t mind but yeah, we’re gonna be whipping out some old songs and potentially screwing up little bits here and there, tightening up the screws, but who doesn’t like being a guinea pig?
RR: Nah that’s sick, it’ll be a good time, I think it’ll be great! So how was the tour with DZ? Are there any funny stories that you can tell me from the tour, ‘cause you guys were there with These New South Whales and Boat Show so it was a pretty big crew of guys
SW: Yeah so, I mean we were on tour with ‘em for a whole month and when you do a tour like that I feel like everyone kind of blends and make friends so we’ve never toured with a band that we really haven’t gotten along with before so this was no exception but I mean, maybe the funniest story to tell is that, you know, throughout the whole tour everyone’s kind of like being friends and being friendly and basically all the riders backstage even though they tend to get bigger the higher the band is up on the bill, everyone was just kind of like sharing riders and it was this good little friend community vibe backstage. At the end of the last show when we played The Triffid, I walked into DZ’s band room which is where basically the rest of the drinks were because everyone else had drunk their rider and then they always had a considerably larger one then everyone else’s and they didn’t mind if we would go back there and have a couple of beers or whatever but this one particular night I walk backstage and just saw a bottle of champagne and I thought ‘yeah alright, I’ll crack it open, have a couple sips of champagne’ and I was pouring it you know, into Katie’s glass from Boat Show and everyone was having a nice little sip and we polished it off and then maybe 5 minutes later I see Shane and their tour manager Michael walk into their band room and see the bottle of champagne and it had been opened and now emptied, and they were like “What the fuck?! Who drank this champagne?” and I just fuckin’ sat there and I was like –gulp- and just sat there quietly in the corner like, tried to not acknowledge what was going on eye-to-eye with the person I was having a conversation with, they walked out of the room and I was like “that’s so weird, we’ve been drinking each other’s beers the entire tour and now this one tour they’ve gotten a little bit pissed off about a bottle of champagne?”, about half an hour later our guitarist Will comes up to me and he goes “Stevie, did you open that bottle of champagne in the DZ room?” and I was like “Yeah, I did, I dunno what they were so pissed off about” and he goes, “do you know what Dom Perignon is?” and I was like “no?” and he goes, “mate, you opened a $300 bottle of champagne and gave it to everyone”
RR: -laughs- oh no!
SW: And I was like “ohhhh shiiiit” and he’s like “yeah dude and I think that they’re pretty mad about it” and I was like, “oh my fucking god”, I had no idea! I thought it was just like a Passion Pop equivalent or something so basically ah, me and three people opened a $300 bottle of champagne and skulled it –laughs-
SW: We even did just stupid shit like we weren’t putting it in nice glasses, like, Katie from Boat Show was like “ooo I’ll get a champagne glass” and she had a gin & tonic in her hand and I was like “nah fuck that” and I just put a whole bunch of Dom Perignon in her drink and was just like “nah drink that”
RR: -laughs- yuck!
SW: I know, I really fucked it up but everything was made square because I ended up buying ‘em another one and now I’m eating cans of beans for the rest of this month to get through till Dead of Winter
RR: -laughs- nooo, that sucks!
SW: Yeah! It’s alright, you know, we all make mistakes –laughs- they understood, they got their bottle of $300 champagne and you know, despite the fact that I have been eating a lot of cans of soup, it was really good champagne, it’s easily the best champagne I’ve ever had in my life so you know, you win some, you lose some
RR: Yeah, that’s good and it’s really cold at the moment so it’s pretty… it’s soup weather so it’s alright –laughs-
SW: Yeah that’s what I’m telling myself
RR: And so you guys released your most recent LP in May last year, it was called Lucid Again so have you guys been working on much new stuff since then or have you guys just been focussing on touring?
SW: Ah yeah, we have been working on a whole bunch of new songs and we’re actually gonna be playing two of them at Dead of Winter which is pretty cool and I’m really excited to whip ‘em out, we played one of them on the DZ tour and yeah, we’re whipping out the other one. We’re gonna be releasing them at some stage but um, yeah the information about that is highly confidential so I won’t be able to expose that right now but they will be released… some time
RR: Ahh, so mysterious! –laughs- but, so, you guys have announced three shows around Queensland before you head off on that European tour so you’ll be playing shows in Byron, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and of course the Brisbane show is for Dead of Winter Festival which is shaping up to be a pretty sick time so are you guys pumped for that show?
SW: Can’t bloody wait! It’s gonna be sick
RR: Are you gonna be spending much time at the festival like after and before your set? ‘Cause there’s heaps of stuff going on there
SW: I reckon so! We played it in 2013 and it was a really, really fun day you know, ‘cause it’s obviously not just bands and not just punk, there’s kind of flavours of burlesque and you know, other forms of art and culture swirled in with the mix so it’s not your standard stage in the middle of field and a whole bunch of drunk punks sort of thing, there’s a little bit to keep the senses aroused and yeah, I mean, we’ll be kicking around, probably find us in the back room under a little bit too much red wine and saying stupid things to each other
RR: -laughs- no stealing champagne!
SW: Nah, I’ve learned my lesson! I google every bottle before I crack it now
RR: That’s wise, that’s very wise!
SW: Yeah, it’s wise for my bank account
RR: -laughs- And ‘cause it’s a horror themed festival um, are you guys planning on wearing any costumes on the stage or any kind of performances planned on the stage?
SW: We were thinking about it but then we just thought that our guitarist Jarrod Goon is already scary enough upon first look so we decided not to push it too far
RR: -laughs- Hey! Poor Jarrod!
SW: Yeah I know, harsh but fair! Is it mean if it’s true? I dunno
RR: -laughs- I guess like, truth hurts or whatever
SW: Yeah I know, truth hurts but you know, if you can’t handle the truth
RR: Get out!
SW: Yeah! You gotta re-assess your life, you gotta be able to handle the truth – he knows it too!
RR: So also the show that you guys are playing on the Gold Coast, it’s under a week from you guys flying out to Europe, are you guys a bit nervous about that at all? You might be a bit tired –laughs-
SW: probably be a bit tired, but I feel like we’re kind of used to that kind’a shit now, I mean, when we started the band we really just wanted to play as many gigs as possible, we made that a bit of a precedent when we make tours happen and stuff so I mean, like, to someone who hasn’t done it before I feel like maybe they would think it’s a bit scary but it kind of just feels like life now for us, we’ve just been playing these shows back to back for nearly eight years, I think we’ve had more days with shows in the last four years than we have not really, yeah, like even now we just had like three weeks off at the end of this DZ tour and this is all starting up again um, but nah, it’ll be fun I reckon we’ll be fine
RR: Yeah you’re gonna have heaps of fun in Europe, Europe’s sick!
SW: It’s very rarely not fine!
RR: -laughs- s, the Gold Coast show is for the Bad Blood Festival at Miami Shark Bar which has been organised by yours truly, Rabbit Radio
RR: Along with Damaged, Young Henry’s and Tiny Minds, and so this is lookin’ pretty cool as well have you guys played at Miami Shark Bar before?
SW: Yeah! We’ve done a couple of times
RR: Yeah, do you like it?
SW: It’s a nice venue! It’s a fine establishment
RR: Yeah, well that’s good, I’m glad you like it
SW: I don’t mind a cheese pizza every now and again and a bowl of chips
RR: Yeah hell yeah! Right? –laughs-
SW: They do a nice cheese pizza there
RR: I’m lactose intolerant but I gun it as well –laughs-
SW: That’s alright, how intolerant are you?
RR: Pretty intolerant but I feel like I’m building up a tolerance from just continuing to eat cheese? –laughs- I think I’ve found the cure
SW: Well Tayla, on the night if you want, you just come into our back room and you just take the cheese off, you can have a slice on us, on us Tayla!
RR: Aw thank you, so kind
SW: No worries!
RR: I’m gonna hold you to that, I’m gonna be there –laughs-
RR: So then as we were saying, less than a week after that show you guys are jetting off to Europe for 23 shows so are you guys gonna have much time over there for yourselves as well just to kind of explore and party a bit?
SW: Um, nup, probably not. This is our fifth time in Europe and um, I reckon y’know, usually I would have a holiday at the start or at the end of it just to kind of wind up or wind down um, but this time we’re literally just flying in, playing a whole bunch of shows, flying out, and we’re actually, all of the days off that are on the current poster are being filled in as we speak and we’ll probably upload an updated list of shows right before we go
RR: Oh wow! That’s awesome though!
SW: I think we have one day off in London which is gonna be kind of cool because um, every time we’ve been to the U.K. it’s just been like bam, bam, bam, bam and even this time when we go to the U.K. I think we’re playing the Roadkill Festival somewhere in Belgium
RR: Oh okay, yep, I saw that you guys were playing a heap of festivals
SW: The night before and then we jump in a van, I think we’re playing at 9pm, we jump in the van, drive straight to Calais, get on a boat, like, that goes overnight into the U.K. and then we’ll be in the U.K. in the morning and then we’ve gotta drive to Blackpool to play Rebellion at 4.20pm that day
RR: Oh jesus –laughs-
SW: Yeah, I know! But, a lot of people are like “aw it sounds like hard work” but y’know, we really do love it, you know, we’re over there to play shows, we’re not over there to chill out or see the sights even though chilling out and seeing the sights can be a convenient by-product but what we really love doing is you know, playing music and meeting other people at shows and being at gigs and watching other bands and stuff
RR: Yeah that’s sick, it’s good you get to do something that you’re really passionate about so that’s good!
RR: Is there anywhere that you guys are most looking forward to getting too?
SW: Ah, on this current run?
RR: Yeah on the European tour?
SW: Mmm, yeah I’m excited to… we’re playing in Luxembourg for the first time which will be kind’a cool um and, excited to go, we’re gonna play a gig in Slovakia which is pretty rad – Eastern Europe just feels like my spiritual home, I love it over there so yeah, I’m excited to go back over there as well and I dunno, I dunno it’s gonna be sick!
RR: Yeah, I’m excited for you it’ll be good!
SW: Thank you!
RR: Yeah well that was about all I had for you today so I do, I wish you the best of luck with everything you have coming up, which is heaps –laughs- and thanks for having a chat with me today!
SW: No worries, I’ll see you next week!
RR: Yes! I’ll see you there for my cheese pizza!
SW: -laughs- Right on! Cheese pizza, no cheese!