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Nobody’s laughing at Melbourne hard-core punks Clowns these days. Years of relentless touring have earned them a well-deserved reputation as the go-to band when you’re in need of a little TLC (Total Loss of Control). But don’t confuse that irreverence with lack of work ethic – these lads put their blood, sweat and tears into the making of their latest album.
“We’ve been working our balls off trying to get this album out in time,” says front man Stevie Williams. “But it’s all on track now and I’m pretty fucking stoked we will have our new clip for ‘Euthanise Me’ out as well.”
Bad Blood, Clowns’ ironically-titled second LP, was mixed and mastered in Melbourne at the Hot House Studio with cover artwork by local artist Mongo – making this follow up a truly local affair. “We wanted to make the album with people we consider our friends – people we trust. We wrote the whole thing in our bassist James mum’s factory in Cheltenham, which is where we all grew up.”
Out now thanks to their mates at Poison City Records, Bad Blood is already making waves in the punk and hard-core community. So to celebrate they packed into their clown car and hit the road to play regional centres and major cities in Queensland and New South Wales.
This week is Victoria’s turn and, if history repeats itself, things could get a little messy. “We’re playing at the Karova Lounge on March 8. That’s going to be a wild gig. The last album launch we did at the Karova we were pretty fucking stoked with the turn out! And hopefully a few more people will turn up and it’ll be even bigger again.”
In the spirit of ‘go hard or go home’, Clowns have assembled a killer line up for the Karova show. Deliberately chosen for the hometown crowd, punters who get in early will experience the full force of Ballarat thrash rockers Horris Green and Ramones-obsessed locals Agent 37. But wait, there’s more, designed to keep the crowd on their toes, Clowns called in a favour from buddies across international waters, American Sharks.
Currently based in Austin Texas, the party hardened Sharks are making noise in all the right places and now it’s their chance to take a bite of the Australian punk scene. “We just really like the band,” Stevie says simply. “We’ve been listening to them for about a year and we wanted to bring out an American band to tour with us. We thought we could help them get their name out over here and hopefully in the future they may help us out over in the States. We were stoked they actually said yes – having them on tour with us will be so much fun!” he smiled.
Fun and games aside, these Clowns are no fools – they’re completely self-managed and Stevie says that a recent trip to China spurred on their desire to tackle the US market in the near future. “The MIDI Festival in Shenzhen was insane! Playing in front of thousands and thousands of people was a dream come true!” Stevie beams.
“More international touring is something we really want to do, even though I know it’s hard for bands to cross over into unknown territory,” Stevie says honestly. “But once you start dipping your feet into the water eventually you can do it, or that’s what I kept telling myself anyway,” he laughed. Though something tells me these Clowns are no joke.
When&Where: The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne – March 6 & Karova Lounge, Ballarat – March 8
By Natalie Rogers