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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Stevie Williams Clowns - Interview
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STEVIE WILLIAMS

CLOWNS


Clowns

Melbourne hardcore/punk rockers Clowns are enjoying some great success right now on the back of their latest LP 'Bad Blood'. The band recently returned from a second European tour which saw the band gain momentum with a solid following after their first run and are now set to do a short run of shows in Australia with one show already sold out and the others closing in! We talk to vocalist Stevie Williams about the bands recent touring as well as what lies ahead in the near future.

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Andrew: Thanks for your time today, really appreciated! How was the European tour?

Stevie: Dude it was pretty surreal! It was our second time going to Europe but I guess we kind of had such a strong demand over there this year that we had to go twice! The first time in itself was surreal because it was all of our first time going over to Europe and seeing all these landmarks and going to these countries that we heard about our entire lives and then going back again a second time was even more busy because even in the 3 month time from our first tour, things had just grown. We saw way more people come to our shows and people giving us huge compliments, it was pretty crazy.

Andrew: Yeah definitely! Second time going into a place like that, I guess your perspective changed a little bit coming into it?

Stevie: Yeah I guess, maybe. How so?

Andrew: Like when you arrive in a country that you are experiencing for the first time but the second time around you kinda know what to expect if you know what I mean?

Stevie: I guess so. In that way we were a little more experienced from things to do, things what not to do, how to speak to the audience, how to make playful banter in ways they can understand because of obviously language barriers and culture differences. Even between ways that people speak to each other.

Andrew: Was that a big problem with the language? Although a lot of people speak english there right?

Stevie: Well in Germany which is where most of our shows were, most people speak english so it's fine. What we found when playing in the Eastern countries like Slovakia or Czech Republic, most people don't so we try to keep 'between-song' banter a complete minimum because even if we did say something that was very clever and topical, noone can understand it and we would of kinda just wasted that perfect joke or statement!

Andrew: I was just checking out your new video for "Destroy The Evidence" and it looked like it was from a tour in the U.S. like L.A. or something?

Stevie: That's made up of a bunch of footage pretty much taken all over last year and a little bit of this year too so yeah, a lot of it was from the U.S. where we went over there last September and played Riot Fest in Chicago and also toured the West Coast with Get Dead from Fat Wreck Chords. There was a bit of footage in there from New Year's Eve On The Hill which is obviously in Australia and a bit of Aussie touring as well and there was also Groezrock and a bit of Europe stuff in there like us looking out the window in Prague or walking the streets of Berlin or playing Groezrock in Belgium.

Andrew: OK cool so now that you have your foot in the door in other countries, how do you compare the US, Europe and Australia? What are the main differences?

Stevie: You know what, they're all pretty similar to be honest from what we've seen. Europe is so much more broad than Australia and America from what we've seen touring wise, I guess when you go between Germany to Slovakia they are just different worlds. Whereas from what we've seen in Australia touring between Melbourne to Cairns is nowhere near as different even though they are completely different respectively but they are nowhere near as different. But one of the things that we are going to try and do next year is do a bit of touring in far more regional Australia and central Australia so I'm pretty excited to see how Alice Springs and Darwin sort of weigh up to those kinds of differences too.




Andrew: Yeah definitely! Regional Australia does tend to get ignored a lot in the music scene by at least some of the bigger bands so it's always good to hit up those kinds of places and see some of the real Australia I guess.

Stevie: Yeah I've never actually been out to those places myself but from what I've heard from other bands that have toured there and from people on holidays, it really does resemble what seems like a different country. And I've decided to do it for comparisons for different countries that we've toured as well even though it is the same country.

Andrew: It's funny because when you do out to the regional areas, it seems like fans appreciate you a little bit more because they don't get as many bands coming through.

Stevie: Oh yeah it's a huge ego boost, it's great!

Andrew: Now you have some shows coming up on the east coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. These shows have been selling really well, one of them has sold out with a second show added so obviously you guys have been hitting it pretty big here.

Stevie: Yeah it's pretty flattering and pretty awesome that we can be overseas and setup some tickets for a bunch of shows for when we get back and by the time we get to the shores in Australia, we already need to setup a second one.

Andrew: After this short run what do you have planned?

Stevie: We have a few dates here and there. We're doing 'Til The Wheels Fall Off' in Launceston, we're doing Gingerfest in Canberra and we're going to record another album. We just gotta lock in the dates for December, finish up a couple more songs and next year, new album and we'll just keep going and doing what we do.

Andrew: Yeah I heard that you guys were coming up with some new songs so how has the process been for these new ones compared to what you've done so far?

Stevie: We've been playing together in the band for so long and the dynamic has changed so much over the years but I'd be lying if I said it was easy [laughs].

Andrew: [laughs] I guess it gets more difficult in some ways but easier in other ways. What do you think is the most difficult thing about - not just writing but being in a band in general these days?

Stevie: For me personally it's probably the cash, I mean I know it's a bit of a cliche that bands go on the internet or talk to the press and talk about how shit the cash is. It's so gratifying in so many other ways that we can play gigs and people buy the tickets and mosh and sing along to the words but it sucks when you have to scrap your pockets and live like a bum [laughs]. But I don't want to be one of those bands that complains about it or makes a thing about it, it's a fair trade. If I was looking to make cash in my life then I would go and get a fucking job.

Andrew: Yeah exactly. That's probably a big misconception that people sort of have that are not involved in the music scene, that as soon as you are doing tours overseas that they assume that bands like yourself have a lot of money but that's n9t always the case is it?

Stevie: Yeah and in a way we do have a lot of money because we can afford to tour overseas, we just waste it touring overseas! You can easily drop 20 grand bringing 4 or 5 people over Europe, hiring a van and then you gotta place shows and when you're touring overseas, it's like starting over again. People had no idea who we were when we went over there for the first time this year and the first time we went to the States as well and it's a huge gamble. In the States we didn't see things work as fast as they did in Europe and we're really lucky that they have worked now in Europe because I guess now it gives us a bit more room to try things out in the States. But yeah it's a pretty common misconception that bands that do tour internationally a lot are cashed up and living in mansions and having cocaine parties with fucking celebrities, that's definitely not the case or at least not the case at my place anyway [laughs].




Andrew: It reminds me of the ex-singer of Thy Art Is Murder CJ Mcmahon who had left the band basically because they weren't making any money despite the fact that the band are fairly big and doing a lot of tours overseas. People were surprised by that and I think it was a bit of an eye opener for a lot of music fans in general.

Stevie: I don't know the in-depth detail to what was going on there but I would assume they were making a lot of money, they were just spending it all or it was being drained through other avenues like they had a manager they were paying too much or they find a crappy record deal early on. But I would assume that band was making a lot of money, I don't know what venue would they play that would sell out Max Watts or something? You can't sell out Max watts on a $25 ticket and not pocket a fair bit of cash, I would assume they money was going to a manager that signed them up to a crappy deal. I'm not saying that is the case but that could be the case.

Andrew: Yeah there must of been other factors in there somehow. Anyway things are certainly going well for you guys, congratulations on all that and hopefully we get to see you in Perth at some stage on another tour. Maybe after your new album comes out next year or something.

Stevie: Yeah dude, it's on the map! Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you! I know it's a thing from Perth often worry about but it's on the map, we will be back.

Andrew: Yeah and again that comes down to money, people don't realize it's hell expensive to get over to Perth.

Stevie: Yeah it does come down a little bit to that and even places like Brisbane which is maybe 2 thirds the way to Perth but if you go to Brizzie you know you can play up in the Sunshine Coast and you can sot of go all the way down the coast but in Perth you are quite isolated to a certain degree. I know you can do gigs in Margaret River, Fremantle, Bunbury but you do get a little stranded so it's a little bit more strategic for us to get over there but rest assured people of Perth, we will be there and it's going to be as wild as always!

Andrew: Cool look forward to it! Congratulations on everything and it's been great speaking to you today so thanks again!

Stevie: Hey no worries dude, thank you very much for interviewing me!


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CLOWNS AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2016:

Oct 14, Crowbar, Brisbane
Oct 15, Blackwire, Sydney (3pm)
Oct 15, Blackwire, Sydney (730pm)
Oct 21, The Evelyn, Melbourne
Nov 03, Launceston Workers Club - Til The Wheels Fall Off 2016

Tickets and tour info HERE.


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on September 23rd 2016