LAST summer Melbourne punk band Clowns, for a brief moment, experienced how the other half live.
They were at Etihad Stadium sharing a stage with US rock behemoths The Foo Fighters and indie mainstays Weezer.
“A show like that they’ve got catering backstage and remedial massage and a rehearsal room,” Clowns frontman Stevie Williams said.
“The Foo Fighters were playing in there for an hour before they went on stage.
“It’s just a whole different world to what we’re used to, cramming into a tour van that barely has air-con and driving nine hours to play a show to, maybe, one-hundredth the people who went to that show.”
While Clowns didn’t get to hang out with the Fooies backstage, drummer Jake Laderman did receive a hug following their set from Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins.
“It’s cool to see the world’s biggest contemporary rock band are still a punk band at heart,” Williams said. “They’re out there to champion the little guy in each area they go to because they could easily bring in another band like Weezer with them.”
Slowly but surely, Clowns are expanding their beating punk heart to the world. Last month the five-piece returned from their largest European tour, where they have built solid fan bases in Germany and Belgium.
A show in Manchester even sold-out several days prior.
“Every time we go we see more and more people coming back to the shows and the band creeping up set times at festivals,” Williams said. “So things are going really well for us.”
The focus has returned to Australia for Clowns’ upcoming national tour to support new single Freezing In The Sun.
The track is Williams’ most angry political statement yet as he rails against Australia’s asylum seeker policy by singing, “tell me what the f--k I am supposed to do, when I know my taxes are paying for kids to be held in Nauru.”
Williams said he’s been hesitant in the past to write too many overly political songs and risk being pigeon-holed, but this was an issue he couldn’t ignore.
“Basically I was sitting there thinking about how f--ked up the whole situation was and we just got a massive tax bill to pay GST and this is bullshit,” he said.
“I don’t want to pay this tax bill when I know a portion of it is going to Manus Island and Nauru projects, among other things.
“Why would I pay any amount of money to a system that houses kids in detention centres?
“My message in the song is, at this point in time it’s OK to tax evade.”
Freezing In The Sun will feature on Clowns future fourth album and follow-up to last year’s Lucid Again. The songs are written and recording will begin next month.
Clowns play the Small Ballroom on September 22.