Ep. 6 - Talking Aussie Punk Rock and the Evolution of Their Music with Jake Laderman of Clowns
In this episode, I get the chance to talk with drummer Jake Laderman (@catman.scoop on IG) of the fast rising Aussie punk band, Clowns. This is absolutely one of the most interesting, deep-deep dive music conversations I have probably ever had.
We talk about everything from classic punk bands to The Yardbirds to some of the best drummers of past and present as well as what it's like to have a voice in a punk band and what it means to stand behind your music.
This conversation will absolutely capture your attention, and it is definitely a must-listen episode!
**Correction from the Podcast: I mention 2 members of the Foo Fighters having been from the band Sunny Day Real Estate. The only active member of the Foo Fighters from Sunny Day Real Estate is Nate Mendel (bass). However, drummer William Goldsmith DID have a brief stint with the Foo at the early outset of the band's formation. He is no longer part of the band though.
Intro Music: "Colorado" by Birds Love Filters
Clowns Website: https://clownsband.com/
Clowns on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2TuGrkN9bcjWU1GcrUarYn?si=eF7CaKR5Rr6x2E-8ZAd6xw
Clowns on Twitter: https://twitter.com/clownsband
Clowns on Instagram: https://instagram.com/clownsband
Clowns on Facebook: https://facebook.com/clownsband
Clowns on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/clownsband
Check out their Record Label - Damaged Music https://damagedmusic.com.au/
Isaac Kuhlman 0:01
Hello and welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast where we're gonna be speaking with Jake Laderman from an awesome punk rock band out of Melbourne, Australia called Clowns that'll absolutely make you want to punch and kick in a mosh pit all day.
You're listening to the Powered By Rock Podcast with your host Isaac Kuhlman. The Powered By Rock Podcast was created helps showcase some of the best rock musicians in the world, and to pass on to future generations the rock music that has inspired rock fans around the world for decades. We want listeners to be able to hear great stories and life experiences directly from their favorite artists, as well as dig deeper into music theory and talk rock like no other show you've ever heard. This isn't about looking cool. It's about getting real and having a great time. Without further ado, let's start the show.
Hey, Hey, welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast. I'm absolutely pumped to have Jake from Clowns on the show today is and I'm relatively newcomer to their music, but I'm absolutely a huge fan of music. I can't wait to dig deeper into the mind of this mad Aussie today. So Jake, welcome to the show.
Jake Laderman 1:10
Thanks. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks, everyone.
Isaac Kuhlman 1:15
Yeah, it's great to have you here. I mean, you know, like I said, I'm kind of a newcomer, but I listen to the music and it gets me pumped. So I mean, I think when when people have been a fan of yours, they know exactly what I mean. You guys put on a hell of a you have a lot of energy and put on a hell of a show. So, you know, I first have to start by kind of referencing something that I feel is kind of a fact of life now. I truly believe that some of the best bands are actually in the world right now are coming from Australia. You know, absolutely love the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, surf rocking band Skegss, and I definitely dig Clowns. Do you think that there's like some massive effort coming out of Australia right now it's sort of like the California rock and punk rock that was kind of huge in the 90s and 2000s.
Jake Laderman 1:56
And it's so interesting, I hear a lot of podcasts and a lot of like US and Canadian podcast talk about this. And like the, the influx of Australian bands at the moment. I think I've always felt like bands that we have here have been pretty solid as well, but I wouldn't I mean, I never thought of it to be any better than anywhere else. But you know, like I I continually hear about, like, the punk movement in like the 70s in Australia, and like how, you know, like the rise of AC/DC and there's definitely a lot of respect towards Australian rock, which I think is really cool. I think it's cool that people pay attention. But yeah, we do have a solid amount of bands. So glad glad you dig enough. Yeah, I put something in the water down here, I guess. Yeah.
Isaac Kuhlman 2:51
It's like, don't get a job go and be a rock star. It's no big deal. So before we get into some of these kind of deeper, greater topics that we want to bring up, I obviously want to ask you about your journey. Like what got you guys into playing music? What got you into music and playing drums? Obviously, what were some of the artists and influences you guys had? And and what was what made you choose this path for your life?
Jake Laderman 3:15
Um, I think that like, well, the band started with Stevie the vocalist and myself, like, we went to school together, and we grew up together. And I think as kids, like, we never really saw ourselves doing anything else. Like, I think we, you know, we played music together, all through school. And then when it actually came to finishing school, my parents were kind of like, you know, like, what now and I and I was just like, all I wanted to do was play music. And it took a lot of convincing to, like, get that to be allowed. So we spent like, that first year out of school, just like playing in this band Clowns that we had started. And I think we played like, 150 shows or something stupid like that. Like, it's like, we were the kind of band that would just take any gig that was offered to us, because we just thought, Oh, this band wants us to play we'll play and I think like in that first year, we just were having so much fun with it. We didn't really have any goals, like real goals. We just wanted to get involved. And I think, you know, after that first year, like we we saw a little bit of momentum in it and and we're like, oh, what's another year of this? And what's another year of my parents wanted me to go to university. And like, you know, 10 years on like, it's it, you know, we just took little strides here and there and little opportunities and, and that this is where we are, you know, like just just happens, like, I guess
Isaac Kuhlman 4:55
what were some of the bands that you guys kind of got into that kind of Started you're influenced because obviously it's it's a pretty, I would say it's a harder punk rock sound than then, you know, pop punk for sure. But it's, I wouldn't say it's like ultra hardcore where it's like, you know, just thrashing punk music, but it's kind of in between those two things.
Jake Laderman 5:13
Yeah, for sure. I mean, early on for me personally, I probably was worshipping a lot of like Australian rock and punk music like, namely The Living End and Frenzel Rhomb that they were two bands that like I really looked up to. And then I think like, you know, there was obviously Green Day and Blink-182 that were big when I was kids, but I think maybe more specifically towards clowns. When that band you know, once we started that, I think it was maybe like a year or two in that I really discovered the 80s American hardcore scene. And I think I watched I watched that documentary, American Hardcore, and I think that just sort of flipped my world a little bit. And it made me realize that like, this, you don't really need to be a big band to, you know, you shouldn't care about that kind of stuff really, like you should just like, you know, be involved in the music community. And yeah, you know, like, make connections with other bands. And like, I think that at that time, I was pretty much of the mind that that was the only thing I liked. You know, like, you know, those stubborn kids that are just like that, just like I like this and everything else sucks punk rock is that's that's how I was I was that kid for a little while. And so I think that was maybe the beginning of, of Clowns was like 80s hardcore mixed with like, you know, a few other maybe like Trash Talk and The Bronx, and that kind of thing. Like, I think we sort of like went for that sound a bit earlier on.
Isaac Kuhlman 6:57
Nice. And obviously, you guys have had some lineup changes, since obviously getting together. You even have you know, I think you have five people in the band now, but it hasn't always even been a five piece has it?
Jake Laderman 7:11
No, we started as a full pace. We have we've had more I think we have like the maybe the sixth or the seventh guitar player in our band. Currently. We can't seem to keep guitars, guitar players, but thankfully they're the most expendable. And yeah, yeah, I don't know. Like, I think that I'm sure like lots of bands can attest to this to any band that like, really wants to, like give it a good crack. Like, you know, touring is not for everybody, it. It's pretty, like, it's pretty soul crushing at times. And I think that, you know, we lost a few people on the way because of that, or maybe just because of like, the amount of time that we really put into it, you know, like rehearsals and yeah, recording and always constant. We're always constantly just thinking of the next thing, the next record the next two or that whatever. And it's, it's, you know, it's not for everybody.
Isaac Kuhlman 8:14
Yeah. I mean, you have said what I wanted to kind of get to, I mean, when you have a band that is dedicated, especially like you and Stevie, I know, I see Stevie on Instagram, constantly talking about the band doing everything, like, you know, hey, there's new vinyls out there. We got, we're at a pizza shop, we got a pop up shop at a Pizza Place. I'm like, This is crazy. Like he's got, I don't know if there's the whole band thing of this or just hammer wet. But there's a lot of good ideas that like just bringing the visibility of the band up there that I don't think he can sit still. That's That's what I think. But
Jake Laderman 8:46
that describes him pretty well. Yeah.
Isaac Kuhlman 8:49
But yeah, I think, you know, that will kind of wear on people, if that's the attitude of some of the band, but not all of the band. Right. And, you know, it might be it might seem like a good idea to jump on this moving ship. But if that ships moving too fast, you're gonna want to get off pretty quickly.
Jake Laderman 9:03
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think that, you know, like, early on, we were very much like, like, we need everyone involved. Everyone needs to go home and write a song and bring it in. And like it was a very much like that early on. But I think we've evolved into a place where Stevie and I, and, and Jared as well, Jared is like a band member that's been in for a significant amount of time. We definitely, you know, focus on it on a daily basis. Yeah. And we don't expect that of everybody. Yeah, if that makes sense. Like
Isaac Kuhlman 9:38
it does. I mean, everybody's got to have a role. And if their role isn't to do everything, it's just come and do this. And that's all we need. That way. It takes some pressure off of bandmates. And yeah, that makes sense.
Jake Laderman 9:48
Isaac Kuhlman 9:49
Yeah. One thing I noticed about you guys music is that there's definitely an evolution and you kind of maybe touched on this like you, you were really into this like that hardcore punk scene when you first started That's I mean, that's kind of how the first album was. And then, you know, I think in the, the Bad Blood album, I think it's called, it changed a little bit, you had some more foundations of like more complex musical arrangements, which kind of took the band into some different, you know, nine minute, 11 minute, 10 minutes long and stuff like that. And the song Human Terror at the end of Bad Blood is actually a pretty good example of this, in my opinion, it's like, five minutes of instrumentation. And then that basically shows you know, how talented you guys are, and just an awesome piece of like, you know, this well balanced, you know, overall song, you feel like that was like a conscious, conscious effort to kind of start taking that music in that direction. If you like you, you were changing too much too quickly, or is it like, we just do whatever we want in this, this is just a cool ass song.
Jake Laderman 10:47
I think by the time we did the second record, we had already decided that we wanted to do something different, I think very early on, we were had decided that every record we did was going to be a bit different, every record would introduce something new. Because you know, any music fan can can agree that like, no one wants to hear the same record over and over. I mean, some people do, but I've said
Isaac Kuhlman 11:15
the same shit like 10 times with, with different artists. And it's like, if I hear the same band playing the same shit, they played for 30 years, I'm like, I'm out. Like, you can do that, like three or four albums before I'm sick of it.
Jake Laderman 11:26
That's That's exactly right. And like, I think we just yeah, with Bad Blood. Like, we there was a lot of different ideas. That was like the hardest record for us to write because it was just, there was too many cooks in the kitchen. And like, you know, we'd spent at that time we'd spent like, you know, like, months and months just working on like, one song. And and like, anyways, getting back to the, the evolution of the songs, I think that Yeah, we had decided that, that everyone was going to be different. And like, by the time we did the third record, we had listened to some, I think I had like, sort of found a love for like, phases and like, you know, like elements of suck music and whatnot. And we thought it incorporated that into our sound.
Isaac Kuhlman 12:26
That's cool. So yeah, I was gonna say speaking of Human Terror you guys actually have a few instances of these like dual songs. I don't know how to like they're, they're connected songs I should say like, Human Error and Human Terror, Awake and Asleep, Nature and Nurture. And that's the name of the most recent album. You guys have like any Do you? Do you have personally any insight or input as to how these songs are fit together? Is that is that a band discussion? Or is that something Stevie thinks or how's that go
Jake Laderman 12:53
that's um you know, I I've never actually made that connection before. Like I we definitely had like I obviously know about all those song titles and how those songs came to be but I have not ever thought to myself that there is three in interconnecting song titles. They were all
Isaac Kuhlman 13:14
Well, the song Awake is kind of like a bit of an not really even a song. It's kind of like I think it's Rowdy Roddy Piper from the from the movie They Live or something like that kind of introducing your album which is pretty cool but it the song title obviously connects to the Asleep one later on, which is kind of like a spoken word musical thing as well.
Jake Laderman 13:33
Yeah, I think that like a lot of the lyrical themes are Stevie's mind but I can I can always think about like conversations back in those times when we were like, just discussing ideas. I definitely remember that the conversation of like, Oh, that sounds quite Awake. We should call this one Asleep. And then human Yeah, exactly the same with Human Error and Human Terror. And I think Nature/Nurture that was more of a an album theme that was like, yeah, that was like, before that album even came to be anything. We had decided that that was going to be the album title. And each side of the record was going to sort of have like opposing elements to them.
Isaac Kuhlman 14:26
So it was like a duality between the album itself.
Jake Laderman 14:29
Yeah, so like we at the beginning of that record. As soon as we wrote the first two or three songs, we had a whiteboard and like, we're like, okay, that song definitely belongs on side Nature. That song definitely belongs on side Nurture. And so that was sort of constructed in that way. Which was different for us for sure.
Isaac Kuhlman 14:46
I mean, there's a lot of bands that do concept albums, and I think it's it's interesting when a band because every band goes in thinking like, there's gonna be some sort of theme with the album, but it doesn't mean that like, every song has to fit a certain concept. Right It's just like maybe this is the mood maybe I wrote all the songs in the month of December so we're calling it December or whatever, right? There's a lot of theme style albums without them being concept album. So when it actually is like a concept album like that, instead of just two connected songs, it actually makes it even cooler because then now I'll go back to that and listen to it and think, Oh, yeah, this actually. And now that you say that some of the later songs in the album for sure have like, you know, less heavy songs, like not so hard, right? So makes a lot of sense. So that's interesting. And I like that so I also really like how you guys came out with with I'm Not Right, I do love that album. It's it's just this fast pace. It's kind of a statement album, even the song titles like Grave Junkie, Eat a Gun, Jesus on Acid, Oh, fuck my face. Like, there's so much grit on that album. That's just so funny. Like who writes these song titles? Like this is even just reading the like the cover, you're just like, Okay, this band's got some humor, first of all, but also like, there's some grit there. Like, you guys feel like, you know, you have a different view than your younger selves did because like, you know, that's, I mean, that's it's kind of like inner inner jokes, and all that kind of stuff. But you feel like what was said, back then and made back then is still part of your band identity, though? Is it just totally different.
Jake Laderman 16:18
I think we've done a lot of growing up since that record, but I think it definitely goes back to like, you know, we were all listening to a lot of hardcore and and everything that we did, we would sort of like actively trying to be gritty, I think everything, Matt, you know, it's probably because everything we were listening to at the time was gritty. And, and like, we were always pushing ourselves into new ways to sound gritty, whether that be like, me, learning how to do a blast beat, or someone else learning how to play that fast or, or whatever. Like it was always, we're always just like, we had this rule that if you could, if you couldn't play something that someone had written, you had to, you had to, like, physically had to learn it. And there was no, there was no excuse. Yeah, we're just like, Well, you can't play it. Okay, you better go home and rehearse it.
Isaac Kuhlman 17:19
Come back next week, because we'll meet in like, six days. Yeah,
Jake Laderman 17:22
yeah, that's it. Now, but you know, like those, we still play a lot of those songs. But I think that the songwriting across the board of the band has definitely gone a little deeper. You know, like, I think on the last record, Nature/Nurture, like, we had a few songs that were maybe a little deeper on an emotional level. And then, and then like, for the remainder of the records, we were like, Oh, we should just go back and do more heavy shit. Like so we did. And and it's funny, because I think that we all enjoy playing the heavier stuff more like yeah, it's like,
Isaac Kuhlman 18:03
well, there's one song on there called Prick that, you know, I think is it's pretty awesome. I mean, it's also like a social commentary, I think in about two things. Maybe like, you know, one specifically people saying you should separate artists from the art. He's, you know, Stevie actually sings as like, you know, you should separate music from the musician, art from artists and all that stuff. And, and I think it's referring to, you know, some of these human pieces of shit that are just famous artists, like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, not specifically mentioning them by name. Because they don't play guitar in the song. It's like, Yeah, but he's a good guitarist. Like, who gives a shit like you guys a piece of garbage, right? But I think that, you know, just because someone does make good music, it doesn't give him an excuse for anything, which is a great social commentary within that song. And I believe that punk music is inherently socially and politically aware, and charged in their music in general. So do you feel like you guys have, like a place within social, political, you know, just the ability to speak out? Now, I know, within the music, for sure. But you take that away from the music and actually stand for, you know, these things on on Instagram or, you know, on social media? And do you, you know, what would you say to people who are like, oh, musicians shouldn't give their opinions on politics.
Jake Laderman 19:23
Um, I feel like musicians can do whatever the fuck they want. You know, if you're writing a song, like you can, you can write a song about anything you want. And I think something that, that our band hasn't really been afraid of is is doing that, you know, because like, if you if you do write a political song, you kind of have a divide. Absolutely. You can't You can't stop that. But it just depends what message you're trying to get across. And, you know, like, I think I think that we're in a time especially Right now that like people really need to raise their voices and and you know with the birth of the internet like it's it's very it's very it's a very capable thing to make a difference you know
Isaac Kuhlman 20:14
yeah yeah and it's also a very easy thing to voice your stupid opinion if you absolutely have no fucking idea what you're talking about
Jake Laderman 20:24
So true it works unfortunately both ways
Isaac Kuhlman 20:29
I think I saw somewhere on like Facebook or something one time like or maybe it was Instagram you know Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello like somebody said like I'm never listening I didn't know like I just found out you guys are like anti Republican or something like that or anti conservatism and he just yeah he's like yes yeah and again it's like what fucking machine Did you think we were raging against this
Jake Laderman 20:56
That's so fucking good. That's amazing.
Isaac Kuhlman 20:59
Like it's just like 2020 or 21 When are you serious right now is 30 years of this so you Yeah,
Jake Laderman 21:07
They slipped under some people's right
Isaac Kuhlman 21:11
oh you weren't listening to lyrics you're just bobbing your head like an idiot the whole time
Jake Laderman 21:14
and yeah, that's it man
Isaac Kuhlman 21:17
so obviously the pandemic shut you guys down when it came to the tour to promote nature nurture and obviously move forward and stuff but how good were you like literally right at the point where you guys are taking the band to new heights and just had everything canceled?
Jake Laderman 21:30
Um, you know, like I think every band has definitely had their moments of feeling pretty down about everything. But I definitely find a lot of solace in knowing that we did over the years we have done so much touring and experienced so much and more than anything I think like this far into the pandemic I think we're all just feeling really grateful that we actually have the chance to do that we got there like in 2019 that was our busiest tearing year ever and and may well be the busiest touring year we will ever have we
Isaac Kuhlman 22:05
it's hard to get back to doing that much when you have that big break of relaxing
Jake Laderman 22:09
dude I think we like like I can't even begin to explain like how close to breaking point some of us were but we you know we got to go to the States and we got to go to Europe twice and Japan and Australia all in one year so it was it was a very busy year and I looked and we squeezed in just before the pandemic hit so like I was super grateful to do that you know yeah and everything like with what you're saying about like you know things were going really well I feel that way about a lot of other bands like bands that are younger than us who are getting their moment in the sun now you know and like they and they were just about to do all this big touring and stuff and now it's gone yeah that that I feel I feel truly sorry for that's yeah
Isaac Kuhlman 23:04
there's a lot of bands you know just got signed to a record label for the first time about to start their first tour national or international it's like sorry, you can't go anywhere and it's like now what because like when you're when you're that pumped about going on something like that it's it really is like derailing if you don't find another plan B right because at that point you you you can't keep the flame going for a year and a half or two years without some momentum it's like now there's no there's no gasoline here like you can just keep you know gas on a fire that doesn't have any flame or whatever. But yeah, it's a good point. So one thing I did see which I thought was absolutely awesome and you mentioned The Living End earlier you actually got to do a couple songs at it I think they're coming for the new album or with the producer woody anacin who actually worked with the living end there in Melbourne you know I actually think The Living End is just absolutely probably no no no disrespect to you guys the probably the most famous or whatever the most legendary punk rock Australian band now you guys are obviously become like the rising guard but I didn't even know punk rock music existed in Australia till I heard The Living End back in like '98 and I'm like holy shit these guys are awesome and he's standing up on his upright bass and just slamming on it as hard as they can it's like these guys can rock so I thought that was awesome that I saw you got to work with Woody Annison now he worked on one of the newer albums but did that kind of experience feel different or extra special at all for you guys?
Jake Laderman 24:37
it I think that working with Woody was a definitely a definitely a different experience like we had hadn't worked with a producer like him before. It was really good in a lot of ways. And really challenging in a lot of other ways. I think that the first three were records that we, sorry, the, from Bad Blood to Nature Nurture. So the three records we did, we did them all in the same studio with the same person. And we were very much in our comfort zone in that space to work with a producer who was really contributing to a lot of the instrumentation and a lot of the structure and a lot of the tones and things like that was was very different for us. It was an experience, I'm unsure that will do it again. Yeah, um, you know, so much respect to him, because He is a very talented dude, who's what, who's made some great records. But it's hard to say if we would do it again.
Isaac Kuhlman 25:52
Yeah. Like, you have to give up some of your control to let the producer do their job properly. And in some respects, producers are really good at this and in some respects, it's a really good fit. But then other times it's like, Man, it's like smashing, you know, your head into a wall or whatever. But, you know, it's interesting to get that perspective because, you know, I don't think a lot of people who listen to music like on a, just like surface level, even consider the producer's job in in the role of how an album comes together, how it changes the sound of a band or you know, whatever like Rick Rubin has done some of the biggest artists in the world and every time he touches an album you can distinctly tell when it's a Rick Rubin album from the rest of their actual albums, but most people don't even pay attention to that they're just like oh, this is the new Weezer album or Nirvana album or whatever and they just go off and listen to the album not really understanding that literally it could be one person that's giving these guys notes here and there that can change some stuff that you know maybe for the better maybe for the worse but in the end that's that's the way it goes with the producer I think
Jake Laderman 26:58
So true as soon as I try and you know like that's not to say that will never work with a producer again I just feel like maybe we could find a better fit
Isaac Kuhlman 27:08
Jake Laderman 27:11
but again, like Woody has made some records with some of my friends bands and those records I fucking love Yeah, but I think maybe it's just like a bit of a shock to my system or our system to like hear it in a new way but you know you win some you lose some
Isaac Kuhlman 27:30
cool so let's talk about drums for a minute because you rock them pretty damn hard yourself and you know you can see this little shitty electronic set that I got back here but you know what's your theory on your role in the band because you know there's there's lots of these quotes out there and and you know, I always talk about this this quote from Buddy Rich attributed to Buddy Rich who was you know, this legendary drummer from like the 50s and 60s from memory who said something like an average band with a great drummer sounds great, great band with an average drummer sounds average Do you agree with that?
Jake Laderman 28:04
I think that in the punk world is kind of it's it's a bit different because I think that like there are a lot of drummers that I grew up listening to that I would consider to be great drummers but they're not really like the tightest drummers you know,
Isaac Kuhlman 28:19
Not technically the most talented or something like that.
Jake Laderman 28:22
I think that it goes with every instrument like you don't have to be the greatest player. It's just more like the attitude of the person playing it a lot of the time like I think that the Ramones were a great example of like this I could go on and on and on about bands that that I think had this like you know vibe about them there's like this grit and attitude like Adolescence you know like well like The Dead Goys are like The Spits You know, they're all fucking they're all fucking like loose and raw. But like that's what there's like an appeal to it. Yeah, that said, there are some insanely great drummers that I do feel like make the band you know, or like the band wouldn't couldn't exist without them. And like you know, I would you know, say like the Melvins like Dale Crover is like one of a kind Yeah, he's he's like an insane drummer like Gordy from the band Frenzel Rhomb in Australia that guy's insane. Bill Stevenson from The Descendents Yeah, that band wouldn't even exist without him you know?
Isaac Kuhlman 29:34
Yeah, look makes drumming look way too fucking easy. I just was watching like an Instagram Live of him he's like that then I'm like, playing just like one handed rolls and I'm like, you do not look like you're that good at drums. But then when you actually hear the song You don't even think of how technical it is. He's like, yeah, did you did you make that look really easy because when I try that I look like a moron sometimes.
Jake Laderman 29:56
He just like he just like full has figured out a way to effortlessly play. Yeah, he doesn't. And like, I think that's something that when you get older as a drummer you, you learn to you learn that your body can't take as much movement anymore. So you just sort of learn to do it a bit easier. Yeah. And like that.
Isaac Kuhlman 30:18
No wasted motions.
Jake Laderman 30:19
That's exactly right. And sadly, I've experienced some very bad RSI in my wrist in the last few years. So I've definitely been watching a lot of his drumming, trying to like figure out just how he does it. Because it's really interesting. I
Isaac Kuhlman 30:37
actually have a friend who's a drummer who had the exact same thing. He's like, you want my drum set, because I can't even use my hands anymore. My arm and my wrists are done. I was like, really? And he's, he's my age. I mean, I'm 39 He's 39. Actually, he turned 40. I turned 40 this year, too. But yeah, I mean, I'm like, he wasn't like in a touring band. They'd played a few shows down in San Francisco relatively often. But I mean, when you play in, in practice in that much, even if you're just hitting a drum pad, yeah, your wrists are gonna get pretty damaged over time.
Jake Laderman 31:05
Yeah, and I think it's also just that learning that you don't actually need to hit as hard as you might think you do. Oh,
Isaac Kuhlman 31:13
Well, Jake, everybodywants to hear it as loud as possible. Goddamnit.
Jake Laderman 31:16
Man, like, that's what I thought too. But my body's given out, man.
Isaac Kuhlman 31:22
Yeah, so I think every band member kind of has this a different answer for this. And, you know, you kind of touched on this a little bit. But you know, you say that every drummer kind of has an attitude. What do you think is the job of the drummer? Obviously, there's there to keep beat, right? But every person in the band might say, like, Oh, this guy's like this in our band. This guy's like this in our band. It's not just the timekeeper. Right? But that I mean, that's essentially the basic job of the drummer, do you have a, an extension of the band that you think that drummers or you as a drummer have?
Jake Laderman 31:54
Um, I think it's, I think it's just different for every band, like, you know, I think that, uh, there I can think of a bunch of drummers that that are irreplaceable in my eyes, like, Yeah, but um, but I also feel like the role of the drummer in a lot of bands, aside from being a timekeeper can just, it can be so different across the board. Like, like, I don't know, like it, like in our band, like, the writing of the music is, like, everybody contributes to that. We're a very big collaborator on that. I don't know how many other bands are like that. Definitely some. Definitely Descendents. Definitely. Yeah, not unsure as to how to answer that.
Isaac Kuhlman 32:50
Because it's the reason why I bring this up because I, I was, well I am a guitar player play guitar since I was like 11. But yeah, I played in a band for a while did solo stuff for a while and then I joined a band as a drummer. Because I'd been playing drums off and on just as you know, keep something else as a hobby. And I quickly kind of found out that like, you can change the the overall sound of the song so like the guitar player, singer, that was the head of the band. He was really into like playing follky chords. And so he's like playing this folky style music and I'm like, well, we're gonna make this more up tempo I'm punk rock like rock music like I like this up tempo kind of stuff and you know he's singing about like, you know suicide and like it's not in a depressing way he's like, it's called Get Out of Jail Free Card was the song but it's like, you know, even if I do something, and I make a fool of myself, Well, I've always got suicide in my back pocket. So that's my, like, get out of jail free card. Just kind of it was a lot of jokes, songs like that and making light of certain situations, but I'm like, I'm putting these like, you know, like, you know, 60s Beatles type like, debt debt debt. It's like making it like this upbeat song about suicide versus like, you know, he could have easily just been a downer song if I'm just playing someone, da da da da da da ba ba ba ba. So Oh, yeah, they're like dark or something. But I think there is like an attitude that the song is being given by drums.
Jake Laderman 34:21
Absolutely, I think that every drummer has, has their own influences and their own way of playing and even It can even be as like specific as like where a drummer would hit the snare or where the drama would hit a symbol and like that comes to be a really big difference. I can think of a few bands like there's this band from Sydney, Australia called Royal Headache who are really great. And and I love that they were one of those bands that like they released this perfect record. And when the second one rolled around, I was like, there's no way that this record could be better than First, and it was, so they were just this incredible band and I followed them for a while and stuff. And then the drummer, left the band. And they replaced that drummer with this insanely great drummer. That was so good, but it just didn't feel the same. Yeah, and I think it was just the what this the way that the guy was playing. He was like, the original drummer was like playing he was like, almost struggling to keep up. But it was like it worked so well. Yeah, it's so I think there's definitely like a stylistic thing that doesn't necessarily connect with talent, so to speak. If you know what I mean, well yeah,
Isaac Kuhlman 35:41
I mean, Pink Floyd actually had this kind of situation I think it's Nick Mason was a drummer. They he specifically said like, I'm not like one of the greatest drummers and there were times when basically Roger Waters David Gilmore were like play this and he's like, I physically can't play that so this is what I'm gonna play. Instead they actually even started replacing him on on later albums with other drummers to fill in for songs that they wanted you know bigger better drums in and I'm like, that's crazy you're like one of the biggest bands in the world and I don't know if he's just like lazy I've never never never got that but I'm like, you know, maybe their too demanding I don't know but it's like that's interesting that you know, all the time all the money that you could put into being as good of a drummer as you want to be and you're just like, I physically can't play that
Jake Laderman 36:28
Yeah, I feel like another example of this was the guy who replaced Bill Ward in black in Black Sabbath. Yeah, that dude like he's he's clearly like a very famous drummer who's an amazingly talented but he can't play like Bill Ward I just remember being it like on that farewell to us watching him play. He did this big like five minute drum solo and I was just like, Man, this is not Bill Ward. This is just a stadium rock show which is you know it's it they have to do it.
Isaac Kuhlman 37:03
Yeah, but I mean just keep the money train rolling right?
Jake Laderman 37:07
Yeah, that's that's right. And I'll you know, I'm just probably the one bitter fan in the crowd that was like, You're not Bill Ward.
Isaac Kuhlman 37:16
You suck. throwing out some really technical stuff and you're like, this isn't Black Sabbath. This isn't Bill Ward get off the stage!
Jake Laderman 37:24
That's it. That's it.
Isaac Kuhlman 37:25
That's funny. So yeah, I mean, you actually kind of mentioned this. And I was actually reading something about the Yardbirds the other day you're seeing like a luckily guitar players are expendable. The Yardbirds had like you know Eric Clapton and then they got Jimmy Page and Jeff back and it's like this one band had like three of the greatest guitar players of all time, in their same band and you know, most people don't even know who the Yardbirds are but it's interesting that like, as as good as those guys are, they could have been replaced in a band like that's insane to me, and like Jeff Beck was the longest tenured Yardbirds for memory and it's like that he's probably over time the least known of the three because Eric Clapton still famous Jimmy Page. Still, you know, Led Zeppelin still monstrously famous and Jeff Beck was kind of overshadowed by that, you know, monstrous fame that those guys had and they both left the band and obviously Jimmy Page went on to start Led Zeppelin which is interesting, man that was the whole supergroup theory that him Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, I think somebody else in the band was like, let's start a supergroup. And then Keith Moon said it'll go over like a lead balloon something they call them Led Zeppelin, which just an interesting little trivia fact for people who don't know about the Yardbirds or Led Zeppelin history or anything like that. But yeah, but yeah, I think that's, you know, the, as you said, drummers, I don't think are as replaceable as guitar players, because, you know, some of my favorite bands when they change a drummer, unless that person brings an elevated ability, like Blink-182, Travis Barker brought an elevated drum ability to that, which just kind of put them over the top. But then there's other bands that like, it's just a it's a lateral move, instead of like, an elevated move. And it's like, this isn't the same it's just a different sound now, which doesn't match up.
Jake Laderman 39:10
Yeah, that's that's so true. And like, you know, that's not to say at all that guitar players and, and bass players can't, you know, that they that it's not to say they don't have their own unique style or way of playing they definitely do. I think every guitar player that we've had in our band has brought something new. And, but but I do think that if you can teach a guitar player to play a song, they can play it closer to the way it's written than trying to teach a drummer to play it. The way that it's written. If that the I
Isaac Kuhlman 39:42
I agree, it's funny because like when I feel like when I played my drum parts to my own songs that I would play drums for. It was just the natural way that I played the drums. But then when I tried to go figure out how to play drums to somebody else's song I'm like, I don't understand how to do this. It seems straightforward, but then it's not something's off and I can't Figure out that one little piece here there. So yeah, that's a pretty good shout. Yeah. And yeah, you can just go online and look at all the tabs and play guitar. Just note by note if you really
Jake Laderman 40:11
yeah. And I don't know about you, but like, I know so so many talented guitar players. So so many. I know way less talented drummers. So I think you know,
Isaac Kuhlman 40:22
you're right. Like, and there's bass players out there. It's like, man, if you find a bass player, that's like a unicorn.
Jake Laderman 40:29
If you find a bass player that is actually a bass player, then yeah, that is a unicorn, but
Isaac Kuhlman 40:34
Usually a converted guitar player or a drummer or something.
Jake Laderman 40:37
That's it. Yeah, I was actually converted drummer like, early on, because when I was, like, 14 years old, and I first started playing in bands. Everyone I knew was a guitar player, and everyone was really good. And I can play guitar, okay, but I was not as good as a lot of people that were in our circle. And there was just a total lack of drummers, and I was just like, I'm just gonna try this. Yeah, see how it goes. And I think for like, the first three years, I swear to God, I was just like, faking it till I made it. Like, I just, I didn't consider myself a real drummer
Isaac Kuhlman 41:18
But I'm the best drummer, you guys know.
Jake Laderman 41:21
That's exactly right.
Isaac Kuhlman 41:24
Yeah, yeah, that's funny, because I mean, if you think about it, you know, bass players, true bass players, true drummers. Even if bands break up, they can go out and get another job with another band quite easily. Guitar Player singer, their band breaks up well, they're attached to that band face and everything, right? People know those people. You don't necessarily get attached to a drummer, unless you are a musician, or a bass player, unless you are a musician. And they're, you know, if they go out and just pick up you know, you know, Sunny Day Real Estate broke up this band from Seattle, Washington back in the 90s. Two of those guys now are in the Foo Fighters. Nobody knows that. Nobody knows that two of the guys from the Foo Fighters were in a band called Sunny Day Real Estate together. Nobody knows that.
Jake Laderman 42:03
I didn't know that. And it's interesting, though, I think the Foo Fighters has just such a great lineup of like, of like, great musicians there. Yeah. Like I feel like I knew that but I like obviously this. What's his name from the germs?
Isaac Kuhlman 42:21
Jake Laderman 42:22
Pat Smear on Yeah. And yeah, this Dave Grohl, I think has has an ear for musicians.
Isaac Kuhlman 42:30
Yeah, and I mean, being an incredibly talented drummer slash singer, songwriter slash guitar player. Like, alright, we get a Dave you're very talented guy. You're gonna love that guy, though. Like, his attitude and his ability to just like, not really give a shit and be cool to everybody is like, beyond a musician, right? He's just a good dude. So it's, it's pretty. It's good to see that, you know, good people actually still can make it without selling out their soul.
Jake Laderman 42:56
That's so true. Yeah, they're few and far between.
Isaac Kuhlman 42:59
Yeah, so I have a few more things. So if we're okay to stick around for a little bit, I'm not ruining your Yeah,
Jake Laderman 43:05
your Oh, good. I'm in lockdown. Man. There's nothing
Isaac Kuhlman 43:07
I can even get a damn haircut, man. Yeah, so you guys are actually one of the few bands now it's getting more and more common, but you have a female in the band. Now, obviously, back in the 90s, that kind of seemed impossible to find, unless it was like, you know, a really popular pop group or something like that. But now it's a lot more commonplace and probably for good reason. Because women are actually quite bad ass at playing, and really bringing a lot of energy to especially like a punk show and punk punk rock bands. So I'm just curious, like, how did you know Hanny She plays bass and backup vocals? Obviously. How did she kind of come back? How did she come into the band? And what kind of feedback Do you guys get about having a female in the band now?
Jake Laderman 43:49
I think we, so we had just parted ways with our bass player, previous to Hanny, and we were trying to was like, we're on the heart for someone who would fit right. And we want one thing that we knew that we wanted was someone that could sing as well, because we knew that if we could get a bass player that can sing, that will add an element to the dance, another instrument. And our manager at the time was from Queensland. And he was like, I you know, I, this this girl, I know called Hanna who I know who who does solo stuff, and she's really great. I think we should. I think you should check her out. And we like listen to us. She has some solo music. We listen to that. We're like, she can really sing like really fucking sing. And our manager was like, Yes, she's she grew up playing in punk bands in Brisbane. She's like, very respected in in the Brisbane community. And so like, maybe like a week or two later, we actually were playing in Brisbane anyway. And we had a replacement bass player and she had happened to be playing at the same venue upstairs, and just an acoustic show. So we like, managed to go and just catch her show. And we could see that she was a very, very well versed guitar player, very well versed singer, very well versed songwriter, and she was like a triple threat. And we were like, man, like, we need this person in that band really badly. So we approached and we had a jam. She picks things up really quickly. She was she was already a fan of the band and stuff like that. And then we just asked her the question, we're like, you know, would you be willing to join our band and all the things that come with that, like move, like, essentially moving to Melbourne, and dropping half your life? To be in this band, and she was up for it? So she literally like,
Isaac Kuhlman 45:55
She's like Queensland is too hot anyway, fuck it. Yeah,
Jake Laderman 45:59
she she broke up with a boyfriend and moved down to Melbourne, and jumped in the van with us. I think I think that they broke up for other reasons. But yeah, but, uh, but uh, yeah, it went like that. And, and she's been an incredible addition to the band, in a number of ways, not musically, and sonically, and like, just having great ideas, but then also introducing this idea. Definitely, like a more like, feminine and inclusive show, you know, like, I find that our shows like there are, there are so many young women that like worship her, you know, yeah. Because she cuz she's incredibly badass. Like, she plays. She like she, you know, she's not a bass player. Like, like we were mentioning before, but I feel like she has become one of the greatest bass players. I know. Yeah. Yeah, it's very cool.
Isaac Kuhlman 46:57
I mean, the bands that do have like a big presence of, you know, a singular female or a few females that, you know, just rock really hard. Generally, when women you know, younger women especially see them doing that, it's like, kind of a bit of a mind blowing moment, cuz it's like, oh, it's just like, 30 straight bands of like, dude's at a punk festival. And all of a sudden, you got this, this female out there just shredding or, you know, screaming or singing it or whatever. It's like, That girl is awesome. Like, this is, this is definitely a unique experience for females to watch that then, than just a bunch of old white guys or something.
Jake Laderman 47:33
Yeah, I think I think I mean, maybe it's different here in, in Melbourne, but I feel like there's Definitely of movement of, of, you know, inclusivity in bands, I feel like people when they start bands, they try they make a conscious effort to make it diverse. And I think that's, you know, maybe, you know, partly political, but also because it's pretty fucking boring to to see band after band of dudes like it is actually incredibly boring.
Isaac Kuhlman 48:08
So yeah, so this sounds very similar to the last thing you're bitching about the same shit as the last guy? Yeah,
Jake Laderman 48:14
Exactly right. So yeah, I think that it makes for a very awesome little musical ecosystem just to have an incredibly diverse and like, different thriving music community, like it is down here. It's really, really good for sure.
Isaac Kuhlman 48:34
That's awesome. So before you go, I've got a few more questions. But I have to ask you a few Australian questions because I'm going to ask this if every Australian group or artists or whatever that I speak to, because I personally love Australia. I lived there for about four months in Gold Coast, just south of Surfer's Paradise for about four months in 2015. So Love it. Love the food. There's not a lot of the food that different, but there's some food that I absolutely miss. And I love a lot of the cultural things. So I ask you three questions. Number one, what's your favorite kind of meat pie?
Jake Laderman 49:11
I don't eat meat. But you know,
Isaac Kuhlman 49:13
I had a feeling you might say that. But you could do like a potato pie.
Jake Laderman 49:18
Yeah, you know what, there's a there's a there's a place in, in Sydney called New Town Pies. And I every time I'm in Sydney, I make an effort to visit this place because they just do a fuckin awesome curry pie. That is really, really good. But that said, when I did eat meat, I liked the shepherd's pie.
Isaac Kuhlman 49:39
Nice. Okay. All right. Yeah. I'm Uh, I'm kind of a steak and mushroom guy, but I love them. I like even. Not so much the Four'N Twenties but a Four'N Twenty in a pinch.
Jake Laderman 49:50
Yeah, Four'N Twenties we're just like, you know, that's the footy pie. That's what you have when you're at the footy
Isaac Kuhlman 49:57
sausage rolls. Do you like sausage rolls or you just don't eat dinner. You ever like sausage rolls?
Jake Laderman 50:01
And I love sausage rolls and I miss sausage rolls. You know this I might not be a meat eater but I miss eating meat and sausage rolls yeah
Isaac Kuhlman 50:11
but hopefully I'm not like turning you over to like tipping you over to this side like oh yeah go eat a sausage roll a meat pie today or something like
Jake Laderman 50:17
that dude I'm in lockdown and I have a freezer filled full of all this kind of shit.
Isaac Kuhlman 50:27
Are you a fan of the footy? And if so, who's your team?
Jake Laderman 50:31
I am a fan of the footy in like maybe the lowest sense like I love I enjoy it when my team is doing well.
Isaac Kuhlman 50:42
Not a Demons supporter then
Jake Laderman 50:44
no well you know i was I'm really happy that the Demons won because they have like a 52 year drought or something like that, but I'm a Bombers fan
Isaac Kuhlman 50:55
Jake Laderman 50:57
And when I was a kid they were like killing it you know that they won I think two grand finals in a row. And that was pretty special when I was a kid but I've just grown up and they you know, haven't been the best team and I'm okay with it. But I just it just definitely makes me less interested.
Isaac Kuhlman 51:18
Yeah, not not consistently making the finals at all, that's for sure.
Jake Laderman 51:21
Yeah, but when they do make the finals I'll pretend that I was with them all along.
Isaac Kuhlman 51:25
Yeah, well, I'm glad that you didn't say the Demons because I'm a Geelong fan and obviously they absolutely smashed us in the semi finals or whatever. So was not so happy about that. So I'm glad that at least you picked somebody not the Demons this year.
Jake Laderman 51:38
Why did you Why did you pick Geelong out of curiosity? Well,
Isaac Kuhlman 51:42
I got into when I got there, and I was watching footy and stuff. Patrick Dangerfield was actually on the Adelaide Crows. And I was like, This dude's frickin amazing. This guy is all over the place. looks badass. He's like out there tackling dudes like suplexing him and stuff. I'm like, this guy's awesome. Then he went to Geelong. And I'm like, oh, and Geelong's got a really good team, like good, good group of guys. And then they got Gary Abblett Jr. And I was like, Oh shit, this big. This is about to blow up. This team's about getting great. And got like Gary Rohan, and all these other guys. And I was like, this is a full team. And yeah, they've been good. And they just can't get over that hump to actually win lately, but to win the whole thing, but yeah, that's that's the team and I you know, I even have like the Watch AFL app. So I can watch it over here in the United States, which is just awesome. Yeah, it's a sad existence when you keep seeing your team lose like right at the end.
Jake Laderman 52:31
Yeah. But you know, I feel like, if you're a Geelong fan, you probably you know, in like recent years, you've you've had a lot of highs,
Isaac Kuhlman 52:41
you can't complain too much. Because they're winning a lot of games. They're just not winning the championship. So it's good team. fun to watch is just disappointing every year at the end. Yeah. And the last Australian question I'm gonna ask you is do you like cricket? Or is it too boring?
Jake Laderman 52:58
I like cricket. I don't watch it. As much as I used to. I don't I don't think it's boring. A lot of people think it's boring. I don't I don't think it's boring. I'm the kind of person that will like, I'll put it on the TV. While I'm doing other things, just, you know, check every now and then, you know,
Isaac Kuhlman 53:16
and then you're like, oh, somebody is on a 34 and going in, you know, then just smash stuff me like, Oh, sweet. Like, go check that off. Yeah, I'm the same. I actually I love it. Yeah, guys, I know, in Queensland actually play cricket, you know, semi professionally or whatever, at the state level on the city level. So I actually thought it was a lot of fun. I think people are like, Oh, it's like, five, you watch something that's five days long. And like, you're not sitting there watching every minute of the thing unless you like go to the stadium. But even still, like there's things happening. It's like if you went to five straight baseball games, and instead of just taking the score for one day and saying you won, you combine the scores for those five days are different about that, like people do that all the time.
Jake Laderman 53:57
So that's so funny. Yeah. I like it. I definitely like it. I mean, I probably watched one game a year, and that's the Boxing Day test. Yeah, but but not, you know, I do enjoy the sport. It's good.
Isaac Kuhlman 54:12
Yeah. Cool. So your manager Florian actually had mentioned that you're actually fan of the band a few the bands that have been on the show already. Notably Death By Unga Bunga and Decent Criminal. So first of all, fuck yeah, everyone should be they're both awesome. I was just curious if you had any other bands that you'd recommend or you know, tell our listeners go check out and maybe not everyone has heard of we talked a lot about a lot of bands that people can go check already. And I don't I don't think you're going to be mentioning like a Cold Chisel. They're pretty popular in Australia. Not so much. Yeah, everywhere else. Any bands that are coming up that you're into right now?
Jake Laderman 54:47
Man, probably many. Do you want me to recommend an Australian one?
Isaac Kuhlman 54:53
Anywhere Australia. Let's say one Australian one non Australian if you got two.
Jake Laderman 54:58
Okay. I think I think the band Private Function from Melbourne, worth checking out there. They're like starting to do really good things over here. They're like, a very like humorous punk rock band that have this like very unique style of humor. They have. The guitar player is the same guitar players that band the Night Birds from the US. Okay. So yeah, I would definitely recommend them on a international level. I gotta say, I've been smashing that Death By Unga Bunga record so much. It's so good. But maybe looking through my playlist. Yeah, maybe.
Isaac Kuhlman 55:52
Put you on the spot.
Jake Laderman 55:54
Yeah, I mean, a lot of a lot of the bands that I like aren't necessarily like hugely relevant. What about Okay, there's a really great band called Metal Leg from. Yeah, from New York. And it's a side project from the guys from Dirty Fences. If you've heard of that band?
Isaac Kuhlman 56:20
I haven't heard of them either. So I'll check both of those out
Jake Laderman 56:22
I love it. I love it. It's really cool.
Isaac Kuhlman 56:25
Awesome. That's good because you know, anytime we can get recommendations you know, I always say I grew up in like a very rural area of the United States and so like it was hard to find good music and one of the reasons why I want to do this podcast is to share good music with people who aren't connected to that and so if I can be like hey, here's a you know here's Jake from Clowns saying go check out Metal Leg and you know everybody else and Private Function. Yeah, go do that because if you like clowns, you're probably gonna like this stuff even if it's not the same sound you know, the, you know, the people that like this kind of music probably like this other kind of music. So I was like that and you know, it's it's not the same as like YouTube suggesting something totally like I was listening to I literally was listening to your guys's music the other day. The album ended in like three songs later, Marilyn Manson came up. I'm like, No, I don't listen to Marilyn Manson. That's not even the same. Nothing is similar to that. I'm like, what, what is this? Like, I had to look down on like, Oh my god, how did they come up to that suggestion? Like, nothing to say bad about Marilyn Manson. They got their own fans all that stuff but never been a fan never like not on my radar. wouldn't think that Clowns is anywhere near associated to Marilyn Manson. So it was just odd that that's what their algorithm came up with.
Jake Laderman 57:41
Sometimes the algorithm really hits hard. Sometimes it's a total mess, you know?
Isaac Kuhlman 57:49
Absolutely. So obviously we'll add some links to the to you guys music in the show notes below the episode but you have anything you'd like to say to the fans or fans that haven't found you guys yet before we go today.
Jake Laderman 58:01
Listen to us. Hope you enjoy it. Hope to get back to the States very soon. And be good to each other. And I love you.
Isaac Kuhlman 58:13
Awesome. Well, I want to thank Jake from the Aussie punk band Clowns for the awesome conversation today. And if you haven't checked out their music yet, make sure to go to the show notes below this episode for links to their music. If you like what you heard on the show, be sure to actually subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends on social media. Also, if you want to check out some of our written content, or any of the products or merch that we have available, go to Power BI rock. com to read our absolutely free rockin blog full of album reviews, interviews and lists to keep you entertained and find your gear as well so you can pick up some items to play and look like a rock legend. That's our show for today. We'll see you soon for the next episode. Until then, rock on.