CLAMM return bigger and louder than ever: ‘I am losing my mind’

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CLAMM return bigger and louder than ever: ‘I am losing my mind’

Photo by Gen Kay
Words by Coco Veldkamp

Melbourne punk-rock trio CLAMM is about to release their highly anticipated sophomore album 'Care'.

The band’s debut album Beseech Me saw them gain a dedicated fanbase in the underground community and sign with UK record label Meat Machine (in Australia / USA, they’re with Chapter).

Now, frontman and guitarist Jack Summers, drummer Miles Harding and bassist Maisie Everett return bigger, louder and stronger than ever ahead of their long-awaited EU/ UK and Australia tour.

With a bigger production team than CLAMM has ever seen before, Care has an elevated edge. The 15-track LP promises feedback-laden fiery riffs, driving basslines and a gritty relentlessness that underscores themes of discontent, antagonism and confusion.

Read Melbourne’s most comprehensive range of features and interviews here.

Care is a mix of a commentary on systems of power and politics and what it is like to experience those things on a personal level. It’s about younger people who don’t necessarily fit into the mould of society and are not content with working standard jobs for their entire lives. I think a lot of people kind of share those sentiments,” Summers said.

“This album’s a bigger production. We have Anna Gordon playing sax on some of the songs. She came in for a session and belted some stuff out that really added to our music. We also ask Nao Anzai who has recorded both of our albums, to add some noise on the synths which was awesome”.

The success of their debut came as a surprise to CLAMM with Beseech Me being a Triple R and FBI Radio feature album and winning 2021 best punk awards from Spin, Bandcamp, Daily and KEXP. But, according to Summers – it wasn’t what they were expecting.

“Seeing our debut do so well has been wild. Hearing it being played on the radio so much is all we could ever have hoped for. It was so huge for us and we seriously didn’t expect it,” said Summers. “When people resonated with Beseech Me and we reflected on the songs and the lyrics and what we were doing it was kind of like ‘oh shit’ – people responded to it”.

Armed with their newly found confidence, CLAMM got to work on their second album. However, like countless other underground acts, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit hard.

“The hardest thing has been the Covid situation. It upset the rhythm of how things might have progressed otherwise. Our recording sessions were drawn out and our UK/EU tour was pushed back. Staying positive and persistent was hard,” he said.

Care will be released on August 19. Then, the trio leave for their EU/UK tour where they will make their international debut, playing 12 gigs across the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France and Belgium.

“I am losing my mind I am so nervous and so excited. It’s a cliché I know but I couldn’t have dreamed of this happening… it’s crazy. I’m nervous just thinking about it, to be honest,” said Summers.

“Just before Covid we were talking about a European tour and now it’s finally happening. It kind of feels like we have just pressed the play button again after two years”.

Summers and Harding started CLAMM in 2019 but it could be said the foundations for the band were being laid years earlier, growing up in Melbourne’s southeast suburbs.


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“When I was a kid my mum was really into heavy rock music and metal, and in my late teens, I started listening to her CDs like Jack White and Soundgarden. Miles and I had known each other since we were kids. When we were in primary school for a project, we made a song about saving the squirrel monkeys. Miles’s dad is a musician, so we made it in his recording studio… so technically we have been recording music together since we were seven or eight,” Summers said.

“Miles’ brother started a band and we’d sneak into their gigs. When we saw this thriving live music scene, we kind of went ‘wow’ and thought maybe we could do this. Then my Mum bought me a guitar when I was 15 or 16 – a Fender Stratocaster. It’s a crap Mexican one but I love it and I haven’t been able to swap it out for anything since”.

Shortly after Beseech Me was released, Everett came into the picture. CLAMM’s previous bass player Luke Scott had left the group to go to school in Poland. Summers and Harding saw Everett’s other band, the Belair Lip Bombs playing and the trio got chatting. Before long Everett was crucial to CLAMM’s noise-rock sound.

“With Maisie in the group, it just felt right. She learnt our songs so quickly and now she has played so many gigs with us. She’s an incredible musician and in this album, it’s been awesome to have her be a part of it and to get her voice,” Summers said.

After their EU/UK tour, CLAMM is back on the road for their Australia tour which will finish in Melbourne on Saturday, October 15. Catch them at the Corner Hotel.

Listen to Care here from August 19.