CLAMM lead singer Jack Summers sat down for a chat with Mixdown to tell us about the tools behind he and his band mates’ powerful sound.
There’s few Australian acts currently distilling millenial/gen Z malaise with such a bristling ferocity as Melbourne’s CLAMM. The band’s 2022 LP Care is loaded with roaring punk rock elegies to the information-overloaded void: questions go unanswered, feelings of overwhelm fester, the humdrum pleasantries of groundhog day life are satirised.
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It’s a compelling grasp at a new kind of catharsis – CLAMM aren’t quite searching for meaning in an increasingly meaningless world, but acknowledging that sometimes, the only antidote to the racket is to exhale, and admit that it can all be, well, a bit much.
CLAMM’s no-frills overdriven tones and pronounced Aussie accents align them with punk contemporaries from CIVIC, to Pinch Points and Body Type, and yet their tenaciousness and heart that present in equal measure set the band apart.
Having recently taken their signature spunky distortion to European shores on a headline tour, lead singer Jack Summers sat down for a chat with Mixdown to tell us about the tools behind he and his band mates’ powerful sound.
Tell me a little bit about your European tour!
Our European tour was extremely fun. We had a mix of playing some smaller headline shows and supporting some amazing bands like A Place to Bury Strangers and Preoccupations. Every APTBS show was as chaotic as the last. They smash guitars, play on the floor and have amazing songs. They’re the loudest band I’ve ever seen. Watching Preoccupations is like watching an entire city play. It’s moving and special. So it was great. We love going to Europe/UK. It was cold and dark though, but we all got used to it.
What’s in the arsenal of gear that you choose to cart with you on the road? What had to be left at home?
We bring our guitars and pedals. Miles brings his snare and cymbals. We don’t have to leave much behind because our set up is pretty simple, luckily.
Which pieces of equipment are integral to each of you when it comes to translating CLAMM’s essence from a recorded to a live context?
It’s become pretty essential for me to run out of two amps. My Death by Audio pedals are very important to me. I also have not been able to get a good sound out of a single coil guitar before.
I have a Fender Stratocaster with humbuckers that my Mum bought for me when I was 14 and I can’t get rid of it. No other guitar feels the same right now.
I run out of two amps. I like the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amps.
I have Death By Audio’s Octave Clang, Fuzz War and Interstellar Overdrive. I use a Boss DD-3 Delay sometimes.
I use a MXR Carbon Copy Delay through my vocals. It means I can change the length of the delay per song.
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