Send In The Clowns: Melbourne Indie Psych Rock Band The Stained Daisies Talk New Single ‘Circus’ & More

John Prine once sang, “It’s a big old goofy world,” and by God ain’t that the truth.

And what’s goofier than clowns? And where do clowns thrive? Well, the circus for the most part.

But in reference to Melbourne, Australia’s indie psych-rock band The Stained Daisies’ new single, “Circus,” it’s more of a reference to the juggling act we call our day to day lives, and perhaps the ringleaders “leading” us.

The track rips and roars with all kinds of twisted circus-like riffs, reflecting something The Arctic Monkeys or maybe even Primus might unload. It by no means bores or lulls, and will hold your attention the whole way through. The single is the third to be released off of what will be the band’s new album I Love You So Much.

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“With a sound that harks back to the rock and roll days of old, and a live performance that lingers long in the memory, The Stained Daisies’ catchy hooks will leave you humming long after the dust has settled,” reads their artist bio, and after having listened to some of their tunes, I’d be hard-pressed not to agree.

We had the chance to fire some questions across the pond to Jack “Davo” Davison to discuss the new single, approaching album, the Melbourne scene, and much more.

So how long have The Stained Daisies been making music?

We have been making music together for over six years now.

How did the band come together?

Three of us; Jack, Dan and Jayden all grew up in Grafton, a small country town in New South Wales. We initially had another drummer, but things didn’t work out, so we scooped up Bega Boy Aidan ‘Bartos’ Bateman in Byron Bay or somewhere around those parts, and all moved to Melbourne together to try and get the music and the band off the ground.

Who are some of your favorite Melbourne artists?

Melbourne is jam packed with amazing artists and, pre-covid, there was always a smorgasbord of talent on show to get around, so it’s hard to nail down just a few, but we particularly love; Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, Leah Senior, Tropical Fuck Storm, King Gizz, Blake Scott, Joe Terror, CIVIC, Holly Joyce, SUNEDEN and TUG. 

How does the songwriting process work within the band?

There is no real set structure on how we write the tunes. Sometimes just one of us will write a song, like “Circus,” which was written by Jack, or “Sit Long in the Silence,” which was written by Dan. Sometimes we will all work together, throw around ideas and piece together a tune that way, and other times, one of us will work with just one other member to write a song i.e Jayden and Dan, or Jayden and Jack, Dan and Aidan etc. Once the song is complete, there is often a sort of unspoken acceptance on whether it will make the cut to be a part of the band’s set list or not. 

So it was your single “Circus” that caught our ear. Can you talk about the idea and influence behind this track?

When I wrote that track, I had sort of just begun to wake up to some of the weirder aspects of the human rat race; work, sleep, work, sleep, get paid, buy stuff, work, sleep repeat. So it was a bit of a comment on the drudgery of a 9-5 lifestyle, and a loose comment on how we are all really just clowns trying to juggle everything going on in our lives. As far as musical influences go:

  • Roger Miller; ‘Cant Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd’
  • Arctic Monkeys; ‘Humbug’

Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP/LP?

Yes they can! It’s actually the third single we have released from our debut album titled I Love You So Much. We are aiming to get the album out later this year. (we will send you a copy ;)) We were hoping to tour it all this year, and had some festivals lined up, but Uncle Rona had other plans. I Love You So Much is a real mixture of each member’s songwriting and influence, so there’s quite a range of influences on show within the album. 

What can you picture people doing while listening to your music?

Dancing uncontrollably. Laughing hysterically. Crying shamelessly. Loving openly. 

What messages and feelings do you try to convey in your music?

It really depends on who has written the song within the band. Primarily though, we all focus on expressing our feelings as creatively as possible. Whether that be if it’s a political song like “Circus”, a personal song like “Sit Long in the Silence”, or just a straight up and down rock party track such as “Open Mind”.

What does a dream gig look like for you? (assuming shows resume someday)

Prior to ‘Rona, we were half-way through a month’s long weekend residency at The Tote in Melbourne, so a dream gig for us would be getting straight back on stage at The Tote when it re-opens. Playing in Nashville would be pretty sick as well. 

What might fans expect from The Stained Daisies to close out the year?

At the moment, we are still under pretty strict lockdown orders in Melbourne, so it’s hard to plan out anything specific. We have been writing a lot of music, and releasing a lot of video content on our socials to try and keep busy in lockdown, but as far as gigs go, we might not be back on a stage until next year. Fans can expect us to release the album before the end of the year though, fo sho. Keep your eyes peeled for a live video to accompany the release of the album also.

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