If you’re a fiend for some good ol’ punk rock with a fun Australian twist, look no further than Melbourne newcomers Commoner. Think 2000s rock trendsetters End of Fashion, Kisschasy and Bodyjar with a contemporary new-age melodic rock edge and that’s Commoner in a nutshell.
The band are premiering their brand new video for their debut single ‘Bite’ and it’s an intriguing insight into the trio’s array of rock influences with a contemporary rock melody that fits right in with fellow rowdy punk misfits LOSER and FANGZ. To celebrate the band’s debut upon the Australian rock landscape this year, we thought it best to introduce you to the boys by chatting with vocalist Shaun and guitarist Keenan to hear more about their early beginnings…
Welcome guys! Congrats on your debut single, ‘Bite’. It kind of throws me back to 2000s Australian punk rock, you know, End of Fashion and… do you remember The Hot Lies?
Shaun: I do, yeah, and thank you. That’s a big compliment.
Yeah, even a tiny bit of Bodyjar as well. Is that the kind of sound you were going for here?
Shaun: Yeah. Look, I wouldn’t necessarily list those bands as influences. I think we just wanted to make something rocky, and more real sounding, a bit different from a lot of the other kind of guitar and drum-driven music at the moment.
While everything is super-produced these days, which is still super cool. I like that. But for us, we just wanted to make something a bit more raw sounding. I’m a big Foo Fighters fan, a big Basements fan, and so I really like those kinds of sounds of records.
Tell us more about ‘Bite’…
Shaun: ‘Bite’ was written when I was just so frustrated, fed-up and anxious all the fucking tjme. I was just so over being unhappy, over feeling like my hard work was being taken advantage of and over being anxious around even my closest friends and I just needed a way to express all this pent up energy I had.
With ‘Bite’ being your first single, you guys are fairly new on the scene. How did you three come together?
Shaun: Well, myself and Nick, our drummer, we went to high school together and we played in pretty much all the same bands right throughout high school. We’ve played in a pop punk band together and the high school rock band together. Keenan and I met through tour. We both worked with Void of Vision, who we are mutual friends with.
I feel like we hit it off straight away. When it came to time to making the band, I just wanted to get someone who we were friends with and enjoyed spending time with. I feel like that’s the hardest part of the band. It’s not finding someone who can play the instruments, it’s finding someone who I actually get along with. And since Keenan and I had toured together, we asked him. When we got together and jammed for the first time, Keenan and Nick really got along well too.
And how are you guys going with the lockdown in Melbourne right now?
Shaun: Yeah. It sucks. It gets to the point I almost don’t even complain any more. It’s the worst. I don’t know. It’s been a big, big bummer particularly because starting Commoner was a big thing for myself, and the other guys too. We just wanted to play shows. I’ve spent so much time mixing other people’s shows. I got into music to perform, and I just wanted to have something to express ourselves. So with lockdown, it’s just pushing the chance of being able to do shows further and further back. We can’t even get together and just jam ourselves. I think we’ve jammed twice in the past eight months or something, maybe twice this year.
It does kinda put a damper on things doesn’t it? But I guess during this downtime, you can always still build momentum with new music. Following from the release of ‘Bite’, do you three have any other singles down the track that you’re planning to release? What’s next on the pipeline for Commoner?
Shaun: We’ve got a few more songs up our sleeve which we’re going to release periodically over the next few months. We’re a bit hesitant in putting exact dates on anything just yet, just because of everything with COVID — it’s so unpredictable. But we’ve got a few more songs and a few more release videos up our sleeves that we’re bringing out.
Excellent! We definitely need more Australian punk in the scene. So have you guys thought about who you’d like to team up with other down the track once a sense of normality returns, touring wise or song collaborations?
Shaun: There’s so many awesome Australian rock bands going at the moment. Personally, I’d love to do it with a Melbourne band called LOSER. They’re really hot at the moment. I’d love to tour with The Dead Love, and also the Teenage Joans as well. I mixed them a few months ago actually and they just kill it. It’s just awesome rock. I would love to tour with any or all of those bands. What do you think, Keenan?
Keenan: Yeah. I love all of those bands. I reckon even Yours Truly too. I did a video for them recently and their performance is big. I’d love to do something with them too.
I can most definitely see you already fitting like a glove with all those premium Aussie acts down the track then! Well, it’s been so great getting to know Commoner a little more, and I do look forward to hearing more down the track.
Shaun: Thank you so much. We really appreciate you getting on board and stuff. It’s awesome!
My pleasure! All the best boys. We’ll catch you around!
Interview by Tamara May @citylightstam
Pre-Save ‘Bite‘ here