It’s guitar central in the Goon household in Carrum. Acoustic. Electric. Gibson. Martin. Seger. You name it, they’ve got it. Well, almost. Jarrod Goon is quietly spoken, easy-going and rather charming. He’s also the guitarist for world-touring hardcore punk band Clowns. Never heard of them? You have now.
The saying goes: never judge a book by its cover. This 30-year-old long-haired devotee of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads – think Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne – has been touring the world for the past five years, but you’d never know it. He’s currently living the quiet life walking the streets of Carrum with his fiancé Rachel and their chihuahua-fox terrier cross Lunar and working at his dad Chris’s business in Frankston. There may be no gigs to play due to the pandemic, but there’s still plenty of head-banging music to be thumped out.
Jarrod talks: “I’ve been busier than ever working with Dad, playing and writing, and maintaining the band’s label, Damaged Record Co. I’ve been pretty happy to stay at home on the weekends and just play guitar. Touring is fantastic but it’s physically and mentally demanding. Our performances are energetic and Stevie, our lead singer, runs all over the stage and climbs up amps. We also drive ourselves when we are playing festivals or doing club tours overseas. We set up and bump out. You’ve got to have the staying power.”
Sure, it may be tough driving across the US or Europe in a van and playing gig after gig to adoring fans in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands but someone’s gotta do it. Jarrod remembers playing in Hamburg one night, jumping in the van and driving through the Netherlands, Belgium and France to catch the ferry from Calais to Dover, then driving to London to perform, all within 24 hours. Nuts. Rock band heaven or hell? He continues: “I wouldn’t want to do that all the time, but it’s a lot of fun too.”
Guitar playing is in the Goon blood. Growing up in Beaumaris and moving to Carrum about seven years ago, Chris introduced his sons to this esteemed instrument and the Goon boys have been hooked ever since. Jarrod’s brothers Ryan and Kyle still play and his mum Sue, who passed seven years ago, also had a bit of a strum.
After joining Clowns in 2015 and being booked to play his first festival in Chicago two days later, Jarrod is still thrilled about having the opportunity to play with a band he had been following for years before joining them on the road. “That was Riot Fest in Chicago. Motorhead, Iggy Pop and Billy Idol were playing and I was blown away. I’d been playing with local bands before joining Clowns but this was next level. We travelled through 29 states and did 30 shows over six weeks in America last year and are planning to be in Europe next year for summer. We’ve released multiple singles, four albums and are currently working on a new album.”
Jarrod and Rachel will continue to dress Lunar in cute outfits while waiting for the next tour. And oh yeah, did I mention Clowns supported Foo Fighters at Etihad Stadium in 2018? Not bad for a Carrum boy. Yes?