Okay, so it’s easy to approach the quickly rising enigmatic duo Clown Core with a degree of cynicism.
Are they the first insane musical posse to dress as clowns? Of course not. The first to perform in a bathroom? Lorde invented that last year. The first to play their instruments with their dicks? William Murderface did it in 2006. But a good version of anything is good, and Clown Core’s mix of grindcore, smooth jazz, and electroclash warrants rigorous and unironic appreciation.
But the true identities of the drummer/keyboard player and vocalist/saxophone player are shrouded in secrecy, according to most (even all?) of the media outlets who have covered one of the two lately-released Clown Core videos.
So we decided to get actually get some work done, and do the research. And it turns out, that guy who just placed his dick on the keyboard likely opened for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, probably has a track on FlyLow FM in GTA V, and might have a written a movie soundtrack or two.
An eagle-eyed Reddit user noticed some stylistic similarities between Clown Core’s Right Clown and Left Clown, and affiliates of Los Angeles alt-pop brigade Knower, Louis Cole and Sam Gendel. Knower’s management hadn’t responded to a clarification by the time of this posting (we’ll update if/when they do). But judging from the approach to song structure and the humor Cole’s deployed without a mask as a member of Knower, we’re pretty sure it’s the same guy.
In fact, here’s Cole and Gendel in another older clip that could be an even bigger dead giveaway.
If we’re right about this, it means Clown Core are not two inexplicable savants who went on a meth bender, found some decimated Halloween masks, and recorded in a port-o-potty, as the Adult Swim videos might lead us to believe. Clown Core are, it would seem, a pair of academically-trained music industry professionals who, if Wikipedia is to be believed, do shit like write movie soundtracks and opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers a couple of times last summer.
Knower even landed a track on GTA V’s radio station Flylo FM. Their single “Fuck the Makeup, Skip the Shower” was added to the channel after the game’s re-release on Xbox One / PS4.
And, also, they’re apparently geniuses. Here, we hypothetically have artists who release earnest jazz records and perform festival-friendly pop one day. Then the next day, flip into the most nightmarish personas they can imagine, to conjure up blistering, bloody ditties about pizza and shitting into hell itself.
That’s the type of freedom we envy.