American rockers Samiam have only themselves to blame for never touring Australia at the height of 1990s' punk-pop blitz. Riding high on the success of their 1998 watershed album You Are Freaking Me Out, the Berkley quintet was booked to tour there that year only to have their plans scuttled by stadium punk juggernaut Green Day who offered them lucrative support shows in Japan.
"We were the assholes and cancelled our Australian tour so the promoter replaced us with Down By Law," says guitarist and co-songwriter Sergie Loobkoff.
Three years later, after a lukewarm response to 2000's under-rated Astray album, a jaded Loobkoff pulled the pin on Samiam citing touring fatigue and a decline in fan base.
"Driving eight hours and playing a shitty show in a shitty town, that's one thing when you're in a popular band and you're making money and you feel like you're working towards something," says Loobkoff. "But Samiam was going down in popularity and making that sacrifice of staying up all night driving just got less and less viable for us.
"We'd tour the s#*t out of albums every two years and particularly in America where we'd just drive around. To an Australian reader that probably sounds really exciting and fun but to me it's like a trip to the dentist."
Simultaneously relieved and depressed at the band's demise, Loobkoff focused on his new outfit Solea for several years while working at a graphic designer by day. But it didn't take long before promoters came calling for a Samiam reunion.
"We just kept being asked to do all the fun things like go to Europe and play in front of packed houses every night for a month, or play in Brazil or in Japan," says Loobkoff. "Then Hot Water Music asked us to play three reunion shows with them in Florida and that was fun, a long extended weekend.
"So what we are now is a group of friends who play music and then once or twice a year we'll do a tour abroad, usually Europe. We just cherry pick the festivals or things we know will be sold out and skip all that stuff that you do when you're just working to promote your band. None of us are depending on this for money or have any expectations that someone is going to discover our stupid band."
Now contractually liberated and self-managed, Samiam released a comeback album Whatever's Got You Down in 2006 and this month marks their long-awaited visit Down Under where they'll showcase material from their seven album career. Preparations for an eighth record are already under way.
"We've been practicing some new songs," says Loobkoff. "When we made our last record the sound quality was out of control and didn't turn out very well so we all want to make another record."