Jemaine Clement is one half of New Zealand’s “fourth most popular folk-parody duo,” the inimitable, hilarious and hirsute Flight Of The Conchords, who – as you might have heard – are about to embark on their first ever headlining tour of Australia (and New Zealund). The multi-instrumental live comedy show will run the sartorial gamut from animal sweaters to robot costumes and will encompass the creme de la sheep’s milk of kitsch instrumentals, from the sweet tunes of the ukelele to the classical toy piano and key tar; and of course, the 1983 Casio DG-20 guitar set to electric mandolin. The very instrument which spawned this guy:

The tour will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere tour for the musical-comedy duo, who’ve recently reunited in Wellington after a string of side projects separated them following the wrap-up on their popular (eponymous) HBO series at the end of its second season in 2009. Clement’s partner in crime,Bret McKenzie, has just finished shooting on Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit (which wrapped last week), and won Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aka Oscar) recognition for his role as musical supervisor on The Muppets Movie taking out Best Original Song for ‘Man or Muppet‘, while Jemaine has been donning prosthetics and polishing up his screen-pash skills for his role as the villainous 70s era amputee alien, Boris, in the third incarnation of Will Smith’s Men In Black franchise.

‘We haven’t toured in Australia in years. We just did a couple of shows in the States (from Las Vegas to The Hollywood Bowl) before we toured in Europe (where they played Wembley Arena). We’re in the studio [in Wellington] right now writing and rehearsing new material. We actually had to stop to do this interview. Brett just left the room to do another interview – I’m doing three and he’s doing four.’

‘We’re working on some new material but if we’re torturing the audience we won’t include it in the show and we’ll just draw material from our back catalogue. We’ll be testing out any new songs on audiences in New Zealand before we tour Australia so you guys will be spared the new songs if they’re no good.’

Being on tour means the two will be back in the same time zone, and on the same page creatively speaking. ‘It’s been difficult [to write new material]. We don’t want to tour America again until we have new songs [so] we’re just focussing on the tour for now and we’ll see what happens after that.‘ When asked about the prospect of a Conchords movie, or even a live concert film a la Justin Bieber, Clement said there were no plans in the works for a movie right now [or even a tour mockumentary]. ‘We’ve talked about that, but to make a movie out of the tour would take all the fun out of touring.’

‘I started out in animation and I’m working on an animation series for NZTV. When we first began performing in New Zealand we weren’t able to get a TV show here so we had to go to Melbourne and then onto Edinburgh. I’ve done about four minutes [of animation] so I think I’ll have to pad it out a bit more. I’ve got a few short films which are also too embarrassing to show, and I’m also working on a vampire comedy with Taika Waititi [who directed last year’s feel-good comedy ‘Boy‘].

Animation’s something Clement’s always been interested in, with a recent spate of roles in Despicable Me, Rio, the animated series of Napoleon Dynamite and The Simpons confirming that. He’s played a villain in each (with the exception of ND), and when asked about any concerns over his typecasting, Clement maintained that he wasn’t worried. ‘ At first I was typecast as a nerd. But you can move on from being typecast in one role. Then again, I just did an audition for a role as a nerd the other day so I guess I haven’t really moved on from that.’ His next role then as the grossly deformed alien nemesis opposite Will Smith (and with a sidekick in Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls) is something of a departure from the Jemaine of Conchords fame.

Will’s great on set. When things aren’t going very well, he’ll tell stories from his bad movies – and his good ones – to lift everyone’s spirits. He’s exactly how is appears in all those ‘making of’ behind the scenes clips on DVDs. Nicole’s a very experienced performer. We actually have a really big pash scene. The first screen kiss I had was for a TV commercial in New Zealand and I was really nervous. Everyone tells you beforehand not to use any tongue [and] so you go in with tongue and then once you’re in you take your tongue out and then when you pull back you stick out your tongue again. It’s very technical.

I would say I’m one of five people in the world to pash Nicole Scherzinger. That’s a conservative estimate.

Also at a conservative estimate, we have one double pass for each city to give away. To enter, write your name and preferred city below (not on Facebook) in the comments section, along with your Flight Of The Conchords-style animal rapper name, i.e. Hiphopotamus or Rhymenocerous. No points for Snoop Dogg either.

Thu 5 July Sydney Opera House NSW SOLD OUT!
Ph: (02) 9250 7777

Fri 6 July Sydney Entertainment Centre NSW NEW SHOW
Pre-sale tickets for these newly announced shows via frontiertouring.com/fotc from noon AEST on Tuesday 24 April

Sat 7 July Brisbane Entertainment Centre QLD All Ages
Ticketek 132 849

Tue 10 July Newcastle Entertainment Centre NSW All Ages
Ticketek 132 849

Wed 11 July WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong NSW All Ages
Ticketek 132 849

Fri 13 July Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA All Ages
Ticketek 132 849

Sat 14 July The Plenary, Melbourne VIC SOLD OUT!
Ticketmaster 136 100

Sun 15 July Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne VIC NEW SHOW
Pre-sale tickets for these newly announced shows via frontiertouring.com/fotc from noon AEST on Tuesday 24 April.

Wed 18 July Challenge Stadium, Perth WA SOLD OUT!
Ticketmaster 136 100

Thu 19 July Challenge Stadium, Perth WA ON SALE NOW!
Ticketmaster 136 100