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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Clutch

Interviewed by Kathryn Heitzman
Interview with Neil Fallon of Clutch from 2007
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

I love your new CD. What would you describe the overall theme to be?
Well...I'm glad you like it. We didn't write the record with any theme intended for it. Records are kind of like a snap shot of where a band is at. I like to think we were reacting to "Robot Hive Exoxus," which had some kind of a-typical song arrangements...maybe some quirkyness to it, and we wanted to write something more bare-bones, or traditional.
MSJ: What or where is Beale Street?
It is a real place. It's in Memphis, Tennessee. It's sort of a night club district. Any day of the week you could probably see a dozen bands playing there, usually blues bands.
MSJ: This will be your third album release on DRT, will there be a fourth?
This is our third of a three record contract. So, as of this moment we are free agents.
MSJ: You played most of the new songs live before going to the studio to record them. Were you nervous when you first went out to play them?
Not so much nervous, it's more about trying to remember your parts correctly. But, I'm glad that we did, because ultimately it gave us confidence to perform them in the studio.
MSJ: There is a noticeable southern rock sound on this new CD, do you ever see yourself doing a side project with a southern rock band?
Sure, that's always a possibility. We needed some flavor, such as, with the harmonica, slide guitar, and some of the vocal melodies. [It] wasn't really intentional. It's like the way it ended up being.
MSJ: What was it like working with Mastodon on "Leviathan?"
It was great. It was pretty low key. They asked me to sing "Blood and Thunder," and they flew me out to Seattle. Did my tracks in about an hour - bought a case of beer and then just hung out.
MSJ: How many original members are left?
It's the same core group of guys. We added Mick Schauer a few years back. He plays keyboards. These days we also have Eric Goldblander from Five Horse Johnson playing harmonica live on stage. But, the band is still the same four guys that started out in '91.
MSJ: Where do you hang out and what do you do for fun when not on tour or in the studio?
We do get together and practice, but, writing music is much more fun. I just enjoy being at home and refining my domestic sciences. All the band enjoys time with their family.
MSJ: What was the last CD you purchased?
It's been a while. I think the last CD I purchased...man, I don't know. (voice in background). Oh yeah, my wife just reminded me. I got that Tom Waits Orphan record. It's a triple CD thing. It's phenomenal.
MSJ: All over MySpace the biggest saying about Clutch is: "my favorite Clutch song is the one that I'm listening to right now." Do you think any CD or song stands out above the rest?
Like all musicians we state that our most recent material is our best.
MSJ: Is there a certain song on the new CD you favor more than the others?
I like "White's Ferry" quite a bit. Mostly because it's unlike a lot of other material that we have written in the past. It's different for us. That's always more interesting for me to listen to us perform.
MSJ: Do you guys still use the vintage instruments?
Pretty much. We kind of quit using vintage amps as much, because they are really unreliable. We still use vintage guitars, of course. They pretty much figured out how to make a guitar sound its best around 1970, and they haven't improved it since.
MSJ: Do you have any funny tour stories or as we call them, "Spinal Tap moments?"
Ohh, that happens quite often. (chuckle) Sometimes, entire tours are Spinal Tap moments.
MSJ: Any final thoughts for our readers?
You need to keep taking a look at www.pro-rock.com for tour dates. Also visit: www.myspace.com/clutchband.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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