Prior to CLUTCH‘s performance in Vienna, Austria on December 8, vocalist Neil Fallon spoke with Mulatschag TV. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On his lyrics:
Neil: “You have to take liberties with the truth. I’ve always kind of approached lyrics as storytelling, because it’s easier to do that night after night after night as opposed to lyrics that are strictly emotional. If I had to sing some emotionally-based thing, I think that would get pretty boring. My life has been so fortunate in a lot of ways that it doesn’t make for good material. I’ve been pretty lucky, so I think that’s why I gravitate toward fiction. I like a certain level of privacy. Nowadays, it seems people want to put everything out there publicly, and I kind of yearn for the days of when people knew the fine art of keeping it to yourself… I love writing lyrics, but at the same time, it can also be the most frustrating thing. But when the idea finally does come, it’s very rewarding. Sometimes, it sort of seems like it’s feast and famine. If I sit down and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to write a song right now,’ it never happens, but if I’m sitting in my car in traffic, that’s when the ideas come, when you’re not thinking, not trying. As much as I think iPhones are a digital leash, it’s good to have something to be able to talk into really, really quickly. It’s almost like a journal in some ways. It’s always a learning process, and I don’t think there’s ever a point where you figure it out — like, ‘Oh, this is what I need to do.’ It’s always a struggle.”
On the song “Barbarella”:
Neil: “I wouldn’t have written those lyrics that way when I was 20. I saw that song as sort of like, there’s ‘X-Ray Visions’ and then ‘Firebirds’ are part one and two, and ‘Barbarella’ is part three, where it’s 20 years later and the same character is then trying to impart this wisdom to his son — like, ‘Don’t be like I was,’ which is very familiar trope in a lot of ways.”
On the 1968 Jane Fonda film of the same name:
Neil: “I remember seeing it when I was a teenager. When I came up with the idea of the [song], I said, ‘I should watch the movie before I finish writing the lyrics.’ I only got about 40 minutes into it and I had to stop, it’s so bad. She’s gorgeous and beautiful, but the movie is atrocious… There seemed to be a lot of movies when they started filming and they didn’t even have a script. They just thought the LSD would write it for them. Usually, those movies aren’t very good. You still at the end of the day have to have a good plot.”
On other bands citing CLUTCH as an influence:
Neil: “That’s, I think, the ultimate flattery. Sure, having shows is great. Putting out records is great. But when someone says, ‘I wrote a song,’ or, ‘Your influence is now part of what I do,’ that’s kind of like immortality in a way. But it’s also very humbling. You realize you’re just a very small drop in a big ocean, and if you can ripple out somehow, that’s great — that’s priceless.”
On not having a “big hit”:
Neil: “Sometimes, I think the worst thing that could happen to a band is to have that one huge song, especially right at the beginning of their career, because then they have to live up to that, or they expect that. With us, we just have a whole slew of songs, and people have their favorites. It allows us to change up our setlists. If there’s anything that comes close to it, it would be ‘Electric Worry’, and we play that pretty much every night for that reason, but there’s also another 16 songs that we change up.”
On touring with PANTERA:
Neil: “It was us and NEUROSIS and PANTERA on their ‘Great Southern Trendkill’ tour. These places were enormous. A lot of times, the crowd wasn’t too crazy about us, and we kind of had an attitude like, ‘Okay, if you don’t like us, we’re going to make you hate us.’ Sometimes, we would sit on a riff for 15 minutes, just out of spite. In hindsight, that wasn’t a very cool move. We should have tried a different approach. But when we rolled through towns the next time, there was a lot of fans there… [Backstage,] it was pretty nuts, and we kind of steered clear of it as much as we could because we’re pretty low-key. I don’t think we could compete with their level of after-show raging.”
CLUTCH‘s latest album, “Book Of Bad Decisions” was released in September. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group their third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200.
“Book Of Bad Decisions” was recorded at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters.