Neil Fallon of Maryland rockers CLUTCH was recently interviewed on episode 104 of the “DOMKcast”. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On CLUTCH being such a formidable live act:
Neil: “I think — we don’t need to get too philosophical — live music takes the front seat over everything else. Albums and recorded music are all well and good, but I think the real spirit of what keeps us going is getting up onstage. It’s been that way for thousands of years. It’s no different now despite all the technological advances. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, and I still get a kick out of it. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve become much more defensive and protective about it, realizing that making a living in the creative arts is a pretty rare thing to do these days.”
On the difficulties younger bands face trying to get noticed and start a career in music:
Neil: “I don’t envy them at all in trying to be heard over all the noise. We had the best of both worlds in that starting in the ’90s, we had the support of major labels, but then a lot of bands dried up pretty quickly. The Internet really changed everything for us because people started sharing music. One of the things we had a problem with majors is that they didn’t know how to describe or pair us with other bands. So, it became a lot easier once people had the chance to listen to the music. Even though they were listening to a pirated copy, if that means they come to a show, then great. That, I think, is a fair trade. Nowadays, trying to get heard is got to be a real challenge for young bands. I’m not a big fan of bands being enticed into doing stuff that doesn’t have to do with music — just doing silly crap on social media outlets seems kind of cheap and distracts from the real spirit of the thing. I’m 47 years old and I’m starting to develop a ‘get off my lawn’ attitude. [Laughs]”
On the rationale behind releasing CLUTCH‘s collection of outside-of-the-box covers, “Weathermaker Vault Series”, on only digital platforms:
Neil: “It’s an experiment for us. We’d never done it this way. People of my age, we grew up with albums and cassettes, then CDs. We’re certainly not abandoning physical copies, but younger people, I don’t think it really bothers them in the least that their phone or their computer is their primary way of enjoying music. So in order to also basically just keep people’s attention in between albums, we’ll release a song here and there every couple of months over the summer. We’re not quite ready to do a full-length LP yet, so it was a way for us to do some cover songs, which is always a good exercise learning-wise, but it gave us a bit more elbow room to see if this idea would even work. If it does, maybe after putting out a dozen things, maybe we’ll press up some vinyl and put them all on there sort of like a compilation. Like you said, we are our own record label, so we have to figure it out as we’re doing it. There’s no one telling us what to do. We’re going to go back into the studio in September and record some more songs. We don’t know what yet, but that’ll probably get us songs up until the end of the year. So, I would imagine at the earliest, at the beginning of next year, I would imagine at that point, we’ll probably start thinking about new material.”
On what has kept CLUTCH‘s core lineup together since their 1991 inception:
Neil: “I think we have a mutual understanding that CLUTCH is only these four guys, and we have to be very protective about it. You’ve got to have a good sense of humor. Once you do your first tours in a van, there’s no more secrets. Everybody knows these things. You’ve got to learn — if something is driving you crazy, you’ve got to learn the lost art of shutting up; just roll with it. We still hang out in our free time and have a laugh. Some of that might be dumb luck. There are bands who are wonderful onstage but couldn’t even speak to each other offstage. To me, that would be a really toxic situation. Certainly, I couldn’t do that for 25, 30 years.”
CLUTCH‘s latest studio album, “Book Of Bad Decisions”, was released last September. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group its third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200.
“Book Of Bad Decisions” was completed at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell.