EXCLUSIVE SEATTLE SOUND LIVE INTERVIEW: NEIL FALLON OF CLUTCH

EXCLUSIVE SEATTLE SOUND LIVE INTERVIEW: NEIL FALLON OF CLUTCH

 

I recently had the opportunity to chat with frontman Neil Fallon of the legendary Maryland rockers Clutch before they land at the Showbox in Seattle on April 26th. The band, who are currently on tour with Mastodon, are in the progress of releasing their followup to Earth Rocker. Earth Rocker was the bands tenth studio recording which reached #1 on the Rock Chart and #4 on iTunes’ overall Top 100 album chart. We talked with Neil about the new record, the story behind Weathermaker and a day in the life on the Clutch tour bus.


 

SSL: So, Earth Rocker is your tenth album. How does it feel to have been to continue to produce incredible music?

Neil Fallon: “Well, first, I’m glad you think it’s incredible. That’s very kind of you to say! I’m a bit astonished that we’ve been at it so long because it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I’ll have to attribute that to having a good time of it. Most of our material is pretty fun to play and it’s kept us afloat through some dire times. I’m glad we’re not a goth band. Being sad for 25 years would have been a drag.”

SSL: Tell us about Weathermaker Music. Why did you decide to create your own label?

Neil Fallon: “By the time our contractual obligations were up with DRT, it was apparent that neither major or inde labels knew how to best handle Clutch. We sued DRT for back royalties and were awarded our masters back. We realized that we would be fools to give them to someone else. So we started Weatermaker. And it’s been a boon for us. It’s more work and there is no end to the learning curve, but that’s like any other work endeavour.”

SSL: Clutch is currently working on their follow-up to Earth Rocker which will be released sometime in 2015. What can we expect from that record?

Neil Fallon: “It’s a fast one. Faster than Earth Rocker for sure. The songs in general sound like live performances. Perhaps volatile is a good adjective for the record. Oh, and it has a few love songs on it.”

SSL: Can you tell us who will be producing and mastering the new record?

Neil Fallon: “The record was recorded by Machine, who did Earth Rocker and Blast Tyrant. And I believe we will go with Paul Logus to master it.”

SSL: Are fans going to be hearing any of the new music on the Missing Link Tour?

Neil Fallon: “Yes. We’ll play a song or two every night. But we won’t play them all, I think. We’d rather not release our record via people’s cell phones.”

SSL: You are on your way to Seattle. Can you describe one day on the tour bus? What’s it like?

Neil Fallon: “Usually, we wake up where we need to be. If the venue has a shower we’ll shower there. If not, we get a day room and destroy the bathroom. That’s an incentive to get up early. No one wants to be the tenth man in the bathroom. If we’re travelling all day on the bus, it’s a quiet affair. I think we all appreciate a day off from each other. We, meaning the band and crew, respect eachother’s space and appreciate a little p and q. No video games. No loud music. If you want that, put on your headphones and be quick about it.
If there’s any highlights it’s the late night truck stop. Lots of bright colors and beer coozies. What’s not to like?

SSL: What is the biggest “Rockstar” Thing you have ever done on or off tour?

Neil Fallon: “I’m entirely too lazy to be a rockstar.”

SSL: Clutch has played right along side of some heavy hitters. Right now, you are on the Missing Link tour with Mastodon. What has the experience been like so far?

Neil Fallon: “The shows have been great. The Mastodudes are old friends of ours and it’s a pleasure to hang with them every night. Such a great band!”

SSL: If you could pick one band that you admire, past or present, for Clutch to tour with who would it be and why?

Neil Fallon:  “ZZ Top. I don’t believe any explanation is required.”

SSL: Your stop at the Showbox in Seattle is Sold Out. What is it like to play to a sold out crowd?

Neil Fallon: “We will play to the best of our abilities regardless if a show is sold out or not. However, if a show goes clean, the room will most likely be filled with a band’s most ravenous fans. That usually makes for a great gig.”

SSL: What do you think of Gene Simmons recent comments about bands that use backing tracks on stage?

Neil Fallon:  “I don’t know what Gene said. But if you’re asking me, bands that use backing tracks on stage aren’t bands. They’re show ponies”.

SSL: Clutch has quite the cult following. What are your Seattle fans going to see on April 26th?

Neil Fallon: “We bought some new gear, but I don’t think anyone’s gonna notice. It’s the same four dudes again, and that’s exactly what the fans expect to see.”

If you were lucky enough to score a ticket to the April 26th Show in Seattle or the April 25th Show in Portland get ready for a night of killer live music and catch, maybe, a glimpse of a new Clutch song. If you haven’t scored your tickets yet, check the full tour itinerary below to find the location nearest you.


 

Both Seattle and Portland shows are Sold out but you can still see the band as the continue to tour across the country at any of the other dates listed below.

Apr 19 Edmonton, AB Expo Centre
Apr 21 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
Apr 23 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
Apr 24 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
Apr 25 Portland, OR Roseland (SOLD OUT)
Apr 26 Seattle, WA Showbox (SOLD OUT)
Apr 28 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
Apr 29 Los Angeles, CA Palladium
Apr 30 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theater
May 01 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
May 02 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
May 03 Denver, CO Red Rock’s Amphitheatre
May 05 San Antonio, TX Kapone’s Ballroom
May 06 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
May 08 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees Festival
May 09 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre Street Stage
May 10 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
May 12 Clive, IA (Des Moines) 7 Flags
May 13 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom Club Stage
May 15 Bethlehem, PA Sands Event Center
May 16 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
May 17 Boston, MA House of Blues
May 19 New York, NY Central Park Summerstage
May 20 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
May 21 London, ON London Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
May 23 Sterling Heights, MI Freedom Hall
May 24 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion

For more information please visit pro-rock.com

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Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.



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