Scotty J of Rock Titan recently conducted an interview with CLUTCH frontman Neil Fallon. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On recording cover songs as part of CLUTCH's new "Weathermaker Vault Series":
Neil: "Doing cover songs is a great exercise to kind of expand your musical vocabulary. There will be certain phrases on a guitar that you would never come up with and you learn to get into the mind of another musician by learning their material. CACTUS is kind of like a band's band. If you're in a band, you know about CACTUS. The greater public may not be aware. [Carmine Appice, drums] heard [CLUTCH's cover of the CACTUS classic 'Evil'] and endorsed it. I was very chuffed, to say the least. He helped invent heavy metal. That's kind of a big deal."
On CLUTCH's longevity:
Neil: "Sometimes people say, 'You've been in it for so long.' I think that's a point of pride. It's a mixture of work ethic and luck. I know there's a lot of hard-working bands where fate just dealt them a bad hand. The longer we do this, the more appreciative we are of it and the more protective we are of it. It's about the show. It's about what's going to happen tonight. Anything that can comprise that has to go. You got to leave that at the curb. I didn't think it was going to last this long."
On making CLUTCH his career:
Neil: "In the great scheme of things, there's definitely much more disagreeable ways to make a living. I'll be honest: Jean-Paul [Gaster, drums] and Tim [Sult, guitar] were those guys in high school that were, like, 'I'm going to be in a rock band.' I was, like, 'Yeah, right!' Sadly, I think I kind of bought into the line that got beaten into my head from dad of, 'That's not a legitimate career.' To this day, he thinks I'm just avoiding adult responsibility. But you know what? It's been a great education. We got to travel the world, meet people on a real level, not a tourist circuit. The most priceless thing is when people say, 'Your music got me through this hard part of my life.' Or, 'It was the soundtrack to my summer.' To be able to bring joy to a complete stranger, there's only a few gigs in this world that gives you that blessing. I know it's hard rock and heavy metal and it can be aggressive, but it accomplishes the same thing as some religions do or some other kind of entertainment. Sometimes I think we cheapen the word 'entertainment,' because people think it's a cheap word, but I don't think it's cheap — I think it's priceless."
On whether he sees CLUTCH still touring upon the band's 50th anniversary:
Neil: "Sure. Yeah, I mean I don't know if we would road-dog like we are now. I just saw last weekend KING CRIMSON and they're doing their 50th-anniversary tour and it was amazing. Granted, it's not like Robert Fripp [guitar] is asking people to do a circle pit but that's not what people are there for."
CLUTCH is currently on a U.S. fall tour with DROPKICK MURPHYS, along with hardcore/metal veterans HATEBREED as direct support.
Over the past few months, CLUTCH has released several new studio recordings that comprise the "Weathermaker Vault Series". This is the first new official music CLUTCH is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, "Book Of Bad Decisions". The first three singles ("Evil", "Precious And Grace" and "Electric Worry") were mixed by six-time Grammy Award winner and CLUTCH collaborator Vance Powell (WOLFMOTHER, THE RACONTEURS, ARCTIC MONKEYS) and are available now on all digital platforms.