Maryland rockers CLUTCH performed a brand new song, apparently titled "Strive For Excellence", during their first fan-attended live concert in 21 months, which took place September 5 at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.
CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster recently told the Chicago-based webzine Metal Kaoz that he and his bandmates have "written a lot of songs" in the last year for the follow-up to 2018's "Book Of Bad Decisions" LP. He said: "We've been writing now for our new album that we will record in the fall, and I think we're spending more time than ever in the studio, just trying out different ideas. And most of the ideas don't ever really make it to the end; we try 10 things and we keep one.
"I think we are even more selective than we were before as to which ideas we really decide to focus on. And I think it is because we have so much more time. Before, we would come home for a tour and maybe we would have three weeks off. So, the first week, we don't do really much of anything — everybody goes back home to their families and we rest — and then the next two weeks we would get together and we would just jam really hard and get a bunch of ideas, and then on the road and play those ideas, and then come back and do it again. And that process might go on for a year and a half. This has been different. This is the first time where we've had so much time at home to work on ideas and never really tried them in a live setting. So I'm not sure how it's gonna impact the record. But I think it's gonna make for a different album — whether it's good, bad or otherwise, it's too early to tell. But, for sure, it's a different dynamic, and it requires more of us.
"So often, when we have new ideas and we put them in front of an audience, you can really tell right away — we know right away if the song is the right tempo, we know right away if the riffs are where they need to be, if the chorus is the way it needs to be," Gaster added. "It's a testing ground. And we don't have that right now. So, for that reason, I think we are being a lot more careful about what ideas we really wanna focus on, and which ones we think, 'You know what? We've done that before. Let's do something a little different.'"
Gaster went on to say that the new CLUTCH album will likely arrive in early 2022 — "hopefully before we start really hitting the road again. And it'll be fun to get back out there," he said. "Man, I just miss it so much."
"Book Of Bad Decisions" was recorded at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell. 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.