Clutch released their first LP, Transnational Speedway League, in 1993. Since then the band has made many albums full of hard rock, heavy metal, blues, funk and punk, touring the world playing honest, high-octane music when they aren't hanging out back at home in Germantown, Maryland.
Tim Sult has been lead guitarist for Clutch since the beginning. There are many other genres of music out there for people to enjoy, including electronica, EBM, hip-hop and countless others. After so many years, why do fans around the planet still enjoy traditional rock and roll?
“I think it’s because rock is a form of music that people enjoy seeing performed live,” Sult says. After decades playing in front of audiences, he knows. “For rock bands it’s very important to put on a good live performance, but I think it’s also a necessary trait for any group, whether they play EBM or hip-hop.”
A band can make a lot of mistakes over the course of a career, but to Sult the worst error is quitting. “Too many bands want to sign on to a big label before they go on tour. They don’t want to go out on the road without a major label to sponsor them.” Clutch spent years playing anywhere they could. “You have to play a lot of live shows to build up a good fan base.”
On December 21st Clutch will headline the KBPI “When Hell Freezes Over” radio show in Denver, Colorado at the Fillmore Auditorium. The concert will give the band an opportunity to show off a few of the new songs from their latest album, Earth Rocker.
The new LP will be released on March 13, 2013. “We just finished recording it. It was a long time coming. We spent a lot hours working in the studio, so I’m glad we’re done.” Sult admits that he’d rather play on the road than locked up inside a studio, but the hard labor paid off. “The recording is perfect. It just sounds like a very sharp production.”
Sult believes that Earth Rocker is the best, heaviest collection of rock and metal tracks the band has ever created. “Honestly, it feels like a cross between our first LP and the Robot Hive/Exodus album.” The guitarist also says that Earth Rocker will have a much more modern sound to it, thanks to all the time the band has spent in the studio making it all pitch perfect. “Our old albums can sound more like classic rock, but this certainly sounds like an album from the 90’s and 2000’s.”
The group also composed an acoustic track for the album. “We decided to take a chance with this one,” Sult says. “Sometimes a heavy metal band will write an acoustic song. It either works or it doesn't ” Sult and the group are glad they rolled the dice. “There’s something about an acoustic song that forces you to strip a composition to its bare elements to entertain the audience. It’s a worthwhile challenge.”
Why did Clutch finally put together another LP? “We all felt like it had been too long. We had spent a lot of time compiling ideas for songs without recording any.” If you want premium quality, you have to wait for it. “Our motivation was to write the best record we possibly could.” They all spent long days in the studio until “…the songs came out heavier and faster than anything we’ve done before,” according to Sult, so veteran fans won’t have to worry if they think they’re favorite band has gone soft with experience.