Rock & Roll
Clutch are an American rock and roll band, formed in Maryland in 1990.
To date, Clutch has released ten studio albums - the most recent of which is Earth Rocker.
Earth Rocker crumples up the bad categories that have miscast the band for years — stoner rock, post-hardcore, metal, grunge — and leaves no question about what they are: a damn good rock and roll band.
Earth Rocker is a solid, straight-up rock and roll album, exactly what the band had in mind for their tenth studio album. “It might be the best Clutch album that has ever existed,” says guitarist Tim Sult.
The album began taking shape when Clutch toured with Mötorhead, then Thin Lizzy. Revisiting those two favorite bands, they were able to apply their own experience as musicians to better understand the dynamics of their heroes. “The songwriting process happened around the time of those tours, so that really sank into our writing,” Sult recalls. “Maybe people expected us to go more acoustic or bluesy, but this album definitely showcases a riffs-in-your-face kind of style. These songs ended up being faster and a bit more rocking.”
Not everything on Earth Rocker is strictly vintage rock and roll. Bassist Dan Maines made sure his love of the aggression and minimalism of Bad Brains and Fugazi was applied to these tracks: “The simpler the better, and I really tried to keep it streamlined and a little more focused. Whatever came to mind first was pretty much what I stuck with throughout the whole recording process. I didn't feel the need to try to over complicate the parts.”
The influence of their favorite bands might have inspired Earth Rocker, but continuous growth as players also affected the album. “You wouldn't have a song like 'Earth Rocker' five years ago,” drummer Jean-Paul Gaster insists. “We've continued to grow on our instruments, finding our own voices. Hopefully, you hear that on the new songs.”
The album was entirely plotted out before recording even started at The Machine Shop in Belleville, New Jersey, with veteran producer Machine. “In the past, we would go into the studio and write,” says frontman Neil Fallon. “That never worked out to anyone's satisfaction. It was really important to do a lot of pre-production, knowing exactly what we would be doing when we went into the studio. It was crucial that we did all that prior to hitting record.”
“There's a certain energy to our shows that we've had difficulty capturing on tape,” Maines admits. “I think this record comes closer to really capturing that energy of Clutch live. It's a very balanced album. There's no B-side material. It's an album of A-sides. That sounds pretty bold and confident, but that's the way we feel about Earth Rocker.”