My Favorite Band, CLUTCH... Vids and Whatnot...

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Clutch is:

Dan Maines – Bass
Tim Sult – Guitar
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums
Neil Fallon – Vocals, Guitar

Clutch has officially released six studio records, assorted e.p.s, outtakes, 7-inches, and a live record over its long career, and the band's discography includes hundreds of songs, extends to other projects such as the Bakerton Group, and includes guest appearances on other records, one-off cover songs and side projects, and the thousands of bootlegs that circulate from their live concerts. Clutch is less a band than a vast compendium of styles and experiments. Attentive listeners will sometimes hear Led Zeppelin in their songs and instrumentations, while others will recognize the dynamics of John Coltrane, the eccentricity of Frank Zappa, the blues-soul of Elmore James, or the lyrical invention of Chuck D. But the Clutch sound is never derivative; Clutch is an encyclopedia of musical styles, and they burn every page down into gold. It's sonic alchemy.

The band's most recent studio effort is Blast Tyrant (2004). It is the sixth full-length Clutch record to date. Pre-production was done mostly at drummer Jean Paul Gaster's home
studio in Maryland, while basic tracking was recorded between Water Music and the Machine Shop (Hoboken, N.J). Blast Tyrant is also the band's first album for DRT Records.

Blast Tyrant is the first Clutch studio record since Pure Rock Fury (2001). Dedicated fans will recognize that Blast Tyrant is perhaps closest to continuing the musical precedent set by their self-released fourth album Jam Room (1999). The songs alternate between compact form and elaborate instrumental sections. The songs are also diverse in styles, throwing unexpected beats and melodies at the listener. The record's eccentric full title - Blast Tyrant's Atlas of the Invisible World Including Illustrations of Strange Beasts and Phantasms – sprawls out like the title of their debut full-length, while it's semi-conceptual narrative may remind some of Elephant Riders. But concepts are always loose when it comes to Clutch music. High and low, short and long, city and country, sound waves and light years – Clutch continues to escape definition and comparison.

Blast Tyrant also features new instrumentations, such as acoustic guitars (on 'Ghost' and 'The Regulator'). These can now be added to their musical experiments with astrolabes, go-go beats, cowbells, harmonica, fiddles, alembics, and other strange devices. There are also some keyboard sections on the record, and this marks a return to an instrument that was used to different effect when they last employed it on their second, self-titled
record (1995).

Clutch has passed the three years since their last record where they passed the ten years before that: on the road. Their most recent tours have included Deftones, System of a Down, Biohazard, and Corrosion of Conformity in the U.S., and they toured Japan and Europe with Spiritual Beggars. The list stretches back over the 1990's like a comet's tail: Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Monster Magnet, Prong, Sepultura.

Clutch shows are the stuff of legend and the band has performed everywhere from college bars to sold-out arenas. They continue their proud tradition as a great live act that brings fans of various styles together under a single roof. And their fans return, from one show to the next, and one year to the next, for over one decade, to hear the musical experiment known as Clutch. Twelve years strong, six albums deep, and almost two thousand concerts old, Clutch holds its unique course across the musical universe.

The Clutch story began in August, 1991, when the band assembled to play their first show. During that hot summer in Germantown, Maryland, all hopes were pinned on the group as the guys sought the solution to life after high school. The quartet started out as an aggressive, motile, hard core-influenced fury, as documented on their 1992 7-inch debut, "Pitchfork" (Inner Journey Records). Their hard rock aptitude was even more evident on 1993's ensuing "TRANSNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: ANTHEMS, ANECDOTES AND UNDENIABLE TRUTHS" (East West) and on 95's "CLUTCH" (Elektra). With 1998's "THE ELEPHANT RIDERS" (Columbia), the group initiated a more roots-oriented rock expression, one that continued the following year with "JAM ROOM," issued through their own River Road Records.

"We just do what we do, with no apologies," explains Fallon. "We entertain ourselves first, and then others. We're not trying to produce what is popular and we never write songs just to be played on the radio. As a result, it's been difficult for labels to place us. Sometimes it's like trying to fit square pegs in round holes."

As a testament to the unrelenting, unchecked quality of the Clutch sound, the group has shared stages with such diverse acts as Marilyn Manson, Bad Religion, Fu Manchu, Therapy?, Pantera, and, most recently, Corrosion of Conformity. Along the way, fans have been drawn to clubs and halls across North America and beyond to experience Clutch's live fortitude.

Close to a thousand shows down the road from that evening back in 1991, the band takes a bold step forward with "PURE ROCK FURY," their most adventurous and admittedly defiant declaration of self, while simultaneously issuing a promise for further exploration and refinement. For the practicing critic or discerning music lover, Clutch is unmistakable in the form of the good ol' rock band, playing music for the music's sake

A Bio Writeup from Neil......

1998 Bio
While on the road, the members of Clutch -- who originally hail from Germantown, Maryland -- eat Kentucky Fried Chicken every Sunday night (or nearly every Sunday night - there are towns, believe it or not, that have no KFC!) We-the-band (Neil, Tim, Dan, and Jean Paul) are very serious about these weekly meals. On those not-so-rare occasions when a promoter or club owner gives us grief about our KFC, we send in our tour manager, who can be a very persuasive man.

I don't know the exact number, but I would guess that Clutch has performed at least five hundred times. We formed the band directly after graduating from high school in Germantown. We played our first show in 1991. Many of the shows we've played have been opening slots for bands such as Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Bad Religion, and Prong, just to name a few.

While in Europe with Sepultura, we had the opportunity to try English KFC. Would you believe that English KFC is the same as American KFC? My only complaint is that the English (and the rest of Europe, for that matter) refuse to put more than two tiny bits of shaved ice in their soft drinks. I can respect cultural differences, but warm Coke just plain sucks.

I suppose that if I sat down and really applied myself I could calculate all the KFC Clutch has eaten and come up with some wacky figure like "40 chickens, 300 potatoes, and five hundred ears of corn, per man for the past six years that the band has been together." I have neither the patience nor the skill for that, though.

Usually there are a few hours between dinner and set time. Some of us like to have a quick nap then, not only because potatoes are a heavy food and make us sleepy, but because many of our shows are quite late, and we need as much energy as we can muster for the gig.

Our sets are very demanding, but not in the sense that we leap up and down and do loop-de-loops all over the place. Rather, our sets are musically demanding, and what they demand is spirit.

On a good night the music comes alive before we even know it. The performance turns from us playing the music to the music playing us. Sometimes all our effort is channeled into controlling what we've created. On the best nights it is as if we are tethering a great and fabulous deep and heartfelt desire to be the creators of an event never before seen nor heard, to be both the source and the subject of a completely new "thing."

There are occasions when all our efforts are channeled toward getting the spirit out. After performing night after night, it is easy to become too comfortable in the music. When it all becomes too easy, apathy can set in. This is why we must rely upon rearrangement and improvisation. Though this increases the chances of error, the errors are outweighed by the uniqueness of the moment.

Each of our albums -- Transnational Speedway League (1993, EastWest Records) and Clutch (1995, Elektra Records) -- is a snapshot of our development as musicians and expresses what we've learned since the previous release, our first being a 7" single entitled "Pitchfork." Our album sales (more than 100,000 for each release) are fueled mainly by our many national tours. Our Columbia Records' debut The Elephant Riders was produced by Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith) and mixed by Jason Corsaro (Soundgarden, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Motorhead, Iggy Pop).

Having moved to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, it was inevitable that we would have history play a role in The Elephant Riders, our latest album. It is not a specifically thematic album, but many of the songs look to the past as a context for storytelling. The song, "Elephant Riders," entertains the idea of elephants being used by armies during the United States Civil War. There is no factual basis for this other than the names of the places mentioned in the song. We chose to name the album The Elephant Riders because it is such a surreal image.

I think it is safe to say that Clutch is a reluctant studio band. We know that as soon as we record a song it will be only a matter of weeks before we want it changed. Our listeners know this and perhaps this explains why so many live bootlegs are traded.

We have never performed for anyone other than ourselves. Of course, the more people who come to our shows and buy our albums, the happier we are, but when it comes down to it, we are only trying to impress each other. We operate as if each show is a secret assembly of free and accepting ear drums. With the exception of the occasional freeloader who digs into our catering, we enjoy the company and always look forward to bigger and better happenings.

-- Neil Fallon, January 12, 1998

Another Older Bio - circa 1995
To hear Jean Paul Gaster, drummer for Clutch, describe his group's state of mind it is like listening to a Clutch song: They rev up then barrel along, knowing full well you're going to get somewhere worthwhile by the end. "We cover a lot of ground," he starts off hesitantly. "We've had an album out. We've toured for two years...we have confidence," he repeats as his pitch builds into a cockeyed crescendo. "We don't suck any more."

Not hardly. Their new album, self-titled Clutch is another feast for brain and guts. Like the opening salvo of "Big News," a scorching track which drags you along on truck wheels of lolling guitar and bass, each song unfolds itself. About half way through you realize you're listening to a song about pirates. "Yeah," agrees Jean Paul "It's about a wigged out pirate just doing pirate shit." Lack of unique subject matter has never been a problem for Clutch. One of their crowd pleasing favorites, "Binge and Purge" (from their raucous debut album Transnational Speedway League) was inspired by David Koresh's Texas style bonfire. Neil Fallon Writes most of the Clutch lyrics, with Jean Paul, guitarist Tim Sult, and bassist Dan Maines rounding out the rest of the group. Dan tries his hand at defining Clutch's place in what seems to be a post-punk sweepstakes these days. "We really don't fit into that genre or any genre," he says. "We may not sound like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or AC/DC or bands like that, but we owe more to that kind of band in a way than any other."

The group's penchant for big, greasy rock is delicately balanced with a hair-trigger sensibility for shooting down icons of any order. Whether their target is religion as on "The House That Peterbilt," or satirizing the stupid clichés of road life as on "Rock n' Roll Outlaw," Clutch doesn't waste time grasping at straws. They inhale them and everything else in their way with the fee-fi-fo-fum vocal style of singer Fallon. "A lot of people will point to some of the bigger styled seventies influences when they talk about us, but I don't think we're influenced by those bands so much as there were no good rock bands in the eighties. Bands in the eighties sucked," says Jean Paul. Whether the group likes it or not, though, those were the formative years. All of them went to high school together in Germantown, Maryland. They graduated at the end of the decade bound for college and/or the 'grind out lifestyle' of indie rockers. "I just like to say some of us graduated from college and some didn't" laughs Jean Paul. "Some of us took more classes than others. As for me, I could never stay focused in school. Everyone talks about attention deficit disorder or whatever, but I think it's really an excuse for people like me who don't give a fuck."

Clutch could carry surgical apathy to a high art, that is they definitely know what they do and do not care about, wasting little time on hand wringing about too many "band decisions." They all agree, however, that a fierce dedication went into the making of their second album. "The bottom line on this record," says Jean Paul, "is we all sat down before we made it and said 'We're going to make nothing short of breakthrough record.'" Not that there haven't been mini-breakthroughs along the path. Their initial recorded effort, the 7-inch "Pitchfork," was released in 1991 to solid support from the get go. It caught the attention of some major labels and with not much more fanfare than that, Clutch was signed. Transnational Speedway League was hailed for its hard-driving axis, coupled with the now-trademark slow burning tempo; the band toured endlessly, developing a rapid corps of fans who considered a Clutch show a "must-see." "The kind of a person who comes to see a Clutch show usually brings a friend to beat up," say Jean Paul. "There's also the kind of fan who just stands there studying the group," seconds Dan. "That's what I did when I went to shows, just stand there and watch intently." It's also the best way to soak-up the kind of storytelling Neil Fallon provides throughout.

The band members themselves don't exactly know where he gets his ideas. One of the songs on the new album, "I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Booth" is practically Homeric (Not Simpson, the other Homer) as it unveils its tale. "As far as I know," puzzles Dan, "it's about a fisherman; he's been fishing for 13 years and hasn't gotten a bite. One day he pulls into the other cove and feels something pulling on his line; it's a casket. Inside is the body of John Wilkes Booth. He ends up selling the body. I think Neil was going to have him buy a circus with the money but the song was too short ."

Not every track is an opus, however. The thunderous piss-puddle of "Tight Like That" is a garagey slab of pointed rock. To obtain that kind of sound the band purposefully recorded the Clutch album in the basement studio of a longtime collaborator Larry Packer. It was Packer who produced their first trip to the plate, "Pitchfork".

"We wanted Larry for many reasons," says Dan. "We wanted to be more relaxed about it. We figured recording with Larry would help us make the purest record possible. On the first album we had to fly to the West Coast and everything. Being a new band, it was distracting. On this album we had a green light to try any ideas we wanted." Jean Paul agrees, citing some particular adventurism on getting the right drum sound: "A lot of albums now you'll hear something that's supposed to sound like a snare or a bass drum. On this album we took the time to get the exact sound we wanted. Any kid listening to this album is going to know what real rock drums are supposed to sound like."

Another difference between Clutch and the crop of post-grunge groups they're often aligned with is that you won't find any feigned allergy to fame. These guys invite all the trappings - good and bad - that go with any sudden success rock-life may bring. Extensive touring plans are in the works, the longer the better, according to Jean Paul. "A lot of bands complain about fame but I want to be as big as fucking possible. I'd like to tour the next two years. I don't want to live with my fucking parents anymore," he laughs. "They're cool and everthing, but Clutch is best when it's rolling. Yeah, I could get into fame and fortune, no problem."


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Hello it is me again. What a coincidence. We are going to see/hear Clutch this week! Thanks for the vid because I have not seen them before. We are going because the support is 5 Horse Johnson who we have seen twice and are an under-rated superb band.
Will let you know how it goes. I might even have some pix.
I dont think ull be disapointed by their show... They live to perform on stage.... Not sure how their sound will be recieved by u Brits over there...

Did u like their sound???

Where are u gonna see them at????

5/18/05 Rockworld, Manchester, UK
5/19/05 Woughton, Milton Keynes, UK
5/20/05 Queens, Nuneaton, UK
5/21/05 Club 2000, Penz Ance , UK
5/22/05 Bierkiller, Bristol, UK

Lemme know what u think........ Have never heard of 5 Horse before... The only really British that I listen to more than once every 6 months is Fudge Tunnel.....

Now theres a band.........
The Bierkeller eh? I've been once or twice - watched gigs while propping the bar though - the mosh pit is not for the likes of Med.....
Have u listened to the clips Med??? They really are kickass live man...... Take a car ride and waste some quid and go see a kickass show....

The other tour dates for Clutch are..........

5/23/05 Disco 2 / Rock City
Nottingham, UK

5/24/05 Burgerweeshuis
Deventer, NL

5/25/05 013
Tilburg, NL

5/26/05 Maroquinerie
Paris, FR

5/28/05 Festimad
Madrid, SP
What a night! My ears still have not stopped ringing, it was that loud.
A packed hall enjoyed local band Phema, then 5 Horse Johnson and finally Clutch.

Last song 5HJ did saw two Clutch members (guitar and keyboards) jamming. 5HJ as it turned out had Clutch's drummer for the whole set.

Being a Thursday night we could not stay standing up for any longer and after about half the Clutch set we had to go. I know you will reckon we were crazy but some of us have to work early next day.

May have some pix and vid to share as and when....
Video??? Of Clutch live??? I already have the live, double CD from Flint Michegan... The video is of the same show... I think it sucks that they did that......

But a live concert video of ANY show is better than none at all I suppose............. Wish it was of another show though.........
It is a video clip but the file name is screwed up (by me) during the file conversion so it should just need renaming as
to play.
But it plays OK in Widnows Medi Player on my PC.

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