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Interview:
Clutch Strips Down Sound For New Album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Neil Fallon says Baltimore hard rockers Clutch didn’t necessarily go into their new album, “Strange Cousins From the West,” with a stated goal to “go back to our roots or something like that.” But, he notes that’s what wound up happening.

“We went in like we do with any other record, just following our instincts and not over-thinking it,” Fallon, 37, explains. “We thought about bringing keyboards or other guys in to play like we did the last couple of records.

“Then when we finished the basic tracks and got to thinking about overdubs, we said, ‘No, let’s keep it as is.’ It’s something we hadn’t done in a while, so we felt like maybe this was a good time to strip everything down and make a really raw, back to brass-tacks record.”

Fallon says some of that direction was likely inspired by “El Rojo,” an album earlier this year by the Clutch quartet’s all-instrumental alter ego the Bakerton Group. “If we hadn’t done the ‘El Rojo’ record, (‘Strange Cousins’) maybe would’ve had a lot more of those out-there psychedelics and maybe some more jams in it ’cause those things would still be in our musical system and would not have been purged,” he acknowledges.

But, he adds, that doesn’t mean Clutch will shy away from that in the future, either.

“We’re not trying to divorce the two (groups) from each other,” Fallon says. “The next thing we do as Clutch might have more elements of Bakerton Group. That’s not far-flung from what we do; it’s the same four guys, and it does sound like us. I just see Bakerton Group as an exercise of trying to put our more music in a different vehicle, that’s all.”

Clutch, Baroness and Lionize perform at 7 p.m. Friday (July 10) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $23. Call (313) 961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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