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Clutch, Mastodon tour is a meeting of kindred spirits

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Clutch's joint tour with fellow Marylanders Mastodon was inevitable, frontman Neil Fallon feels.

"We've known these guys for ages and did a tour with them well over 10 years ago," says Fallon, 43, who also sang on Mastodon's "Leviathan" album in 2004. "Every time we had run into each other over the years we had spoken about it, but the stars didn't align for whatever reason. This year they asked us if we were interested in doing it, and of course we said yes. We've had a close relationship with those guys and get along splendidly, so there's no reason to think twice."

Fallon -- who co-founded Clutch during 1991 in Germantown, Md. -- considers his band and Mastodon kindred spirits, even though Mastodon's sound leans more towards the metallic side while Clutch is more bluesy and even funky at times. But he's confident the two complement each other rather than compete.

"If anything it's more of the philosophy behind it; they did something very unique and just followed their artistic impulse, and I think it's the same for Clutch," Fallon explains. "Even though we may be two different kinds of bands in a lot of regards, philosophically we're very similar.

"And there's plenty of crossover between both bands' crowds, and I'm sure there's a percentage of each bands' fans that may not care for the other band so much, but who cares. It's not a talent show; it's just a good night of music."

Clutch, meanwhile, is getting ready to deliver more music in the near future. Fallon says the group has finished recording its 11th album, "Psychic Warfore," which is due out in September. It follows 2013's "Earth Rocker," which was Clutch's first Top 20 album on the Billboard 200. Fallon says he's "still kind of wrapping my head around" the project but is confident it's what fans want to hear from Clutch.

"I think it's even faster than 'Earth Rocker,' and the songs are pretty succinct," he says. "There's not a lot of jamming going on there, just a lot of catch hooks. It shares a lot of similarities with 'Earth Rocker,' probably because we wrote it so shortly after that (album), whereas with (2009's) 'Strange Cousins...' and 'Earth Rocker' there were probably four years that transpired between those two.

"We'll probably play a couple songs (live), but we don't want to do too much. Nowadays if we play a new song it's almost the same as releasing it 'cause of YouTube and everything. That can be good promotion, but at the same time you don't want to pull the rug out from yourself. But we're all so excited to play these songs that we'll do one or two."

Clutch, Mastodon, Graveyard

Saturday, May 23. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $35 pavilion, $25 lawn.

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net -

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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