If you listen closely, you can probably hear them coming! East Coast rockers Clutch are currently thundering their way across the country on a tour with Mastodon that’ll have them arriving in Arizona for a show at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre on April 30.
Besides the concert, Clutch fans will be excited to know that the band is also finishing up a new album and the guys --- singer and guitarist Neil Fallon, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, bass man Dan Maines and guitarist Tim Sult --- may treat the crowd to a brand new song or two at the Marquee show.
We sent Fallon a few questions by email, asking about the new record, life on the road and the upcoming milestone that Clutch will reach next year. Here are his responses, given exclusively to AXS.com.
AXS: How’s the “Missing Link Tour” going so far? Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened while you’re interacting with the other bands?
Neil Fallon: The tour has been going great. We’ve only done four shows, so there hasn’t been a whole lot of shenanigans. But I would hazard a guess that [Mastodon guitarist] Brent Hinds will address that forthwith.
AXS: Clutch will be playing various festivals in Europe this summer and then going back in the autumn for a series of club dates. Is there a particular show or city that you’re looking most forward to? Do you ever have time for sightseeing while you’re in Europe?
NF: Many European venues are located near or in city centers, so sightseeing is pretty easy. I try to see what I can. It’s easy to get complacent about all the sights we get to see. I remind myself that I’m very fortunate to get to see as much as I do. I’m excited to play Paris; Clutch has only played there a few times. I don’t know it nearly as well as I know, say, Pittsburgh.
AXS: There’s a new Clutch album in the works for this autumn. Where are you at with that and can you give us a little preview at this point?
NF: The album is being mixed at the moment. We recorded it with Machine at his new studio in Texas. It’s a fast record. Faster than Earth Rocker, for sure. There’s even a couple of love songs on it.
AXS: Clutch is being supportive of [jazz drummer] Johnny Vidacovich’s crowdfunding effort. What is your affiliation with Johnny?
NF: Jean-Paul is friends with Johnny and has taken a few lessons from him. He’s an amazing drummer. It’s no accident that we always have a day off before or after a New Orleans gig. Johnny’s always playing somewhere and we check him out whenever we are in town.
AXS: The Clutch 25th anniversary is rapidly approaching. Are you making plans yet, or how do you think you’d like to celebrate this milestone?
NF: We haven’t even spoken about it. I think the best way to celebrate 25-years is to plan on the next 25-years. We’re not ones for hoopla.
AXS: Clutch has a gig coming up in Arizona. Do you have a story or memory you can share, either on stage or off, from a previous visit to the state?
NF: On more than one occasion in the mid-’90s we camped out at the Salt River with the Sepultura crew. I have really fond memories of those times. I miss Nino; he was a human hurricane. But, thank goodness those outings happened before the age of cell phones. No evidence, no remorse.
Opening for Clutch and Mastodon will be Graveyard.
Clutch tour dates and ticket info is here.