Double Clutch – ‘n interview met Amerika se number one stoner rockers

In Watkykjy Interviews deur Chopper Charlie

Clutch is nogal ’n fokken main band en heel unique daarby. Sedert die vroeë nineties jol hierdie ysters die underground hard rock scene aan die fokken brand regoor Amerika met hulle eie brand van stoner rock.

Nou stoner rock is bietjie soos ou seventies rock (dink Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad, baie ou Sabbath) maar about ‘n duisend keer heavier. Lekker slow meestal, maar grinding en definitief rock en fokken roll pappa. Op die manier wat hy gespeel moet word. Hard.

Clutch se eerste album was “Transnational Speedway League” en dit het seker een van die befokste slow heavy songs ooit op. Veral vir mense wat op ‘n sekere Perdeby kamp way back was en moes sien hoe die einste CHopper ‘n lamppaal uit die grond uitduik.

So loop hy ma’…

(Die track se naam is "Binge and Purge". Loop kry hom êrens.)

Anyway, hierna hou die manne aan met hulle lekker onbeskofte rock en die albums loop soos stroop – sommige met ’n jam session tipe vibe, ander met meer bluegrass influences – almal kwaai befok. Check die Clutch site vir die info.

‘n Hele paar albums later en die bra’s van Clutch stel ‘n nuwe album vry met die naam Robot Hive / Exodus. Chopper het hulle bietjie kaarte geskiet, en dis wat Neil Fallon (vocalist) te sê het.

CHopper: Hi Neil. Very cool to get in touch with you guys, though it is only through e-mail. Did you ever imagine doing an interview with someone in South Africa? Ever been to Africa?

Neil: I can't say that I ever expected to do a South African interview. No, I have never been to Africa, though I would very much like to go.

CHopper: Space? You sing about it a lot.

Neil: Oh, space? I go there quite frequently. I have alot of family there.

CHopper: Now big news on the party boat is that your new album, Robot Hive / Exodus, has just been released. What can fans expect?

Neil: RHE is a more loose / organic record than Blast Tyrant. Blast Tyrant was a straight ahead rock record whereas RHE is more quirky with more of a blues element. Also, we have Mick Schauer playing Hammond B3 over most of the disc.

CHopper: I see reviewers are all commenting on the use of keyboards on this one. Do you see it as part of the evolution of your sound?

Neil: We have had keyboards as far back as our Self-Titled record. Only now, though, have we introduced a player dedicated to incorporating it into the writing process. I think the B3 sits nicely between the bass and guitar, allowing Tim (guitarist) to free up a bit as well. If anyone has any doubts as to the efficacy of the Hammond B3, please refer to Deep Purple.

CHopper: Right. Now, the cover art seems to be a return to the Clutch-style covers before Blast Tyrant, which featured comic art. What's the thinking behind it?

Neil: We wanted to emulate the old album art of double LP’s. We miss the huge art that records afforded the listener. CDs are small and to some degree, disposable. In order to make the thing more valuable, we wanted to make the package a piece of art. Fortunately we found a guy, Nick Lakiotes, to do just that. Amazingly, RHE was the first album art he had ever done.

CHopper: What was your most hectic night out recently?

Neil: Well, we are not on tour right now. I am writing from home in Maryland. When I am at home it's to bed at ten and up at dawn. I enjoy the quiet of home and the most hectic it gets is playing fetch with the dog.

CHopper: I see. Well, Clutch seems to have gone through a couple of record labels in its career. Why do you think that is?

Neil: Record labels, majors especially, want to sell platinum records. We aren't one of those bands. We have never looked to a label as a "home" or as a "mother." We used them as much as they used us.

Without them we probably wouldn't be in the self-sufficient position we are right now. Business is business.

CHopper: Going back to your first album… What is the root of the problem, and has it now been sufficiently isolated?

Neil: It's been so long, I have forgotten what the problem was in the first place. I had better get looking again.

CHopper: You do that. What are your tour plans for the release of Robot Hive / Exodus? I take it there are no African venues… again. Would you like to play SA?

Neil: Hell yeah, we would love to play SA (and by that I don't mean San Antonio). As I am sure you know, it costs alot of money to get to South Afica. As soon as someone wants to pay for the airline tickets, we'll be there.

Raait watkykertjies, dis nou net hier waar ons moet begin gelpies insamel om die manne oor te vlieg.

CHopper: Being American (and American iconography) seems to be very much part of the Clutch brand. Would you agree with that?

Neil: Yes, but with critical humor.

CHopper: A lot of your lyrics are centred in storytelling. Have you written any novels / books?

Neil: No. I have written three dozen first chapters and endings. It's the middle that is a real chore.

CHopper: Ain’t that the truth. Do you guys drive standard cars or have they been souped up a bit? Big sound at least?

Neil: I drive a very average small pick-up truck. JP (the drummer) has a sweet ride, a 68 Chevy pick-up with, yes, big sound.

CHopper: That’s better. It's quite a bitch getting hold of Clutch albums down here. Thank God for How many official album releases are there?

Neil: Pitchfork 7", Passive Restraints, Impetus (which is Passive Restraints plus two tracks), Transnational Speedway League, Clutch, Elephant Riders, Pure Rock Fury, Jam Room, Slow Hole To China, Live at the Googolplex, Blast Tyrant, Live at Flint, Pitchfork and Lost Needles (the first 7" plus some outtakes from Robot Hive), and Robot Hive / Exodus.

By my count that makes 14.

CHopper: Cool. Which Clutch track (or album) is best suited for a long road trip?

Neil: Robot Hive / Exodus. Or mybe Live in Flint since it is a double CD.

CHopper: What are your plans for the future?

Neil: We start a tour this week in the US and then go to Europe with CKY. We will tour the States for the rest of the year and then you will buy eight airline tickets for us to play in South Africa.

CHopper: Sure thing. What's your view on monster trucks?

Neil: They are wonderfuly indulgent wasteful irresponsible silly works of art.

CHopper: And on people illegally downloading music, especially in poor countries?

Neil: Hey, I do it…so who am I to bitch?

So daar het julle outjies dit. Julle is welkom om Clutch tunes te loop download op P2P netwerke, solank julle dan net vir watkykjy help om die manne oor te vlieg vir ‘n vet konsert. Net so vette.

Dis waar. The root of the problem has been isolated.

En ons het almal front-row seats.

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Chopper CharlieDouble Clutch – ‘n interview met Amerika se number one stoner rockers