Fallon’s fight with Clutch twin aims

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Clutch frontman Neil Fallon admits it’s difficult to find a balance between the band’s two main aims.

He wants to break new musical ground on every album – while also maintaining their trademark approach.

And he says that’s why their 11th record, due in September, will bear a certain resemblance to 2013’s Earth Rocker.

Fallon tells Pollstar: “It’s become more difficult to satisfy the urge to do something new, while at the same time not denying one’s strengths.

“It’s very easy for us to write together because we know each other so well. The danger is that ease can also breed complacency.”

He says the issue comes to light mainly when he’s writing lyrics. “There’s feast or famine,” he reflects. “I think it’s like any other art – there are times that seem very prolific and times when you think, ‘I gotta hang this up.’”

Fallon says of the band’s next release, which is currently being mixed: “There’s nothing out of the ordinary of the Clutch canon. These songs were written so soon after Earth Rocker that they have a lot in common.”

He adds: “It’s a faster record. It shares a bit of the sense of humour. There are a lot of hooks on this record. It’s another offering of our sincerest rock emotion.”

He believes Clutch have succeeded in taking an intimate feel on bigger and bigger stages as their career continues. “The four of us express ourselves honestly as individuals, and that is collectively as a band. Clutch fans recognise that there’s a sincerity to it.

“It’s hard for me to comment on, because as long as we’ve been a band for 25 years, I’ve never seen Clutch play. I think it’s important not to over-think it, and still go with the gut.”

Asked what he’s learned while touring the world, the frontman replies: “Everybody wants the same thing. They want safety, food and shelter, and to have a good time.

“No matter where you are, if you put people in a small room, turn down the lights, feed them alcohol and put on loud music, everybody ends up acting the same way. That’s a great unifying factor of rock’n’roll.”