Friday, September 24, 2010
[blogcritics.org] Charlie Doherty of Blogcritics.org recently conducted an interview with singer/rhythm guitarist Neil Fallon of Maryland rockers CLUTCH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Blogcritics.org: I wanted to ask you just a general question about the songwriting process. How has it evolved over the years between the four of you guys from the time you started until [latest record] "Strange Cousins From The West"? Do you guys do anything different as far as how you come into a jam session or a studio environment?
Fallon: No, it's pretty much the same as it was back when we first started jamming together in high school bands back in '88/'89. The only thing that's changed really is the location and the technology. We just get together in [drummer] Jean-Paul's basement where the drums are and kick around some riffs. Then those guys patiently wait for me to write lyrics. I'm terribly slow at doing it. You know one thing we've learned is it's always best to give a song its litmus test on stage, because sometimes things sound great in the studio that doesn't feel so good later on that you kind of say, [sic] shoulda coulda woulda. But that's just part of the learning process.
Blogcritics.org: You guys have your own label now [Weathermaker Music]. Does that give you more creative control when it comes to recording a studio album like "Strange Cousins", or at least more so than you would have had you stuck with DRT or another label?
Fallon: Well, I think one of the reasons that we were always kind of habitually dropped by labels is because we never let them dictate what we were doing. So I don't feel so much that we have more creative control because I think we always have that complete control. But what is different is we can dictate the sequence of events, cater it to our liking, whereas record labels, they believe religiously in something called an album cycle, which I think is a bunch of horse shit. So instead of sitting around two years between records, we can pump 'em out as quickly as we want. It's really not that hard, it's just that the less people involved, the better it seems to go.
Blogcritics.org: You got with Weathermaker now the rights to [CLUTCH albums] "Blast Tyrant", "From Beale Street To Oblivion" and "Robot Hive/Exodus" and they're all being reissued this year, with "Beale St." already having been reissued. Did you guys have to put up a big fight with DRT to get those records back or was it a smooth transition?
Fallon: Nah, it was pretty gnarly there for about a year and a half. We had already completed our record contract, but the thing was, DRT stopped paying us our royalties because they were a terrible business. So we sued 'em. They couldn't pay us what they owed us, so long story short, the judge awarded the rights to those masters back to us in lieu of the money that they owed us that we would never have seen anyway. So as much as I'd like to have been paid what's owed us, I think maybe it's a bit of a blessing in disguise, because those records haven't been in stores for years.
Blogcritics.org: Seeing that you guys are almost always writing and recording, are there any new brand songs or maybe leftovers from "Strange Cousins" that you are going to be debuting on the upcoming tour?
Fallon: Well, we've been writing, but what happened is that we have been kind of playing some acoustic-style songs because of the acoustic set we did at Bonnaroo this summer. And we decided to record it. It's not purely acoustic because I played electric, a semi-hollow body guitar. So those might get busted out on this tour. It's hard to say, but as soon as we're done with this tour, (corrects himself) probably on this tour, we're really gonna start writing new material.
Blogcritics.org: One of the things I love about "Blast Tyrant" is the acoustics on the record. Do you guys see yourselves in the future doing maybe an all-acoustic tour or record?
Fallon: It's a nice thought, but it's something [that] we wrestle with as far as, if you go on acoustic and then you play electric bass on it, well then does that open up the possibility to other electric stuff. And I think for us it's maybe more just a malleable philosophy. I think this EP will be that [an acoustic-based release]. We've recorded nine songs. I don't think all will make it, but who knows, maybe it's the beginning of a new record and we just don't know it yet.
Read the entire interview HERE!
Posted by Dan Goldin at 1:05 AM