STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER/For 21st Century Media
Hailing from just over the Pennsylvania state line in Frederick, Maryland makes it pretty simple for Clutch to make it up this way on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, that’s not been the case as much of 2014 for the stomp rockers was spent at major North American festivals like Riot Fest Chicago, Denver and Toronto as well as overseas in Australia and Europe – all in support of last year’s standout full length Earth Rocker. Finally the region gets the chance to see them tonight after a year plus wait at The Electric Factory on what’s being dubbed the “Holiday Run Tour.”
Album number 10 came after a good few years with not much time spent in the studio; it was inspired and began taking shape when Clutch toured with Mötorhead and Thin Lizzy. Revisiting those two favorite bands, they were able to apply their own experience as musicians to better understand the dynamics of their heroes.
“The songwriting process happened around the time of those tours, so that really sank into our writing,” guitarist Tim Sult said in a statement. “Maybe people expected us to go more acoustic or bluesy, but this album definitely showcases a riffs-in-your-face kind of style. These songs ended up being faster and a bit more rocking.”
“Overall, we wanted the album to pick up the pace a little bit,” bassist Dan Maines added. “Songs developing at a faster tempo led to a very straightforward songwriting approach.”
Categorized as everything from stoner rock to post-hardcore to metal to grunge since hitting the scene in 1991, at the heart of it all, Clutch has always been a solid, rock and roll band. The four-piece are passionate students of the genre – and music in general.
Behind the scenes, Earth Rocker was also a result of an inordinate amount of preparation for Clutch. The album was entirely plotted out before recording even started at The Machine Shop in Belleville, New Jersey, with veteran producer Machine.
“In the past, we would go into the studio and write,” said singer Neil Fallon in a statement. “That never worked out to anyone’s satisfaction. It was really important to do a lot of pre-production, knowing exactly what we would be doing when we went into the studio. It was crucial that we did all that prior to hitting record.”
Following this brief “holiday run,”which winds down in Texas in mid-January, there’s nothing on the docket. A new album would seem the next logical step, but here’s to hoping a few more shows make it here in the meantime.
IF YOU GO
What: Clutch in concert. Torche and Lionize open.
When: 8:15 p.m. December 30
Where: The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street, Located On 7th Street Between Callowhill and Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA
Info: Call (215) 627-1332 or visit www.electricfactory.info