Darkness on the edge of town

Born a generation later, fueled by underground movements both ends of the musical spectrum, Clutch — it is the faithful, whose sound attracts a legion of fans from around the world. We went to Motown to unravel the mysteries of the cult rock band.

The expansion of the once-living organism there is a stage when the skeleton has become so clean that sparkling white distracts from everything that he ever was, or pretended to. For big cities it is also true.

If ever there was, and the «American dream», then Detroit, also known as Motor City, home of Motown — it’s her photonegative, a nightmare. And his faded splendor never more striking than in the winter, when even trees can not disguise such a monumental architectural remains, so cruelly deprived of his destiny. These days, the only sound echoing near the abandoned ghost of its former greatness, such as with the old car factory «Packard» or as a towering building of the central station — a breath of cold wind from Lake Michigan. And their sole purpose — to stand in silent vigil over the abandoned industrial corridor, the former once the pulsating vein of US industry.

If we were feeling brave, we could freely roam from building to building in search of interesting shots without meeting a single soul on. But the local predilection for murder — they beat 386 in the last year — means that when the guys come out Clutch, we stand closer to the car and turn the engine off.

This drenches melancholy ever lost to Clutch, who just recovered from the first of two sold-out nights at St. Andrews Hall in the center of town and look a bit exhausted. But, on the other hand, even the smile seems exaggerated in such decline came in the field.

Nearby, basking in the pancake, fluorescent lighting, where graying waitress receives cash from the drawer of bulletproof cubbyhole, Clutch will tell you that their music is valid, because these people do not tolerate anything false or dishonest. And frontman Neil Fallon concludes: «It seems like people here, in these places, there is a detector of insincerity.»

His bandmates nod in agreement. According to Fallon, if the residents of Detroit respond to Clutch, it is because they have seen enough of crap. Back in 1992, the band played there his first big concert, and since then they stick to honesty, however, and they raped their share of crap.

If you do not know anything about Clutch, keep in mind: terms such as «rock» and «metal» does not cover their work completely. Call it an octagonal peg in a round hole. For nine studio albums, five live albums, three compilations and more than 2,000 live performances, they have undergone a strange evolution into something special. They are fiercely loyal, polupomeshannye fans — the so-called gearheads, which block the site from top to bottom since the quartet began its activities in 1990 — perceive any musical styles and foundations.

Formed by school friends in Germantown, Maryland, group called then Glut Trip and including bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean Paul Gaster, guitarist and vocalist Tim Salt Smollza Roger, was initially politically conscious hardcore team inspired blossoms in full bloom while the nearest Detroit hardcore scene. And when Smollza was replaced in 1991 by Neil Fallon, they changed their name to the Clutch, and things took an interesting turn. Possessing lyrical style that demonstrates a curious mind, and crazy language, filled with highly developed intellect, Fallon on stage — visually and sonically exciting blend of hell dynamism and perfect transmission tone — often described reminiscent of a preacher.

Fallon, who accompanied the group, which has reached the highest performance with the help of the Jedi «wah-wah» skill Tim Solt, and impetuous rhythms Dan Maines and Jean-Paul Gaster, Clutch — this riff-machine, whose musical vocabulary can recreate, as if by magic, witchcraft jam The Allman Brothers, Jazz contagious pace of Etta James and dry coolness ZZ Top. And do not forget about the funk. Since the debut in 1993, Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths, their sound had come to that in a moment exude sexuality, and the next — the thunder with righteous indignation. This powerful brew — the result of sprouting white in a predominantly black state after 70 years in the shadow of the capital of America. And it sounds like nothing else.

«Maryland — strange place — recognizes Fallon drawling baritone. — Northerners believe it south and southerners think it’s north. It may be that both, in terms of culture. Detroit City, little is known for his punk rock, and Maryland for his doom scene, and there are other things that really affected us, especially Jean-Paul «

«I can understand why Mick Jagger modeled itself in the image of Tina Turner — he says. — This kind of unbridled energy … just primitive. Generation after generation, musicians copy each other, so refreshingly pleasant to listen to artists from Motown and blues performances. This kind of soul to go into music. It is easy to take it for granted, but when you think of when it was made, it is true, there is no jaw. «

Moreover, the irrepressible tramp gave Clutch underground movement of US capital, known as the «go-go». Subgenre of funk, created in the 60’s and 70’s hands relatively unknown teams, such as the Young Senators, Black Heat and Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers — this is clearly lo-fi kind of rhythm-and-blues, characterized by a homemade percussion, congas and the existence of the club only for African Americans, also known as the «go-go», that is, as the Nile, were banned. «Let’s just say that you would have to go, as fine white guy» — he said, smiling.

«We heard about it in school, and when we got older and Junkyard Band came to the» Club 9:30"We finally dared to look at them. They still high on our radar, but in the 80s they were giants. Would you listen to them on cassette in middle school. And this is definitely the game was filled with a sense of Jean-Paul. And all of us. True, the bloody «go-go" They were in places that you’ve never heard. The position was as follows: if you knew about them and dared to go there, and you were not from this quarter, the respected you for that. And we did so. «

Clutch might be something huge, but their development has not been without some very serious effort, and consistency of labels releasing them, reads like a rap. Their incomparable sound cocktail attracted considerable interest, first Earache Records, who released their EP Passive Restraints in 1992, and then EastWest, which released Transnational Speedway in 1993. Last jewel, A Shogun Named Marcus, was presented in MTV series Beavis and Butthead. It was exactly the sort of thing to promote Clutch consciousness of the masses. But love is a hardcore band, classic rock and funk led to confusion as to the flag that bring them to the market: how to rock, metal, or something else?

«Fans Clutch — serious music lovers. They do not mind if we do a cover of Howlin’Wolf, but your average listener is not ready to accept this challenge — Fallon says with remarkable humility. — Do labels have this problem. Musically, it’s a great thing, because it means you’re doing something unique, but it means that the label is difficult to get it to market. But if you want to tour and tour and tour, you will find those who will hold you quite fanatical. It takes more time, but I think it’s also last longer. «

«The last time I gave an interview to a normal regular rock gear, I blurted out in one breath Lucifer’s Friend and Captain Beefheart, — added Maines. — You just can not say it on the radio. They stare at you and never put your music again. You should be: «Oh! .. Alter Bridge" «.

If only Clutch knew then what they know today.

By the time they released their self-titled 1995 release, their addiction to grandiose riffs Mountain Sabbath and helped propel them to the forefront of stoner rock scene. But their management had other ideas — namely, poorly selected tour in support of Marilyn Manson.

«I’m too greedy — says Fallon. — In retrospect, it was a good tour for us. We have gained a lot of fans for four months in the round, but my attitude was bad when I was there. 13-year-old girl in fishnet stockings, showing me the finger? It took a long time to learn how to deal with it. «

In 1998, the difficulty of keeping his artistic integrity during promotion in the widest possible audience, are reluctant to accept them, they have resulted in countries to consider the work of the eccentric genius named Elephant Riders. The album was as bright as offensive to the new label Clutch, Columbia Records.

«We wrote it while we were on tour, where they played the opening act for Pantera, — says Salt, giggling. I remember the rumors that we liked them, but they thought that we should omit items Allman Brothers ».

«Yes, I think we could start with a 20-minute funk jam — says Fallon. — It’s actually happened a couple of times. I think it was a defense mechanism — if we saw the crowd, which, as we thought we did not like it, we will punish them. We have signed commitments during the crisis, but we really dug themselves a deep hole. «

«It was a difficult time of transition for us — it continues to Fallon. — When you are member of the hardcore scene, so many times you say something you should not do, then you have the opportunity, with whom you fight, and then you get older and you realize that it’s stupid crap. It’s just music. Most ideologies are using this to their advantage, usually very stupid and naive. We may have had to play in front of Ozzie when received such a proposal, but we tried to teach our management lesson. It’s true, it was stupid. «

Being confused, the group recorded Jam Room and released an album on his own label, River Road Records.

«Columbia did not want us to fall behind, and we were like,» Okay, we’ll do it ourselves"- Says Gaster. — It was a strange time because we sold the album themselves, on a tour. «

Everything changed when Clutch subscribed to label Atlantic, and in 2001 released the album, to the place called Pure Rock Fury. It was perhaps the most blatant expression of their intentions at the time. This was followed by more rage — Blast Tyrant 2004, equally combat Robot Hive / Exodus 2005 and much more contemplative From Beale Street That Oblivion 2007 — all on a new label DRT.

The feeling of dissatisfaction, however, remains, and in 2009 Clutch decided to launch his own label and start a new era of self-determination and independence, more precisely, how to start making hell like. This was the birth Weathermaker, the new refuge for all projects Clutch, including their official instrumental side project The Bakerton Group and super-rock band The Company Band, consisting of Fallon, along with members of the CKY, Fireball Ministry monsters Stoner and Fu Manchu.

This creative sanctuary — refuge for creative whims Clutch, and their business interests, and for different flights of fancy — the place where he was born their latest album Earth Rocker. And it is a violent thing of beauty. Sitting with a group of the collapsed buildings have decayed industry and talk about major labels, who did not notice the potential of Clutch? So let’s talk about metaphors.

If you describe the last album in one word, the word «direct». That is, a straight line, if you live in the world of Fallon. Given their propensity to space flight, the cornerstone of their careers, confusing marketing departments, and brought them to a kind of cult worship, that all the tickets in places like London Koko were sold in January, a day or two without anything and closely resembles traditional advertising alone saying something. This family people with intense tour schedule is already near forty. The fact that they have recently given the reins of destiny, but successfully released a record, where the title track to the rhythm of the four quarters Fallon challenge the culture of Scottish comedians, declaring: «1don’t need your stinking laminates, I wear them on my sleeve», is a striking statement on insubordination. As they explain, is the product of exposure to new things; or, more accurately, re-evaluation of some very old values.

«In fact, the sound of Earth Rocker, influenced by Motörhead, — says Fallon. When we were on tour with them, we listened to them very differently than when they were in school. Then they were a metal band — they were a unique metal band. Now, we perceive them as a group that plays rhythm and blues damn-damn fast. Lemmy would say that he was influenced by Little Richard, Fats Domino, and now, when I’m forty, it makes me a lot more sense, and I can hear it clearly. Twenty years ago I would never have bought that. It is Motörhead, but the metal is it? Not really. «

So the question remains, in what part of the musical spectrum put Clutch. But with the onset of the Arctic night and approaching the time going on stage, it becomes more and more irrelevant.

St. Andrew’s Hall is a gas chamber filled with clouds of steam even for many hours before returning heroes must take the stage. Upstairs in the blank «green room,» Gaster rumbles on your set for the practice for an hour before going on stage. It looks even more impressive, thanks to its ability to maintain a conversation with Maines and Salt, literally, without missing a beat.

Static electricity in the air can be touched by hands, and it is sufficient to charge the audience into a frenzy long before the members of the group take the stage. And when they do, they welcomed sight lifted into the air and poured beer and the deafening roar of servility. Suddenly these humble friend of the common man are transformed into firing cannons B-17 carpet bombing conductive hall, which is poured out wave after wave of fire and fury on the exultant crowd. Neil Fallon myagkogolosy, thoughtful, contemplative, is now gone and replaced it with a rock ‘n’ roll evangelist eyes demon, sending lightning, and his power over the assembly of enthusiastic believers similar to Shaman’s power.

These hymns as Electric Worry, Burning Beard and Mob Goes Wild, it seems to rush for a moment. While there are sound blasts on the brink of nuclear war, suddenly concepts such as marketing, it seems as out of place, leaving the skeletons of high-rise skyscrapers outside.

Few such groups exude calm and confidence, so musically adept and, above all, able to entertain so that each performance there is, as a historical event. And all of this is not lost in the enthusiastic audience because Clutch is not so much play music as solemnly declare their beliefs. And this is almost enough to inject life back into the old remains rock Detroit.

The main song CLUTCH

Preparatory work Clutch to Earth Rocker- this strange evolutionary journey, and their discography — a card file of influences and constantly evolving musical.


This hymn once more from the rough than it is now, Clutch turned the world upside down and hit the Star series MTV Beavis and Butthead.

With the album Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths, 1993


South, funk and hot as you like. None of the groups have no right to sound as cool, or use the word «bastard» as effectively.

With the album Clutch, 1995


Co with his heavy, rumbling rhythms so devastating that it is worth checking whether your playing deck at the right speed, it was the first indication that a mixture thereof, heavy and catchy, to perfection.

From album The Elephant Riders, 1998


As the name implies, this product live performances Clutch, specifying the fast-paced, so fierce and hot that you can almost hear the saliva Neil Fallon splashing into the microphone

From the album Pure Rock Fury, 2001


This nasal funeral song was recently used in the credits is particularly disgusting episode of the television series The Walking Dead. If you just survived the zombie apocalypse, you too would have been sad.

With the album Blast Tyrant, 2004


With the introduction of the Nile Fallon «Please allow me to adjust my pants so that I may dance the good-time dance» to an explosive chorus «Streets on fire», is one of the first rock anthems of the 21st century.

With the album Blast Tyrant, 2004


Destroy, totally merciless sermon in caustic smoke, with such a big attraction that it can catch Beelzebub. Sometimes more — it is really more.

With the album Robot Hive / Exodus, 2005


Master class on presentation of the material and the rhythm, which shakes the room. It develops from a hot entry to the chorus of this contagious, that it deserves a cautionary notes.

With the album Robot Hive / Exodus, 2005


This is a classic with reference to ZZ Top, from which the legs themselves start to dance, brought to its logical blues-funk-rock finale.

From the album From Beale Street That Oblivion, 2007


Smoldering charge their penultimate recording, he tells all about the ability Clutch sound simultaneously elegant and fiercely.

From the album Strange Cousins ​​From The West, 2009

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