CLUTCH Guitarist: 'Even Though We Sell Considerably Less Albums, Our Shows Are Bigger And Better'

February 4, 2020

Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Tim Sult of Maryland rockers CLUTCH. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether CLUTCH has picked up new fans by virtue of playing so many rock and metal festivals over the years:

Tim: "Oh yeah. That's really the only reason that we're here right now, just from going out and playing shows in front of people who have never heard of us. We've been doing that ever since we've started. So, being able to do festivals is like doing that, but on a way bigger scale. I think most people when we play a festival, have never heard of us or even heard us at all. It's always good for us to play in front of one who has never heard us."

On whether CLUTCH changes their setlist based on the type of audience they are playing in front of:

Tim: "Maybe in the past few years we've realized that playing our bigger songs is probably a better idea at big festivals, whereas at our own headlining shows, we can play our more weird material, I guess you would say."

On whether CLUTCH relies on to Spotify to help it select songs based on the country it is playing in:

Tim: "Recently we've started paying attention to what Spotify is doing as far as what songs are big at the time. It's just kind of interesting. There are a couple of songs that are always up on the top list, but it's cool to see the other songs that kind of rotate in and out. We try to mix the setlist up as much as possible. At this point, I'm pretty sure we have enough songs rehearsed to do four totally different sets."

On which CLUTCH festival appearances stick out for him:

Tim: "Last year's Download and Hellfest were probably the two most mind-blowing festivals for me because we got to play on the main stage in front of a massive amount of people. They are probably the two biggest shows we ever did. It was pretty incredible."

On the secret to CLUTCH's longevity:

Tim: "I think the most important thing is to try to move forward, really. Try to book another show, try to get another festival, try to write another song, and just really have fun with it."

On navigating the changes in the music industry:

Tim: "Like you said, CDs to streaming, that really is the biggest thing, just the death of physical music, and finding a way to get your mind out of the old-school kind of music industry thinking and just be able to move ahead with more of the streaming type of universe, which is something that we've had to deal with, too. We're slowly trying to navigate the world of the Internet and social media and getting our music out there and reaching more people, but even though we sell considerably less albums, our shows are bigger and better and more people seem to know us."

On whether CLUTCH has started work on the follow-up to 2018's "Book Of Bad Decisions":

Tim: "We released a few cover songs. We did a C.C.R. [CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL] cover, 'Fortunate Son'. We did a cover of a ZZ TOP song ['Precious And Grace'], we did another cover as well, and we're working on new material, so it never ends."

"Book Of Bad Decisions" was released in September 2018. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group its third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200.

"Book Of Bad Decisions" was completed at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell.

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