October 29, 2023

In a new interview with That Just Happened, CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster was asked to shares his "That Just Happened!" moment. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We did a couple tours with MOTÖRHEAD — one in the U.K. and then one very extensive one here in North America. And so over the course of those couple of tours, I got to know [then-MOTÖRHEAD drummer] Mikkey Dee pretty well. And he's an incredible drummer. I used to watch him play every night. He's got a very tall drum riser. And I remember watching him soundcheck one day. And he was up on his six-foot riser and I was watching him. And they finished a tune. And he looks at me and says, 'Hey, come up here.' And I said, 'Mikkey, I don't wanna get up there, man. You need a ladder to get up there.' I'm, like, 'Nah, I'm good, man. I'm good.' And he really insisted. He said, 'No. No. Come up there.' And I said, 'Well, if I get up there, I'm gonna play.' And he goes, 'Yes. Yes. I want you to.' So I did. I got on the ladder. I got up behind Mikkey's kit. And I started playing a little bit. And he has this enormous monitor system that's behind him. You feel like you're in a freight train when you're playing his drums. So I just started kicking a bit. And I looked over and Lemmy [Kilmister, MOTÖRHEAD frontman] just walked on stage and just started jamming. So I jammed with Lemmy for — I don't know — a couple of minutes. And there is a video of it out there somewhere. And Phil [Campbell, MOTÖRHEAD guitarist] jumped in, too, for a little bit. And when I got off that drum riser, I thought to myself, 'That just happened.' And I'm grateful for Mikkey for insisting that I get up there."

CLUTCH's thirteenth studio album, "Sunrise On Slaughter Beach", was released in September 022. The LP, which was recorded at the The Magpie Cage Recording Studio in Baltimore, Maryland, was produced and mixed by Grammy-nominated Tom Dalgety (GHOST, ROYAL BLOOD, PIXIES) with additional engineering by J Robbins (JAWBREAKER, AGAINST ME!, THE SWORD).

Earlier this year, Gaster was asked by if there is a "retirement plan" in place for him and his bandmates. Gaster replied: "No, there is no retirement plan in the future. We're gonna do this for as long as we can possibly do it. We still enjoy it. We just wrapped up a very extensive European tour, probably the longest we've done over there. And it was certainly difficult to do, and it was tiring, but it was also probably one of the most exciting things I'll ever do for my entire life. It was amazing. It was an experience of a lifetime. And I think we all feel like that. This opportunity to play music is such a special thing. And I think we all appreciate it more. And so we're just gonna keep doing this thing for as long as we can. We really enjoy it. I enjoy making music with these guys. It's a very special thing."

Gaster's bandmate, CLUTCH singer Neil Fallon, previously discussed the group's longevity in an interview with RVA magazine last year. He said: "The way I calculate success is like, you got to do something that you love, and that's all you have to do. Most of our friends that are in bands or are musicians have to relegate that to weekends, maybe. I've known plenty of musicians that bang their head against the wall for years, to no avail. And sometimes things are looking good and then fate just deals them in, all four hands. But you know, we've stayed committed, through feast and famine as well. Sometimes you can generate more quote-unquote 'luck' the harder you work. But I also understand it's a rare thing, to have the same lineup and to be able to do this. And as every tour passes, every year passes, I think we get more and more defensive and protective about it, because we realize that we dodged a lot of bullets along the way. We don't, and we shouldn't, take any of it for granted. I mean, the last two years [of the pandemic] was sort of a preview of what retirement might feel like. And it's a drag. We don't want to do that."

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