Neil Fallon says CLUTCH is at the stage in its career where the band releases albums in order to support its touring habits. The Maryland rockers will issue their twelfth studio album, "Book Of Bad Decisions" on September 7 and will hit the road in the fall with SEVENDUST and TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN.
In a recent interview with Metal Wani's Jessie David (hear audio below), Fallon was asked whether his lyrics will continue to take a more personal tone, a trend that started with 2015's "Psychic Warfare": "There's a bit more of that," he said. "I think that approach is still new to me because I shied away from it for so many years. I always take a great amount of poetic license with that because you have to in order to make things exciting. We've been doing this now for 25 years. There's got to be a few stories that I can get inspiration."
Fallon was also asked what he does when he gets writer's block, something bound to happen for a man responsible for writing allegory-filled lyrics that have earned CLUTCH a cult following: "Drink heavily," he laughed. "Then I wake up the next day and I look at my strokes of genius and they're completely illegible. Nine times out of ten, it's garbage. The best time to write is the first thing in the morning or at night. Writer's block is usually sometimes what has to happen before that watershed moment. I think it happens to anyone. Sometimes it's important just to take a step away. Usually the best ideas come when you least expect it, like when sitting at a red light or washing dishes. At least for myself, when I sit down and say 'I'm going to write lyrics now.' It doesn't come on demand."
Country and rock producer Vance Powell was tapped for "Book Of Bad Decisions", marking a change in direction for CLUTCH, which worked with Machine (Gene Freeman) for its previous two studio albums. Fallon was asked about the impact Powell had on the new album considering he has a predominantly non-heavy music resume. "Vance has a live sound background, which is important for us," Neil said. "The majority of the stuff he's done in the past is country music. He's worked with rock and roll, like you mentioned. It doesn't matter what genre it is, the fundamentals of recording remain the same. He's a fantastic engineer. He knows how to put the right microphone in the right spot and we recorded it as live as possible — the four of us in the room. Of course, we did some overdubs, but I think it's a very dynamic-sounding record. It was important for us to record something where we could get up onstage and live up to. In this day and age, it's easy to sit behind a laptop and make impossible things, but you can't replicate that onstage, honestly. I think honesty is very important."
CLUTCH will make a CD copy or download of "Book Of Bad Decisions" available when fans purchase a ticket to the forthcoming fall tour. Even though CLUTCH owns and operates its own record label (Weathermaker Music), Fallon stressed that the band's love of playing live is the reason it continues to tour so frequently. "We put out albums to support our tour," he said. "I think MOTÖRHEAD said the same thing. They said 'We write records to support our tours,' as opposed to the idea that you go on tour to support your record. We've been on tour for 27 years, more or less. That's still what it's all about for us. Putting out a record is great, but it doesn't even come close to the satisfaction of getting up onstage and having that transient moment where you make someone happy and they leave having had a good time. It's the same for us."
"Book Of Bad Decisions" was recorded at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters.
CLUTCH's fall 2018 "Book Of Bad Decisions Tour" with support from SEVENDUST and TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN will kick off September 18 in St. Paul, Minnesota and wrap October 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.