INTERVIEW! Catching Up With Clutch – Psychic Warfare World Tour

January 6, 2017

With 2016 being what it was for music, especially the quality of the live shows we have all been spoilt with, it only felt right that we ended the year on an absolute high. Clutch tearing the London Roundhouse to bits with an electrifying show was absolute perfection in every way possible. It was no surprise that when we caught up with Guitarist Tim Sult we were informed that this particular show goes down in the Clutch books as one of the best in the bands history! Firstly, just to say that we were in attendance for your London show at the roundhouse. Congratulations on an amazing night. You guys should be really proud.


Tim: Thankyou so much! How is the Psychic Warfare tour going? I guess you big chunk of the way through it now?


Tim: Yeah we’re pretty much done, we’re going home on Monday but yeah, that roundhouse show was absolutely one of the greatest things ever, one of the highlights of our career as far as headlining shows go. All the other shows on this tour have been absolutely amazing too especially the UK shows, its been the best part of the tour. Have you not previously played the roundhouse before? I don’t recall you guys ever playing there?


Tim: Yeah we have never played there before. I had never been in there before and we never even knew it existed before this tour and hopefully we will be able to play there again. Its certainly a venue that seems to be getting more and more attention as of late. We’re huge fans of the place.

Tim: Is the Shepherds Bush Empire still open or did that shut down? We were supposed to played there before but there were some structural issues so they moved us to Brixton ah yes! Last year, there were some issues with the roof so they moved you for safety reasons.


Tim: For some reason I thought it was the Forum, Oh well nevermind! So changing the subject slightly then, how is for the band having been on the road all throughout the holiday season? Does it bring its own challenges being away from friends and family this time of year?


Tim:  Nope, not at all. We’ve been a band fro over 25 years and we have had every single Christmas at home so there’s really no issues with that but in the us we have a holiday called thanksgiving. A lot of those we have missed! But we are almost always home for Christmas. That’s pretty good then! And are you back out on the road afterwards? Or have you guys got some time off?


Tim: Well, one of the things we always do is a New Years eve run of four or five shows. So we will be doing that again this year. I think we do 5 shows with new years’ eve being in Cleveland and then we’re going to be at home until May. So we’re going to take the first quarter of next year to work on some songs and try to write the next Clutch album. Excellent stuff. Looking forward to hearing that. On a different note We’ve seen Clutch live many times and have noticed the ability to change up the set lists quite a lot. Over the years and the ever growing back catalogue, how has that been received and how difficult is it to decide? The London show recently is a good example, the set list was very different to the next Show in Birmingham.


Tim: Its actually not that difficult, you know we’ve been doing it for so long and we originally started changing up our setlists because we got bored! We just wanted to do something different you know? We would be on tour somewhere opening for some band and we would have half an hour set you know so for some reason we got bored and decided to play different stuff every night and the fans seem to really react to that and it keeps them interested you know? I think early on and still currently I think it makes a lot of people want to come to more than one show of a tour and at this point I really can’t imagine not changing up those setlists… So If you had to describe your live shows to someone who has never seen or experienced the might Clutch in all of its live glory, how would you?


Tim: I would just describe it as hard rock. I really have a hard time trying to analyze what it is. To me its just hard rock. We’re like a non flashy Led Zeppelin maybe? A non flashy Led Zeppelin? I like that!


Tim: Or you could call us The Grateful Dead of hardcore! When we started changing our setlists in the 90’s someone back then called us The Grateful Dead of Hardcore and I always remembered that. So yeah! Its just hard rock with a lot of traditional elements. A lot of Blues, Jazz, Classic rock. We try not to think about it. We just try to write what we like. So the current tour is in support of Psychic Warfare. Great album, we really really enjoyed this record. Tell us a little bit about that album for our readers. As a band how do you feel it compares to your previous releases?


Tim: Well with Psychic Warfare and Earth Rocker as well, for us as a band, those two albums were really the only two albums where we went out and played every single song of the album live, where as in the past we would just not play some of the stuff because we just didn’t like it or it was no fun to play. But with these past two albums we worked on the songwriting a little more than in the past maybe. We have a great rehearsal space to practice in and we have a lot more time these days to get together and take our time sorting through material and making sure we all like everything that we are doing where in the past in the 90s we didn’t have as much time to write. I think that’s the main difference. And if you could go back in time to those days and perhaps give yourselves a piece of advice, what would that be?


Tim: I’d probably just tell myself to not quit! Don’t quit! Don’t think about quitting because its going to get so awesome. I mean just the fact that we have been around for so long. I mean, we have four incredible UK shows that are fully packed out and bigger than any US shows we’ve done so we are pretty stoked on that!! And of course you are one of those rare cases these days where your band is made up of all original members to this day! That quite an achievement!


Tim: Yeah its pretty weird. I guess we were just too dumb quit when we were in our 20s and here we are! We actually try and cover a lot of new bands as well as the bigger ones on our website so to those who are starting out on their journeys as a band, are there any life lessons from the Clutch camp?


Tim: Yep, I think the most important thing is playing as many live shows as possible at least with the kind of music we play. Its really important to get out there and play or nobody is going to care. Play as many shows as possible and always try to remain creative. We try not to repeat ourselves too often. We try not to create the same song over and over again which is something that’s easy to do. But yeah, don’t quit and remain creative. It seems like a lot of older bands over the years go out and play their classic stuff and there is nothing wrong with that but they feel like they can’t not play some of their songs where as sometimes we go out there and we don’t play ‘Electric Worry’ we don’t play our huge songs; we just play whatever we feel like playing on that night. That’s the most important thing. Are you ever worried that when you make those decisions that some fans may not enjoy that? Like you mention, ‘Electric Worry’ is always a huge one but there will always be those guys bummed out because they never saw their favorite song.


Tim: Nope, I mean it does. Sometimes some people will be disappointed when we don’t play ‘Electric Worry’ but you know, they can get over it and come to the next show. I was actually looking at our London setlist from 2015 and we did not play ‘Electric Worry’. Well there you go! And all of those people who didn’t enjoy that were probably very happy a couple of days ago!


Tim: Exactly! before we wrap up, there’s a question was almost always ask. As a band, you’ve been on the road many times, been to many places and seen many things. Do you have any interesting or funny stories from touring life, any you could share that wont get you into trouble?


Tim: [Laughs] I try to stay away from wacky tour shenanigans. In our 20s we toured opening for other bands. There were some members of other bands that were a little quirky and did some weird things. But all of my stories are going to end up getting me in trouble because they involve other member of other bands. Its funny you say that. We always like to ask the question and it always pretty much gets the same response [laughs] But we have to try I guess! So just to close the conversation then, what has been your gig or festival highlight of this year/Tour


Tim: I am going to say The Roundhouse this past Thursday. That’s going in the category of one of the best shows ever, not just of this tour! Thanks so much for your time, Tim. I think I speak for all of us when I say we appreciate you being here in the UK with us when you could be with your families at home. Hopefully you have some fun things planned for your Christmas and we look forward to new Clutch in 2017!


Tim: you definitely will hear some new Clutch in 2017 and we will be back in the UK as well!








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