Friday, 22 March 2013 10:38

Clutch Answers the Call for Straight Up Rock and Roll

Written by  Dwayne Hoover
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Clutch wsg Orange Goblin, Lionize, Scorpion Child
The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids
April 13, 6:30 p.m.
$20 in advance, $25 day of show
16+
orbitroom.com, (616) 942-1328

For more than 20 years, Clutch has been bringing its own unique brand of hard rock to the mainstream. Fusing elements of blues, metal and even punk, the guys know not only the importance of staying true to their own music, but also that of recognizing the influences that have shaped them.

"A lot of stuff out there lacks an acknowledgment of the roots of the music, where the music came from," said Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. "But the more you know about the history of the music, the better you understand it."

And being kind of a jam band at heart, the members share those very influences with the fans that come to see them live.

"It's usually just segues between songs," Gaster said of the band's occasional improvisational moments. "I mean, we have a general idea when we're supposed to start and when the next one is supposed to go. There are at least a couple of moments during a show where we make that concert a real, living musical experience."

But make no mistake, Clutch is still a full-on, hard rock band, and that was precisely the focus of the group's 10th and newest studio album, Earth Rocker.

"There was a call out there for straight-up rock and roll records," Gaster said. "It's a lot like Clutch records in the past, but the difference with this one is that it was a focused kind of album."

The focus was to capture the energy and momentum of an actual Clutch concert, an idea driven by the album's producer, Machine.

"He wanted us to put together a typical set list, songs we would play every night," Gaster said. "The idea of how a show flows was very important to how we sequenced the record."

Now, having returned from Europe just prior to the release of the Earth Rocker, the band plans to hit the road hard in support of the new album.

"We really have a slew of things coming up," Gaster said. "We're going to tour a lot on this album. Really, we're just excited to get out there and be a great rock band."

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