Clutch (band)

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Clutch performing at First Avenue in Minneapolis, 2007
Background information
Origin Germantown, Maryland, United States
Genres Hard rock, funk metal,[1] Blues rock, stoner rock, Southern rock,[2] alternative metal,[3][1] hardcore punk (early)[4]
Years active 1991–present
Labels Atlantic, Columbia, DRT, Earache, Eastwest, Inner Journey, Megaforce, River Road, Weathermaker
Associated acts The Bakerton Group, Five Horse Johnson, The Company Band
Members Neil Fallon
Tim Sult
Dan Maines
Jean-Paul Gaster
Past members Mick Schauer

Clutch is an American rock band based out of Frederick, Maryland, originating in Germantown, Maryland. They met while in high school in Germantown and consider themselves a Frederick based band where they write/rehearse for every album/tour.[5][6] The band formed in 1991. Since its formation the band line-up has included Neil Fallon (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Tim Sult (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dan Maines (bass, backing vocals) and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums and percussion). To date, Clutch has released ten studio albums, and several rarities and live albums. They are now signed by their own record label, Weathermaker.[1]


Early years: 1991–1999[edit]

Clutch (originally called "Glut Trip" and stemmed from "Moral Minority") was formed in 1991[7] by Dan Maines (bass), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), Tim Sult (guitar), and Roger Smalls (vocals) in Germantown, MD. Smalls soon departed and was replaced by Neil Fallon, a longtime schoolmate of the other members at Seneca Valley High School. The band quickly gained notice through constant touring. The 12" single "Passive Restraints" on the Earache label was the band's first commercial release, garnering attention from other labels. Their debut LP, Transnational Speedway League, was released in 1993. It was followed by a self-titled album two years later that gained Clutch mainstream exposure. The band moved to the larger Columbia label for the 1998 album The Elephant Riders.[1] They followed it in 1999 with a self-released groove-based album Jam Room.

Chart success: 2000–2007[edit]

The album Pure Rock Fury was released by Atlantic in 2001. The title track was initially released as the first single. The program director for North Carolina rock station, WXQR (Rock 105), Brian Rickman, suggested that the label switch singles to another track from the album, "Careful with that Mic." Atlantic did so, and Clutch achieved a surprise hit single. The follow-up tracks, "Immortal" and "Open Up the Border," were also well received by American rock stations. In 2003 they issued Live at the Googolplex and the rarities record Slow Hole to China.

The album Blast Tyrant was released in 2004, their first for DRT Records. The band once again enjoyed more rock radio airplay and heavy rotation on the Music Choice cable service thanks to the single "The Mob Goes Wild." Its accompanying video was directed by Bam Margera, and featured Margera's Viva La Bam co-stars; Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiCamillo, and Don Vito. The video was filmed at Rex's in West Chester, PA.[8] The 2005 release Pitchfork & Lost Needles combined Clutch's 1991 Pitchfork 7-inch release with previously unreleased demos and early tracks. In 2005 the band saw their first lineup change since the early 1990s with the addition of organist Mick Schauer, who performed on the albums Robot Hive/Exodus (2005) and From Beale Street to Oblivion (2007). The latter album was produced by Joe Barresi who has also produced for Kyuss, Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tool.

Recent years: 2008–present[edit]

The band's first live DVD, Full Fathom Five, and accompanying CD, produced/directed by Agent Ogden, were released in September 2008. The band also released a remastered version of Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased on April 28, 2009. The band's ninth studio album Strange Cousins from the West, was released on July 14, 2009. Songs from the album were played live on tour prior to the album's recording. A 2-disc DVD set Clutch Live at the 9:30 was released on May 11, 2010 by the band's own label, Weathermaker Music. The set includes the entire December 28, 2009 show at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 club, in which the band performed its entire 1995 self-titled LP.

On May 10, 2011, Clutch reissued their 2004 album Blast Tyrant on Weathermaker Music. The new edition contained a bonus album known as Basket of Eggs that includes unreleased songs as well as acoustic versions of previous hits.[9][10] In its first week of release Blast Tyrant sold close to 3,000 copies nationally, landing it at No. 26 on the Billboard Hard Rock Top 100, more than seven years after the original version debuted at No. 15.

On June 10, 2012, the band released a new single, "Pigtown Blues", on iTunes, backed with an acoustic version of "Motherless Child" (from Strange Cousins from the West).

On October 16, 2012, Clutch announced that their tenth album will be called Earth Rocker. The album was released on March 16, 2013 and entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #15 giving the band their highest chart position to date. It would remain on the chart for a total of 5 weeks. The album also reached #4 on iTunes' overall Top 100 album charts and was #1 in their rock chart. Earthrocker got 'album of the year' 2013 by Metalhammer magazine (UK), and was rated highly on a lot of rock/metal magazines and websites end of the year top 10's.

On September 12, 2013, Clutch announced that they were postponing their September tour (except for a hometown show in Baltimore, MD at the Shindig Festival), due to health issues with singer Neil Fallon. Fallon released a statement through the band's Facebook page that said, "Dear friends, this week I've learned that a childhood injury to the neck, a genetic predisposition for spinal disease, and 20 some years of head banging will exact a toll. I've been diagnosed with an ugly case of cervical spinal stenosis and two herniated discs." Fallon was set to have surgery on September 17, 2013 and the band resumed their tour sometime in October.

In interviews throughout their 2014 European tour the band's members were candid about their intention to release a new album quickly in the wake of the success of Earth Rocker. During an interview at DesertFest Berlin in late April[11] Neil Fallon said, "We're looking to do another record in November... my focus now is the next Clutch record, and everyone else in the band for that matter too [is focused on the next Clutch record]."

In an interview on January 7, 2015 with music and entertainment company 88 Miles West, Fallon stated that the band is heading to Dripping Springs, Texas, to record their upcoming eleventh album. Fallon states the venture to Texas is due to the relocation of record producer Machine, with whom they worked on Blast Tyrant and Earth Rocker, and who recently opened a new studio there. He states in the interview that "Septemberish, give or take a couple of months" is when they hope to release the new album.[12]

Other projects[edit]

In the late 1990s, Clutch and its sibling project The Bakerton Group (an instrumental jam band composed of all four Clutch members) formed an independent record label, River Road Records, to release their own music. River Road does not sign any other artists. The Bakerton Group has released one three-track EP titled Space Guitars and two full-length albums titled The Bakerton Group and El Rojo respectively. Clutch/Bakerton Group now runs its own independent record label for its own releases, Weathermaker Music.

Clutch members also feature in several other musical projects. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster made an appearance on the album The Mystery Spot by blues-rock band Five Horse Johnson. The album was released on May 23, 2006 via Small Stone Records.[13] In 2007, Gaster collaborated with Opeth keyboardist Per Wiberg and Kamchatka guitarist Thomas Andersson in a band called King Hobo, which has thus far released one album.[14] Gaster also appears on the album Punctuated Equilibrium by Scott "Wino" Weinrich, released via Southern Lord Records in 2009. Guitarist Tim Sult also plays in reggae rock band Lionize.

Neil Fallon has provided guest vocals on the songs "Joey" on Shameless by Therapy?; "Two Coins for Eyes" and "Empire's End" on the 2008 album Beyond Colossal by Swedish stoner rock band Dozer; "Crazy Horses" (a cover of a song by The Osmonds) by Throat; "Slippin' Out" by Never Got Caught; "Mummies Wrapped in Money" by Lionize; "Fearless Force" for early New York Hardcore band The Mob; "Blood and Thunder" by Mastodon on their 2004 album Leviathan; "New Trip" on Seed Of Decade by Sixty Watt Shaman; "Transistors Of Mercy" by Polkadot Cadaver; "Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla" on Savages by Soulfly; "Everything Is Not Going To Be OK" by Black Clouds and "Clear Light Of..." by Hark. Fallon is also the singer for The Company Band.

Unreleased material and B-sides[edit]

In addition to Slow Hole to China (remastered and re-released in 2009), Pitchfork & Lost Needles and "Basket of Eggs," Clutch frequently hides b-sides or "Easter Eggs" on their albums. Some of these may be found in import version of classic albums, in deluxe packages (such as "Earth Rocker: Deluxe Edition"), in remasters and re-releases (such as those re-released on Weathermaker Music with bonus and live tracks), or as singles and EPs. Clutch has also released such songs for Record Store Day and even movie soundtracks. Some of these stand-alone songs, not generally attached to albums such as Slow Hole to China, Pitchfork and Lost Needles or Basket of Eggs, include:

No. Title Length
1. "Molt"   6:51
2. "The Wheel"   3:53
3. "The Package"   4:43
4. "Money (Pink Floyd cover)"   5:41
5. "Neighborhood"   5:51
6. "Apache (Clutch outtake, appears on "Big News" EP)"   7:27
7. "Big News 3"   4:01
8. "24 Earth Years (The Elephant Riders era)"   4:09
9. "David Rose (The Elephant Riders outtake)"   4:31
10. "Gifted & Talented (The Elephant Riders outtake, appears on "Wishbone Mini EP")"   2:42
11. "05 (The Elephant Riders outtake, appears on "Wishbone Mini EP")"   4:29
12. "Cactus Mountain Blues"   9:51
13. "Cross-Eyed Mary (Jethro Tull cover, appears on Sucking the 70's)"   3:33
14. "Red Hot Mama (Funkadelic cover with Five Horse Johnson, appears on Sucking the 70's - Back in the Saddle Again)"   4:00
15. "Metroliner Special (Strange Cousins From The West outtake)"   3:42
16. "Pigtown Blues"   3:50
17. "Motherless Child (acoustic, appears on "Pigtown Blues" single)"   4:10
18. "Run John Barleycorn Run (split single with Lionize for Record Store Day 2014)"   5:01
19. "Night Hag (Earth Rocker outtake, appears on deluxe album version)"   3:36
20. "Scavengers (Earth Rocker outtake, appears on deluxe album version)"   4:05
Total length:

For Record Store Day 2014, Clutch released "Run John Barleycorn Run" as a split single with Lionize, featuring their song "Ether Madness." For 2015, Clutch plans to release their 2009 album From Beale Street to Oblivion as a 2-LP set on purple vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies.


Former members
  • Mick Schauer - keyboards (2005–2008)


Clutch in other media[edit]

  • Fallon's younger sister, Mary Alice Fallon-Yeskey, appears in the Food Network reality show Ace of Cakes as office manager of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland. One episode featured a cake, in the style of an amp, being made for the band.[15]
  • In 1996, The Clutch song "Escape From the Prison Planet" was featured on the soundtrack from John Carpenter's "Escape From LA" Starring Kurt Russell.
  • In late 2009, the Clutch song "Electric Worry" was used in a commercial to promote the video game Left 4 Dead 2 created by Valve Software. "Electric Worry" is also used in the movie trailer for Race Across the Sky, the promotional commercials for TNT's "Memphis Beat" TV show, the goal song for the Calgary Roughnecks (NLL), a theme song in the Mucha Lucha spin-off The Hairy Knuckle Show, and in the 2012 - 2013 movie short "The Baytown Disco" & trailer "The Baytown Outlaws".
  • The song "10001110101" also was featured in the Human Head Studios developed 2006 first person shooter Prey as a selectable song playing in a jukebox at a bar in the game's opening scene.
  • The Clutch song "The Incomparable Mr. Flannery" is used in highlight clips during Fox NFL games.
  • The intro to "Careful with that Mic" has been used as an NFL game intro.
  • The song "Spleen Merchant" has been used as a commercial bumper in the nationally-syndicated Nights with Alice Cooper radio show.
  • The song "Power Player" was featured in the video game Need For Speed Pro Street;[16] in addition, the song was featured also in the television series Sons of Anarchy Season 1, Episode 4, entitled, "Patch Over."[17]
  • The song "Immortal" appears in the fifth mission of Hitman: Contracts inside the bikers HQ.[18]
  • The song "Big News 1" was used in the movie Haggard.[19]
  • The songs "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" and "Escape from the Prison Planet" have been used for intermissions for the news radio show Alex Jones.
  • "Mice and Gods" was used by DaMarques Johnson as entrance music at UFC 112.[20]
  • "Promoter" was used as the theme song for the weekly television program PromoWest Live during the 2013 season.
  • Recently, their song "Mercury" was used for the opening of Pete Dominic's radio show "Stand Up with Pete Dominic" on Sirius XM's POTUS channel.
  • The American television series The Walking Dead used Clutch's song, "The Regulator" for the closing credits of the episode titled Nebraska.[21]
  • In April 2012, Clutch's record label, Weathermaker Music, publicized that Fox Sports had been licensed to use Clutch's song "The Regulator" during its 2012 NASCAR and MLB seasons.[22]
  • For the 2011/2012 season NHL's Vancouver Canucks began using the Clutch song "Electric Worry" as a goal celebration song.
  • The song "Impetus" was used in the Tony Hawk's Underground soundtrack.


For a more comprehensive list, see Clutch discography.
Studio albums


  1. ^ a b c d John Bush. "Clutch:Biography". Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ Eric Francoeur. "Clutch – Southern Rock Band Rooted In Classic Sounds". Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ Begrand, Adrien. "Clutch: Robot Hive / Exodus". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Clutch's Tim Sult". Guitar Player Magazine. August 2007. 
  5. ^ "Clutch - Info". Facebook. 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  6. ^ "Musician to musician - The Frederick News-Post : Arts And Entertainment Topics". The Frederick News-Post. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "CLUTCH : Media". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  9. ^ "Blast Tyrant/Basket of Eggs". February 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ "The acoustic version of Clutch's 'Tight Like That'". Metal Sucks. March 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ "INTERVIEW WITH NEIL FALLON... - WELCOME TO DESERTFEST 2014". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Video Interview with Neil Fallon of Clutch". 88 Miles West. January 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ "CLUTCH Drummer Featured On New FIVE HORSE JOHNSON Album". Road Runner Records. May 27, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-27. CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster makes an appearance on the new FIVE HORSE JOHNSON album, "The Mystery Spot", which was released on May 23 via Small Stone Records 
  14. ^ "OPETH Keyboardist, CLUTCH Drummer Collaborate On New Project". Retrieved 2007-07-27. OPETH keyboardist Per Wiberg recently collaborated on a new project with CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster called King Hobo, and released a self-titled album in 2008. 
  15. ^ "Ace of Cakes: Season 3, Episode 6 : Rock & Roll (16 August 2007)". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  16. ^ "Complex | Style, Music, Sneakers, Entertainment, Girls, Technology". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  17. ^ "Sons of Anarchy (TV Series) : Patch Over (2008) : Soundtracks". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  18. ^ "Hitman: Contracts (2004 Video Game) : Soundtracks". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  19. ^ "Haggard: The Movie (2003) : Soundtracks". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  20. ^ "Watch and Listen: The 50 Best Entrance Songs in UFC History". Bleacher Report. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  21. ^ "Video: ‘The Walking Dead’ Uses Clutch’s “The Regulator”". Metal Insider. 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  22. ^ "Weathermaker Music". Weathermaker Music. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 

External links[edit]