The unknown; one can never really anticipate that which is unknown. Such was the case for those attending the inaugural Rock ’N Derby Festival held over a long weekend late in May, 2016. Metal Wani’s Dawn Brown caught up with Tim Sult of Clutch recently, and discussed playing festivals, record labels, writing process and more. Check out the interview below:
You’ve been touring a lot, playing festivals around the country. What, in your own words, is the best thing about playing festivals?
The best thing about playing a festival is playing to a massive amount of people who have never heard of you It’s just a good way for us to get our name out in front of a lot of people who have never heard of us and there are quite a few people who have never heard of us. So, the more we play, the better it is. We’re currently on tour with Lamb of God and Corrosion of Conformity, also. So, we’re doing festivals and shows with them as well and it’s been awesome.
Cool! Any drawbacks you can speak of?
Any drawbacks to playing festivals? The only thing that I would consider a drawback to festivals is sometimes they don’t have any shower facilities for the artists. Other than that, it’s always pretty awesome. I love playing shows anywhere. Small clubs or huge festivals. It’s all good to me. But, I would like to take a shower.
Yes, that is a basic human right. So, you guys have been around for quite a while, put out a bunch of albums, enjoyed lots of success, has anything changed over the years, like your writing process for example?
You know, quite honestly, our writing process hasn’t really changed a huge amount. I would say, over the years, we’ve been able to take control of everything business-wise. We have our own label now. We don’t have to rely on anybody else. We have a great manager and a great label manager. At this point, it’s really the four of us and the two of them. We are a very self-contained unit and it seems to be working out better than being on a major label. We put out four of our early albums on major labels and here we are now. We own – we have 11 albums and we own 8 of them.
So, that gives you a lot more freedom, I would imagine, in what you put out as far as music.
And, the fact that we own most of our own creations. It’s an amazing thing. We can press it onto vinyl any time we want and do whatever we want. It’s amazing.
Do you usually release on vinyl?
Oh, yeah, but the medium did disappear. A lot of our earlier stuff was not released on vinyl. A few of them were, I guess, here and there. But, we didn’t start the whole vinyl thing until we had our own label. Until we started doing it on our own. Because, people want it. But, to a hardcore collector or a hardcore Clutch fan, they want it. Even if they’re going to buy it and never play it. Personally, I own a ton of vinyl that I never play.
So, Metal Wani, being based in India, have you ever been there? Have you ever played there?
We have never played in India. We have never gotten any kind of show offer for India. But, I know of bands that have, though. We had a keyboard player that played with us on one of our instrumental albums and who has played a lot of shows with Clutch as well. He was a member of the band Opeth. He has played in India with Opeth. He mentioned something about monkeys coming into his hotel.
You mentioned instrumental albums. Do you like doing instrumental music as opposed to traditional?
No, not necessarily. We have, over the years, released two albums of instrumental music under the name, The Bakerton Group. We’ve done things like open up for ourselves as an instrumental band. It’s very confusing for some people who don’t know what is about to hit them. But, we actually haven’t done The Bakerton Group instrumental thing for quite a while. Maybe one day we’ll bring it back. The last time we did that, it was quite a while ago. It was at least five years ago.
So, you do instrumentals. Have you ever done acoustic-type sets?
We did, for a while, do an acoustic set. We did “An Evening with Clutch” thing where we would do a Bakerton Group set and a Clutch set. Then, for a while, we were doing an acoustic set in there as well. So, yeah, it’s fun. We reworked a few of our songs. We’ve got a couple of songs that were actually written for acoustic which makes it a little easier. I’m sure we’ll do it again, eventually.