Clutch frontman Neil Fallon has critiqued rock music for not keeping up with changes in the industry.
When asked about why Clutch decided to record a series of cover songs, he said:
“There’s a number of reasons. [Latest album] ‘Book Of Bad Decisions’ is not even a year old yet, and we’re not ready to do a full-length of new material. That’s the first reason.
The second reason is, the way people listen to music is changing drastically now, whether we like it or not. I’m 47 — I know a lot of my friends are the same age, and they’re kind of getting to a little bit of the ‘get off my lawn’ point in their lives. We have to be honest that a lot of people these days have no problem enjoying music via their computers or their phones or what have you, and rock ‘n’ roll, as far as being in step with those changes, is pretty piss poor in comparison to a lot of other genres, to be frank.
He further added:
Rock ‘n’ roll is traditionally an album format, and it’s set in its ways, and I understand that. I love record links, but people have much shorter attention spans. This is also the reason we’re doing covers — as a kind of way to dip our toes into the waters of just releasing something digitally.
Early on this year, we recorded a bunch of songs knowing that we were going to release them every month or so through the course of the summer to get us to the end of the year.
Doing a cover song, it’s sort of a protected play. We enjoy the songs, first and foremost — we’re not covering songs that were No. 1 on the charts last year. We’re covering CACTUS and ZZ TOP, because that’s what we grew up listening to.
A third reason, I think learning a cover song is a great exercise. It’s a way of expanding your musical vocabulary because there are things another musician would do or another band would do that would never occur to you. It can be very awkward, but when you finally get it down, you’ve suddenly expanded your vocabulary.
For example, our song ‘The Regulator’ — which is one of our most popular songs — got its genesis with me trying to learn how to play a Skip James song, ‘Devil Got My Woman’. There is some educational benefit to this as well… I know that there are plenty of people [who say], ‘There’s only the one version,’ and that’s fine. I understand that, but honestly, it’s just fun. It’s a way of tipping the hat to bands that influenced us, really. There’s only one ZZ TOP — we understand that — but it’s kind of self-indulgent. At the end of the day, it’s just rock n’ roll.”