Maryland rockers CLUTCH have set “Book Of Bad Decisions” as the title of their new album, tentatively due in September. The disc was recently completed at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer and engineer Vance Powell (THE WHITE STRIPES, RED FANG).
Speaking to Brittney Patton of 103.7 The Eagle Rocks! at this weekend’s Las Rageous festival in Las Vegas, CLUTCH frontman Neil Fallon stated about the lyrical themes covered on “Book Of Bad Decisions” (see video below): “This record has a lot of… maybe not a lot, but instances where I looked back into events of my own life or CLUTCH‘s career, took them and exaggerated them for the purposes of drama. I’ve always been wary of that, ’cause I don’t really like nostalgia. But I also realize, after 25 years, there’s a whole catalogue of experiences that I can take and draw from that. Sometimes getting inspired can be hard. Listening to a song, [you think], ‘What’s this one gonna be about?’ And sometimes they come right out of the sky, sometimes no, they don’t. So that seemed like a good place to draw from.”
Fallon went on to describe the experience of working with Powell as “awesome.” He said: “We were only three weeks, and we managed to bang out 15 songs. It’s done, in the bag. He was a joy to work with, and it’s a great-sounding record, and we’re really pleased with the way it came out.”
Neil credited Vance with giving “Book Of Bad Decisions” a more “live” feel than has been the case with some of CLUTCH‘s previous albums. “Vance is one of us,” Fallon said. “He comes from a live background. He toured with Tanya Tucker. [He was] in country initially, and then he does rock and roll as well. So he understands the live parameters. He didn’t go to a fancy audio school [and then] directly to the studio — he paid his dues — and I think that’s an education you can’t buy.”
Fallon said that recording “live” was “light years easier” than tracking each instrument separately, “because we’ve been doing it so long, there’s all these little subconscious cues that we all receive and give to each other, whether Jean-Paul‘s [Gaster, drums] fill is a little different or Tim‘s [Sult, guitar] solo is a little different that everyone else will react to. Instead of just cutting overdubs as your basic track. That’s very clinical; it’s not fun.”
According to Neil, he was surprised by “how easy it was” making an album with Powell. “At the time, honestly, every time I would go home, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything during the day, and I was really worried,” he said. “And then, all of a sudden, when things started getting towards the end, I was, like, ‘Wow, we actually made a record.’ It wasn’t like pulling teeth. He’s got a very laid-back approach to tracking vocals, and he mixes along the way, so it starts sounding better and better and better. And he likes to take frequent breaks for a barbecue, which we can get down with. It doesn’t make so much for good singing afterwards, but you choose your battles.”
CLUTCH‘s last album, “Psychic Warfare”, debuted at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart after shifting 26,000 equivalent album units in the week ending October 8, 2015. The disc was released via the band’s own label, Weathermaker Music.