A three-minute video of CLUTCH frontman Neil Fallon talking about the band’s new single, “Gimme The Keys”, can be seen below. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album, “Book Of Bad Decisions”, which is due on September 7 via the group’s own Weathermaker Music label. The disc was completed at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell.
“Gimme The Keys” was written about CLUTCH‘s first tour back in 1991, a time where the bandmembers began to cut their teeth in the live music business, dealt with show cancellations and incidents on the road. One particular show in a shed surrounded by cornfields in Lawrence, Kansas ultimately turned ugly over a missing microphone and accusations brought by drunk and gun-toting security people at the end of a long day. “Gimme the keys they can keep the guarantee / Gimme the keys and get the hell out of dodge” is a reflection of the mood of that night.
“With Vance Powell as producer, we were able to make a very different kind of an album” says drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. “The songs feel as if they could jump out of the speakers!” Bassist Dan Maines seconds that when he says: “Recording in Nashville with Vance Powell gave us a new and fresh approach towards making an album that truly captures the live energy of CLUTCH in a way I don’t think we’ve done before.” Guitarist Tim Sult adds: “Laying down guitar tracks with Vance was fun and inspiring. Going through and trying out his and his engineer Mike Fahey‘s collection of vintage amps was one of my favorite recording studio experiences. I think the outro solo of ‘Emily Dickinson’ turned out particularly great.”
“Book Of Bad Decisions” track listing:
01. Gimme the Keys
02. Spirit of ’76
03. Book of Bad Decisions
04. How to Shake Hands
05. In Walks Barbarella
06. Vision Quest
07. Weird Times
08. Emily Dickinson
09. Sonic Counselor
10. A Good Fire
11. Ghoul Wrangler
12. HB Is in Control
13. Hot Bottom Feeder
14. Paper & Strife
The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters and can be seen below.
Speaking to “The Liquid Conversations” host Shawn SixX, Fallon stated about working with Powell: “He comes from the live background; he’s a touring engineer, front-of-house… he’s one of us. And so he came out on the road with us for three or four days, and his philosophy was just to put microphones in front of the cabinets, record the band all together in one room. It’s a very simple thing that’s kind of gotten lost in translation. And the album, listening to it now, I know it’s gonna be a really honest and accurate portrayal of how [the songs] are gonna sound on stage.”
Asked how “Book Of Bad Decisions” compares to 2015’s “Psychic Warfare”, Fallon said: “I think it’s more stripped down in some regards. There’s more of a wider range of tempos. There’s more songs; there’s 15 of ’em on there. At this point, I was so close to it for so long, I kind of can’t see the forest for the trees; I have to take a step back to understand what this record is, if that makes any sense.”
Neil also touched upon the new CLUTCH album title, explaining that it came “from a song on the album, which, to me, it’s a pretty dark song. I was trying to write lyrics that were kind of like a Cormac McCarthy novel in about three and a half minutes,” he said. “But anyone in their life does bad decisions, and you can look back and see the repercussions of that spread out like a pebble thrown into a pool. We’ve made bad decisions; we’ve also made really good ones. Thankfully, all of us are surrounded by good people that ride our wheelhouse when we get a little tipsy.”
“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.