Clutch (band)

Last updated
Clutch performing at First Avenue in Minneapolis, 2007
Background information
Origin Germantown, Maryland, U.S.
Years active1991–present
Associated acts
Members Tim Sult
Dan Maines
Jean-Paul Gaster
Neil Fallon
Past membersMick Schauer
Roger Smalls

Clutch is an American rock band from Frederick, Maryland, United States. [6] [7] Since its formation in 1991, the band line-up has included Tim Sult (lead guitar), Dan Maines (bass), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), and Neil Fallon (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards). To date, Clutch has released twelve studio albums, and several rarities and live albums. Since 2008, the band have been signed to their own record label, Weathermaker. [1]



Early years and breakthrough: 1991–2003

Clutch was formed in 1991 [8] by Dan Maines (bass), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), Tim Sult (guitar), and Roger Smalls (vocals) in Germantown, Maryland. Before settling on the name Clutch, the band used the early names Glut Trip and Moral Minority. 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 Clutch’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 .

The album Pure Rock Fury was released by Atlantic Records 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 .

Commercial and critical success: 2004–2011

The album Blast Tyrant was released in 2004, their first for DRT Entertainment. 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, Pennsylvania. [9] 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 later album was produced by Joe Barresi who has also produced for Kyuss, Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tool.

The band’s first live DVD, Full Fathom Five , and accompanying CD, produced and 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 two-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. [10] [11] In its first week of release Blast Tyrant sold close to three thousand 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.

Recent releases: 2012–present

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 March 16, 2013 Clutch released their tenth album Earth Rocker which entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at No. 15 giving Clutch their highest chart position to date. It remained on the chart for a total of five weeks. The album also reached No. 4 on iTunes' overall Top 100 album charts and was No. 1 on their rock chart. Earthrocker won Album of the Year 2013 from British publication Metalhammer , and was rated highly on many rock and metal magazines' and websites' end-of-the-year "top-tens".

In an interview on January 7, 2015 with music and entertainment company 88 Miles West, Fallon stated that the band was heading to Dripping Springs, Texas, to record their upcoming eleventh album. Fallon states the venture to Texas was 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 stated in the interview that "Septemberish, give or take a couple of months" is when they hope to release the new album. [12]

Their eleventh studio album is titled Psychic Warfare , and was released October 2, 2015. Fallon said the concept is influenced by science fiction author Philip K. Dick. "His general philosophy and questions have always crept into my lyrics, because I share an interest in it", he added. "On Earth Rocker, 'Crucial Velocity' was definitely a Philip Dick song for me. On this record, 'X-Ray Visions' certainly is." Gaster described the new material as more diverse than ever. [13]

In April 2018, Neil Fallon announced through the radio station The Eagle Rocks that the band's twelfth studio album would be titled Book of Bad Decisions . The album was released on September 7, 2018. [14] The album was recorded at Sputnik Sound Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, with producer and engineer Vance Powell.

Former keyboardist Mick Schauer died in September 2019. [15]

In an August 2020 interview on the Detroit-based radio station WRIF, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster stated that Clutch will "probably" begin recording a new album in the winter. [16]

Other projects

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. [17] In 2007, Gaster collaborated with Opeth keyboardist Per Wiberg and Kamchatka guitarist Thomas Andersson in a band called King Hobo. [18] Gaster also appears on the album Punctuated Equilibrium by Scott “Wino” Weinrich, released via Southern Lord Records in 2009. In 2012, guitarist Tim Sult formed the side-project Deep Swell with drummer Jesse Shultzaberger and bassist Logan Kilmer of The Woodshedders and vocalist Briena Pearl. In October 2013 the album Lore Of The Angler was released on Weathermaker Music. [19] Sult also plays in the reggae rock band Lionize.

Neil Fallon has provided guest vocals on the following songs:

Fallon is also the singer for The Company Band as well as Dunsmuir, the collaboration with former Black Sabbath and Heaven and Hell drummer Vinny Appice. [20]


Former members


Studio albums

Related Research Articles

Per Wiberg Swedish musician

Per Jonas Wiberg is the former keyboardist of Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth, and a member of Michael Amott's stoner metal band Spiritual Beggars.

<i>Passive Restraints</i> 1992 EP by Clutch

Passive Restraints is the second EP by the band Clutch, released in April 1992 on the famous Heavy Metal label, Earache Records.

<i>Jam Room</i> 1999 studio album by Clutch

Jam Room is the fourth full-length album by the American rock band Clutch, released in 1999 on the band's own label River Road Records.

<i>Pure Rock Fury</i> 2001 studio album by Clutch

Pure Rock Fury is the fifth full-length album by the band Clutch released on March 13, 2001, and is the only album release with Atlantic Records. The album liner notes state that it is dedicated to Ronnie True.

<i>Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased</i> 2003 compilation album by Clutch

Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased is an album by the band Clutch, consisting of various previously unreleased recordings, released in 2003. Clutch has since released a remastered reissue of the album on April 28, 2009, re-titled Slow Hole to China: Rare and Re-Released.

<i>Blast Tyrant</i> 2004 studio album by Clutch

Blast Tyrant is the sixth full-length studio album by the band Clutch and was released March 23, 2004, but has since had a reissue on May 10, 2011. It was the first release with DRT Entertainment by the band.

<i>Robot Hive/Exodus</i> 2005 studio album by Clutch

Robot Hive / Exodus is the seventh full-length studio album by the band Clutch, released in 2005 on the DRT Entertainment label.

Neil Fallon American musician

Neil Patrick Fallon is the lead singer and occasional rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and percussionist for the rock band Clutch, and lead singer for The Company Band and Dunsmuir. He also joined The Bakerton Group on guitar starting with their El Rojo album.

<i>From Beale Street to Oblivion</i> 2007 studio album by Clutch

From Beale Street to Oblivion is the eighth full-length studio album by American rock band Clutch. It was produced by Joe Barresi, and released on the DRT Entertainment label. The album was released on March 20, 2007 and was the second of two Clutch albums to feature keyboardist Mick Schauer.

Kamchatka (band) musical group

Kamchatka are a Swedish power trio highly influenced by late 1960s and early 1970s blues rock bands. Their sound combines elements of blues rock, stoner rock and psychedelic rock.

Jean-Paul Gaster American musician

Jean-Paul Gaster is the American drummer for rock band Clutch.

The Bakerton Group is an instrumental blues jam band and the side project of the blues rock outfit Clutch. They incorporate elements of blues-rock, psychedelic rock, and jazz.

Clutch discography

The discography of Clutch, an American rock band, consists of twelve studio albums, five live albums, three compilation albums, five extended plays, ten singles, and two video albums.

<i>Full Fathom Five</i> (album) album by Clutch

Full Fathom Five is a live album by the band Clutch. The full name of the album is Full Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings, differentiating from the accompanying DVD release Full Fathom Five: Video Field Recordings. The DVD and Album differ in that four cities recorded at are on the DVD, but the album has only three cities, being:

<i>Full Fathom Five: Video Field Recordings</i> 2008 live album by Clutch

Full Fathom Five is a live DVD by the band Clutch. The full name of the DVD is Full Fathom Five: Video Field Recordings, differentiating from the accompanying album release Full Fathom Five. The DVD was released on November 11, 2008. The DVD has four cities venues recorded at on it, as opposed to the Album which only has three venues, them being:

Weathermaker Music is the record label owned by the American rock band Clutch and their manager Jack Flanagan. Weathermaker Music LLC was formed in June 2008. Weathermaker Music was mostly known to work with Clutch and their side project, the psychedelic jazz-rock alter ego The Bakerton Group. In 2012 Weathermaker signed and released product by The Company Band, and The Mob. Both groups include Weathermaker Music principal owners. On March 19, 2013 Weathermaker Music released the Clutch record ”Earth Rocker” on CD and vinyl. At the end of 2013 Weathermaker Music released “Earth Rocker Live” which is a double 12 inch vinyl picture disc version of the “Earth Rocker” studio release on one LP, and the same track listing recorded live from various cities on their 2013 US tour on the second LP. In 2013 Weathermaker Music signed Deep Swell, featuring Clutch member Tim Sult on guitar. Their record, “Lore of the Angler” was released October 15, 2013. Weathermaker Music signed the Maryland-based group Lionize in 2013 as well. Entitled “Jetpack Soundtrack”, this Lionize record was released on February 18, 2014 in North America, April 11th, 2014 in Europe, and February 14, 2014 in the UK. The Lionize signing marks the label’s first signing of an independent artist to Weathermaker Music.

<i>El Rojo</i> 2009 studio album by The Bakerton Group

El Rojo is the second full-length studio album by The Bakerton Group, otherwise known as "the psychedelic instrumental jazz-laden alter ego" of Clutch. Released in 2009, the album marks the debut of keyboardist Per Wiberg of Opeth, who replaced Mick Schauer.

<i>Earth Rocker</i> 2013 studio album by Clutch

Earth Rocker is the tenth studio album by American rock band Clutch. It was released on March 15, 2013 by Weathermaker Music. Earth Rocker is the first studio album to be released by Clutch since Strange Cousins from the West in 2009. The album is produced by Machine, who also produced the band's 2004 album Blast Tyrant.


Lionize is an American rock band based in Montgomery County, Maryland. The sound of the band is rooted in hard rock and heavy metal, but they frequently experiment with varying sounds, such as reggae, dub music, go-go, and funk. The band line-up consists of Chris Brooks, Nathan Bergman, and Henry Upton.

<i>Psychic Warfare</i> 2015 studio album by Clutch

Psychic Warfare is the eleventh studio album by the band Clutch, released on October 2, 2015, through the band's own label Weathermaker Music.


  1. 1 2 3 John Bush. "Clutch:Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  2. Morgan, Joseph E.; Reish, Gregory N. (2017). Tyranny and Music. Lexington Books. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  3. Carioscia, Anthony. "Clutch Guitarist Talks New Album And Playing With System Of A Down". Alternative Nation. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  4. Begrand, Adrien. "Clutch: Robot Hive / Exodus". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  5. Galli, Brianne (6 January 2011). "Clutch To Tour With Motorhead". CMJ . Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  6. "Clutch – Info". Facebook. 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  7. "Musician to musician – The Frederick News-Post : Arts And Entertainment Topics". The Frederick News-Post. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  8. Vodka Broad Whorizons (12 May 2013). "CLUTCH ~Tim Sult Interview!". YouTube . Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. "CLUTCH : Media". Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  10. "Blast Tyrant/Basket of Eggs". February 10, 2011.
  11. "The acoustic version of Clutch's 'Tight Like That'". Metal Sucks. March 18, 2011.
  12. "Video Interview with Neil Fallon of Clutch". 88 Miles West. January 7, 2015. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  13. "Clutch Aim for 'Diverse' 11th Album". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  14. "Clutch Releasing New Album 'Book of Bad Decisions' in September". Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  15. 1 2 "Former CLUTCH Keyboardist MICK SCHAUER Dies". September 16, 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  16. "CLUTCH Will 'Probably' Begin Recording New Album In The Winter". August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  17. "CLUTCH Drummer Featured On New FIVE HORSE JOHNSON Album". Road Runner Records. May 27, 2006. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. 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
  18. "OPETH Keyboardist, CLUTCH Drummer Collaborate On New Project". Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. 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.
  19. "Deep Swell to Release Debut Album Next Month". Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  20. "DUNSMUIR Feat. CLUTCH Frontman, Ex-BLACK SABBATH Drummer: Debut Album Due In July". 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-10-24.