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Sam: Any updates on the upcoming live DVD?, will it be only be
available online or at shows like the live 2cd set out
Neil: "A lot of work remains until
the DVD will be available. And when it is available,
I would expect that we will see it in stores as well
shows and on-line."
Sam: Can we expect anything new
from the Bakerton Group anytime soon?
Neil: "I would expect that the
process of writing the next Clutch record will consume
everyone's time for the next three months or so, but
then again, who knows?"
Sam: Social commentary seems
interwoven in the lyrics, just it just flow naturally,
or is there a consious effort to include it?
Neil: "I think it is just a facet
of a personality. I never go into a song with any
intentions. The melodies and rhythm usually give rise
to words and in the process whatever I may be
preoccupied with at the moment, however bizarre,
finds its way onto paper. Over-thinking lyrics is not
helpful. Going with initial instinct is almost always
the best decision."
Sam: What roll in politics do
you think musicians should have, if any?
Neil: "No more or less than any
average Joe. I like musicians to entertain, not
proselytize. I shy away from the political because I
change my mind too often to commit it to song. Sure,
Mob Goes Wild is somewhat political, but with what I
see as a sense of humor. The political sphere is a
mortal one and stinks of death."
Sam: What inspired the
storyline/theme of Blast Tyrant?
Neil: "There isn't any one
concise story line to the record. There are
characters that populate it, though. Worm Drink may
have found his genesis in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape
Letters. But here he is a hero. La Curandera is an
ally to Worm Drink who is fleeing the Blast Tyrant,
the overarching antagonist. The rest are details left
to the listener. Rock Operas and "concept records"
have a tendency to be self-indulgent and music should
never be subordinate to any story line ( i.e. Styx's
Kilroy Was Here or Roger Water's RADIO KAOS). I
tried to keep it vague enough so the listener would
Sam: What inspired the song
Neil: "That song is one part
old world funerary rite and one part Dio. It sounds
all very serious, but in typical Clutch fashion, the
chorus bursts any semblance of morbidity. It is
basically the same idea as "Finnegan's Wake." Gotta
love the Irish penchant for laughing at death."
Sam: What gear are you using on
the road right now?
Neil: "Only the bestest finest
most worthy gears do we use. Tim's been using a new
head called Fairbanks. It sounds great. I bought a
1980 Marshall JMP. it sounds great as well, but it
picks up FM radio like no one's business. Hearing
Clay Aiken while trying to riff heavy like is a bitch."
Sam: How you guys decide what
to include on the setlist every night?
Neil: "We take turns,
alphabetically. Dan, J.P., Neil, and then Tim. This
way we don't have to talk about it every night."
Sam: Has any new music impressed
Neil: "Iron and Wine. Devendra
Barnhart. Ali Farka Toure."
Sam: How often do you guys
actually frequent Tick Tock Liquors?
Neil: "I go there too damn often,
I'll tell you that much."