Interview - Neil Fallon

Neil answers a few e-mail questions

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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 now?
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 remain engaged."
Sam: What inspired the song "Ghost"?
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 you lately?
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."