Southern rockers Clutch have gone from strength to strength over their quite considerable 20 plus years in the game. With recent album Book of Bad Decisions continuing to show the world at large the reason why the band are so beloved we had a chat with drummer JP at this years Drownload, sorry I meant Download 2019 to find out how the band are and how they feel about returning to Download Festival.
How wet are you from 1-10 with today’s lovely weather?
Well, while we were raining it wasn’t raining so that’s always a good thing. It wasn’t so bad, maybe a 6?! Enjoyment wise a 9, and personal performance maybe, I’m usually hard on myself so I’ll give myself a 6.7. My wife would give me a 9.5 if she was here.
You’ve played Download a few times before, in 2015, 2017 and now in 2019. Does this place hold a special place for the band?
Yeah of course. It took a lot of years to get here. We’ve been a band for 27 years and I can’t recall when our first Download experience was but we had been a band for at least 15 years before we got over here. It’s always a lot of fun.
The band’s album has been out nearly a year now. How have the newer tracks fit into the band’s setlist?
Oh yeah for sure, we write a new setlist every night. We take turns to keep it fresh and surprise the audience. It’s really up to the member who wrote the setlist what they want to play really. A mixture of new and old is always a good thing. Tracks from the new one have all been played at some point. It’ll be a few years before we as a band know which are the go-to tracks and which ones are deep cuts.
Alongside your duties in Clutch, you have many projects on the go having recently worked with Mark Morton, who’s here with Lamb of God this weekend. How did that collaboration come about?
Well you know we’ve done a few tours with Lamb of God and I know Mark well but I really have to give credit to Yanni Papadopoulus who got it all together, we got together in Frederick. We recorded a few songs and one of those appeared on Mark’s record. There are a few more of those and they should see the light of day at some point.
In the world of streaming, Clutch has recently started releasing new music under the ‘Weathermaker Vault Series’. Talk to me about that project.
I think ultimately, we are going to do both formats, one – off songs, collections and albums, we won’t be abandoning albums but we will be experimenting over the next few months with releasing sporadic songs here and there. It keeps us engaged and we get to go into the studio on a regular basis. New material just keeps on flowing out of us.
Clutch are currently touring all over the world and will be back in the UK towards the end of the year. Tickets can be found here.