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Clutch is an American rock band from Germantown, Maryland, formed in 1990. Since its formation the band line-up has included Neil Fallon (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Tim Sult (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dan Maines (bass, backing vocals) and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums and percussion). To date, Clutch has released nine studio albums, and several rarities and live albums. They now own their own label, Weathermaker.


Early years: 1990-1999:

Clutch formed in 1990 by Dan Maines (bass), Jean Paul Gaster (drums), Tim Sult (guitar) and Roger Smalls a.k.a "Peanut" (Vocals) and built a local following through constant live performances. At one show Raj "Peanut" Smalls couldn't make it so Neil Fallon, a back up singer, sang lead and got put up as their lead singer. Following the initial 7" single release of "Passive Restraints" on the Earache label, Clutch was signed by the EastWest Records label. The debut LP, Transnational Speedway League, was released in 1993. It was followed by a self-titled album two years later that afforded Clutch mainstream exposure. The band moved to the larger Columbia label for 1998's The Elephant Riders release. They followed it in 1999 with a groove-based album Jam Room.

Chart success: 2000-2007:

Pure Rock Fury appeared in 2001 on the Atlantic label. 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 was afforded 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.

The album Blast Tyrant was released in 2004, their first for DRT Records. 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. It was filmed at the legendary hard rock club The Machine Shop in Flint, MI. The 2005 release Pitchfork & Lost Needles combined Clutch's 1990 Pitchfork 7 with 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 and From Beale Street to Oblivion, released in March 2007 and featured producer Joe Barresi (Kyuss, Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool).

Recent years: 2008-present:

The band's first live DVD, Full Fathom Five, and accompanying CD, produced/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 2 disc DVD set Clutch Live at the 9:30 via Weathermaker Music was released in May 11, 2010. The set includes the entire December 28, 2009 show at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 club, which the band performed the entire self-titled LP. The second disc is to include a road movie entitled Fortune Tellers Make a Killing Nowadays, produced/directed by Agent Ogden, which is rumored to include material from as far back as 1991.

On May 10, 2011, Clutch re-issued their 2004 album Blast Tyrant on Weathermaker Music. The new edition contained a bonus album known as Basket of Eggs, which includes unreleased songs as well as acoustic versions of previous hits. In its first week of release Blast Tyrant sold close to 3,000 copies nationally, landing it an upper echelon re-debut at #26 on the Billboard Hard Rock Top 100, more than 7 years after the original version debuted at #15.

Other projects

In the late 1990s, Clutch and its sibling project The Bakerton Group (an instrumental jam band composed of Clutch members Maines, Sult, Gaster, and Fallon) 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 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. In 2007, Gaster collaborated with Opeth keyboardist Per Wiberg and Kamchatka guitarist Thomas Andersson in a band called King Hobo, which has thus far released one album. Gaster also appears on the album Punctuated Equilibrium by Scott "Wino" Weinrich, released via Southern Lord Records in 2009. Guitarist Tim Sult also plays in reggae rock band Lionize.

Neil Fallon has provided guest vocals on the songs "Two Coins for Eyes" and "Empire's End" on the 2008 album Beyond Colossal by Swedish stoner rock band Dozer; "Crazy Horses" (a cover of a song by The Osmonds) by Throat; "Slippin' Out" by Never Got Caught; "Mummies Wrapped in Money" by Lionize; "Fearless Force" for early New York Hardcore band The Mob; and "Blood and Thunder" by Mastodon on their 2004 album Leviathan. Fallon is also the singer for The Company Band.

Musical style

Each Clutch album is marked by a distinct and cohesive sound dubbed the ultimate jam band. The musical style of the band has migrated from heavy metal and hardcore punk to hard rock. The band has also integrated funk influences into their rock sound. Strong blues influences have also become prominent in the releases of the later years as vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon notes: "We've been really conscious of the blues over the last couple of years, and you have to admit that the blues really is the source of all rock and roll. I think it's important to go to the source to find that inspiration."

The lyrics of Clutch songs have progressed from early releases that were marked with an angry, serious tone to latter releases that are characterized by intelligence, wordplay, and subtle humour. The songs make frequent references to history, mythology, popular culture, and religion; for example, "I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth", from the self-titled album, tells the story of a fisherman who discovers the corpse of Lincoln's assassin in the Susquehanna River. Jam Room's "Release the Kraken" inserts a hero called Useless the Younger into the movie Clash of the Titans. The band's lyrics also often contain surrealistic imagery.


Neil Fallon - vocals, guitar, keyboards,

Tim Sult - guitar,

Dan Maines - bass,

Jean-Paul Gaster - drums,

Former members

Mick Schauer - keyboards (2005-2008),

Clutch in other media

Fallon's younger sister Mary Alice Fallon-Yeskey appears in the Food Network reality show Ace of Cakes as office manager of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland. One episode featured a cake, in the style of an amp, being made for the band. In late 2009, the Clutch song "Electric Worry" was used in a commercial to promote the video game Left 4 Dead 2 created by Valve Software, the song "10001110101" also was featured in the Human Head Studios developed 2006 first person shooter Prey as a selectable song playing in a jukebox at a bar in the game's opening scene. The Clutch song "The Incomparable Mr. Flannery" is used in highlight clips during Fox NFL games; the intro to "Careful with that Mic" has also been used as an NFL game intro. The song "Spleen Merchant" has also been used as a commercial bumper in the nationally-syndicated Nights with Alice Cooper radio show. The song "Power Player" features in Need For Speed Pro Street. The song "Immortal" appears in the fifth mission of Hitman: Contracts inside the bikers HQ. The song "Power Player" was used in an episode of the television show Sons of Anarchy as well as promotional advertisements for NASCAR. The song "Electric Worry" is used in the movie trailer for Race Across the Skyas well as in the promotional commercials for TNT's "Memphis Beat" TV show. "Electric Worry" is also used as the goal song for the Vancouver Canucks (NHL) and the Calgary Roughnecks (NLL) in the 2011-2012 NHL season. The song "Big News 1" was used in the movie Haggard. The song "Electric Worry" is also used as a theme song in the Mucha Lucha spin-off The Hairy Knuckle Show. Also the Clutch songs "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" and "Escape from the Prison Planet" have been used for intermissions for the news radio show Alex Jones. "Mice and Gods" was used by DaMarques Johnson as entrance music at UFC 112. Their song the "Promoter" is the theme song for long running and popular podcast Weekend Justice which was given permission by the band to use the song. Recently, their song "Mercury" was used for the opening of Pete Dominic's radio show "Stand Up with Pete Dominic" on Sirius XM's POTUS channel. Clutch's song "The Regulator" was used for the closing credits for the episode titled "Nebraska" of The Walking Dead television show.