Since starting this venture into music many years ago, one band has always been a staple in my musical rotation. That band is Clutch. They’ve evolved over the years from a more metal sound in the beginning, to a much more bluesy groove rock oriented band today. I was able to catch the band recently on the road at Buster’s in Lexington, KY and I got to chat with bassist Dan Maines. If interested, you can check out the review and photos from that show here.
Today, I’m joined by Dan Maines. Dan is the bassist of one of my favorite bands of all time, and that band is Clutch. First off, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today and let me be the first to welcome you to the Unsung Melody family. We’ll get started here, you just finished sound check, so I know you are a busy guy. The first thing I want to ask you about, is you have the new album Earth Rocker coming up as an early Spring release. You guys are doing what has became a Winter ritual of yours. You’re out on your Holiday tour.
Yeah. Every year, we go out the day after Christmas and end it on New Year’s Eve. It’s kind of a tradition for us now.
We’re glad to have you here in Lexington. This will be my 9th Clutch show, so I kind of know what to expect, but it’s always a good thing. So, with the new record, have you tried out some new songs on this tour yet?
Absolutely. We were trying out new songs, well before we into the studio to record. That’s something that we like to do, it helps to finalize a song.
Absolutely, if you sell something to someone, it’s always good to see how they react.
Yeah, that too. (laughter) I think we’ve been playing four new songs at each of these shows, so I’m sure we’ll continue doing that. Once the record comes out, we’ll probably add a couple more in there.
One of my favorite tours in the past, was An Evening with Clutch. Where you had the Bakerton Group open, then you had two sets that you played. Would something like that work now, if you guys did an electric set and an acoustic set. Especially since, I know you guys did the Basket of Eggs EP. Would that be something that you would be interested in or not really?
No, that’s a cool idea. I never thought about doing that. A Bakerton Group set. An acoustic set. Then, a Clutch set. By then, most people would have left.
(laughter) No, no. I don’t think so. Nobody would have left.
That’s fun to do. We did something similar to that during that whole process of recording those acoustic songs. We would come out doing, an encore essentially, with the acoustic stuff and then add one more electric number at the end. Opening up with an acoustic set is something that we haven’t done.
Seems like I’ve got the wheels turning a little bit. (laughter)
With Earth Rocker and it’s new material. When you look back over your career, you had a much more anger filled, metal style than you do now. It comes with age. It’s understandable. You guys have really evolved over time into a bluesy groove band, that definitely still has metal tendencies, but with this new album; Is it an evolution still or is it a continuation of what we’ve all kind of become to know as Clutch?
I think it’s an evolution beyond, but maintaining that original intensity that we always try to instill into any song, regardless of tempo. I think we made a conscious effort to make these songs a little more aggressive, up-tempo side of things. I wouldn’t say it’s harkening back to anything by any means, but I think it’s the heaviest record we’ve done.
I’m sure that’s music to a lot of people’s ears right there. (laughter) I won’t ask you to give away too much, but how many songs do you think will wind up on the record?
11. We were originally trying to keep it down to 10, but it was just too hard.
It’s always hard to kill your babies. (laughter)This tour is quite an eclectic one. Scott Weinrich with his Wino project is out here, and Saviours, along with Nick Oliveri and his band Mondo Generator. Were these guys kind of hand-picked as friends or how did this tour come together?
Well, we’ve known Scott for awhile and it just kind of evolved into this heavy lineup. It wasn’t necessarily planned. The pieces just kind of fell together.
One tour that I know is planned is your upcoming Earth Rocker tour with Orange Goblin, Lionize and Kyng on that one. That’s a tour, where if you haven’t seen Clutch, that’d be a highly recommended one. I don’t get a lot of bass players on my site, which is why I generally like to ask them about some cool stuff they may be listening too. It seems most have a little different slight, if you will, on music. So, what are some new bands that you’ve been listening to?
I don’t know. I haven’t bought a new record in six months. Honestly.
(laughter) Well, if I turned on your vehicle, what CD would start playing right now?
Kool Keith is always my go to. Regardless of release date.
I always try to end on a random question. So, yours today is if you woke up tomorrow and you forget how to play your bass…
That will happen.(laughter) That’s kind of a daily occurrence with me. It is.
So, if you aren’t playing bass tomorrow, what occupation do you go after?
I don’t know. If I could make money fishing.
Ooooh, I like it. So maybe you could start in all these bass tournaments.
Yeah. Quick switch from bass to bass, shouldn’t be that hard.
Alright Dan, I thank you so much for your time. The site and myself, wish you and the band absolutely nothing but the best. Be safe out here on the road.
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