Inquirer: Tim Sult of Clutch
Tim Sult of Clutch with his Gibson Custom Shop 1960 Les Paul.
The Clutch guitarist talks to Guitar World about his early days.
What inspired you to first pick up a guitar?
I just wanted to be a musician.
What was your first guitar?
Some cheapo beginner guitar from Sears that I got when I was 14. It was sort of a Strat copy, and it came with a two-watt amp. That’s what I learned on.
What was the first song you learned?
I think it was “Jingle Bells.” But the first rock song I learned was “Foolin’” by Def Leppard.
What do you recall about your first gig?
It was pretty embarrassing. My band played a school cafeteria with six or eight other bands, and it was just stupid.
Ever had a nightmare gig?
If I do an improvised solo and I hate what I play, it’ll ruin the whole show for me. But as far as specific shows, the toughest crowd we’ve ever played for was at a Nickelback show in Knoxville, Tennessee. The audience hated us. We had entire families throwing coins at us. We’ve played with Nickelback a few times, but that’s the first time we had that problem.
How have you grown as a player?
Nowadays, my playing is more riff-oriented, whereas on our earlier records, the riffs themselves would be chord progressions as opposed to one-note rock riffs.
What’s your proudest moment as a player on Strange Cousins?
My guitar solo on “Struck Down” is probably one of my favorites. I thought the phrasing was pretty cool for something that I basically improvised. Usually I’ll lay down a solo and then decide I hate it and go a completely different route for the live show.
What’s your favorite piece of gear?
A Marshall JTM45/100 reissue. It’s a 100-watt hand-wired head from a few years back.
Do you have any advice for young players?
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