Clutch Guitarist on New Album: "The Most Intense, Riffy, In-Your-Face Experience Yet"

“It surprises me that we’ve come up with such a hard-hitting album at this point in our career,” Clutch guitarist Tim Sult says of the band’s 10th studio album, Earth Rocker. “I think it’s definitely, song-wise, the most intense, riffy, in-your-face experience yet.”

Clutch formed in Maryland more than 20 years ago as hardcore stoner-rock group, but over the years they’ve incorporated a diverse range of influences into their music, including psychedelic jam, blues and southern rock. Throughout all of their musical explorations, Sult’s tough, wiry riffs and heavy blues picking have been an important part of their sound. This time out, his guitar work is front and center. “We’ve kept it really simple and straightforward,” he says. “Lots of guitars. Right in your face.”

For Earth Rocker, due out in March on the band’s Weathermaker Records, Clutch reunited with producer Machine, with whom they worked on their 2004 rocker, Blast Tyrant. But Sult dismisses the assumption that Machine (whose credits include albums by Lamb of God, Suicide Silence and other metal and hardcore acts) instigated the new disc’s aggressive direction. “It just kinda happened,” he says. “We just happened to write all these heavy songs.”

The straightforward, aggro vibe of the new material is also mirrored by Sult’s minimalist gear choices. “I’ve kept my whole setup pretty simple for this album, just a [Marshall] JCM 900 and JCM 45,” he says. “And I really just played one guitar, my Les Paul Junior with P-90 pickups.”

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