We were lucky enough to get a few minutes with Dan Maines, the bassist for Clutch. The band is currently on a joint tour with Mastodon, and about to swarm the West Coast with hard-rock awsomeness.
Take a read, and let us know what you think.
Concert Addicts: Tonight (4/16/2015) is the first date on your joint outing with Mastodon. What brought the two bands together for this tour?
Dan Maines: We’ve toured with the Mastodon guys a couple of times before in the past. I believe the first time was when their Remission album was out, which led to our singer Neil doing some guest vocals on their next release Leviathan. We’re friends and there is a mutual respect for each other’s music.
Concert Addicts: Can we expect any crossover between the two bands during these performances?
Dan Maines: I hope so. Like I said, Neil does some vocals on the song Blood and Thunder which he’s done live a number of times. We also have had Bill and Brent come up for some jams in our set in the past too.
Concert Addicts: This tour sees you start off in North America and then jump across the pond into Europe. What are some of the biggest differences between the North American and European crowds?
Dan Maines: To be honest there isn’t much of a difference that I can see. Everyone likes to watch a loud rock show and have a couple of beers with friends.
Concert Addicts: Back in January of this year, we heard that the crew was back in the studio and recording the latest album. Is this true? If so how far along are you in that process?
Dan Maines: This is true. We had a short run on the east coast that took us down to Texas. We decided to work with Machine, the producer who recorded our last album Earth Rocker. He is a new Texas transplant and had a beautiful blue barn built on his property for a studio. It’s a nice secluded area to work in. We were able to play a bulk of the new material live during the tour so we could quickly belt them out in the studio. The recording process went really well and now we are in the mixing stage.
Concert Addicts: I was first exposed to your live shows back in 2011 when you came to Vancouver with Motorhead.I have been a fan ever since. I was blown away by the energy, and explosive delivery of the whole band. Do you ever find it hard to gather up that energy/excitement for a show? Are there any band traditions for getting ready for a show?
Dan Maines: Well first off, thank you. We had a blast touring with Motorhead, a real milestone for the band, and their energy was infectious. We have always considered ourselves a live band, it’s where we are the most comfortable. A lot of times we will try to change up the setlist every night to add some freshness and anytime the opportunity presents itself to improvise we will. Before the show we will usually spend a fair amount of time just warming up, going over the setlist and try not to talk about it too much honestly. It’s what comes out spontaneously that is usually the best stuff.
Concert Addicts: Your 2013 album Earth Rocker featured an amazing piece of artwork. The same piece that is part of the amalgamation for your current tour poster. It always felt like it just fit the band so perfectly.How much of a say did you have in the creation process?
Dan Maines: The artwork was a collaborative effort between the band and a graphic designer we know, Nick Lakiotes. He has done a number of things for us in the past and shares a common sensibility for what works. We wanted a very stylized sci-fi look for the package, and he ran with it. I have to say my favorite aspect of the art was being able to releasee the dual vinyl “studio/live” picture disc edition with each side of vinyl having one of the “faces” he created. One of our best releases ever in my opinion.
Concert Addicts: Seattle-based Big Business and Swedish band Graveyard will be opening for you this tour. Do you hand pick them?
Dan Maines: We are fans of both bands and it’s going to be great to have them on the road. Most of the time you make a short list of bands you would like to bring out and wait to see who is available. This is a great line-up.
Concert Addicts: Being on the road always seems like it would be a very trying experience, especially the long travel times between shows. Is there anything specific you do with this time? Do things ever get heated between the group of weary travellers?
Dan Maines: There is a lot of down time on tour, and I always leave my house with glorious plans to get more exercise, eat better, and generally get my act together, and of course it all goes out the window. I try to use some of my time walking around town, especially when overseas. For the most part you’re cruising through the day waiting for showtime and then bam, you sprint for an hour and a half and it’s over. As for the drama, there really isn’t any, we’re pretty mellow people off stage, no head games going on here.
Concert Addicts: Last question of the batch, something we like to ask all artists. Are there any lesser known artists/ bands out there that people should check out?
Dan Maines: What are you really loving listening to right now? Well, we have a band from back home that we’ve been friends and fans of for a long time, Lionize. We try to take them on tour with us when we can and most recently signed them to our Weathermaker Music label. Great musicians and really fun music, I would strongly urge you to check them out.
We would like to thank Dan for taking the time to answer our questions. Their upcoming West Coast dates look as follows:
April 21st Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
April 23rd Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
April 24th Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
April 25th Portland, OR Roseland Theater
April 26th Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
April 28th Oakland, CA Fox Theater
April 29th Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
for more information on other dates, and for ticket info, click here.