Clutch’s Neil Fallon: Stop Asking Bands to Sound Like They Used To, “Musicians Aren’t Wizards”


Nostalgia’s a hell of a drug and in certain corners of the rock and metal world, there are full-blown addicts clamoring for their favorite bands to turn back the clock and sound like they did years ago. Metallica, for example, has been hounded by this very claim since 1991 with the release of their self-titled LP.

So while speaking with Ryan J. Downey of Knotfest, Clutch frontman Neil Fallon, who likely heard some calls for the band to sound like a previous iteration earlier this year after the release of their incredibly adventurous Sunrise on Slaughter Beach, thinks there’s more to it than just fans wanting bands to stay the same forever.

“That’s one thing I never really quite understood. ‘Oh, I wish you could return back to your old sound’ or whatever. That’s like, ‘Well, do you want the same thing over and over and over and over?’ There are bands that found a very specific thing and did very well doing variations of that one or two themes. I’m thinking of like AC/DC or the Ramones.

“That’s all well and good but, if you want to listen to… and honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with people wanting a time machine. It’s not so much they want the same music, [but instead] they want the period in their life that they associate with that music to come back. Musicians are not wizards. They can’t take you back to your glory days or a good time in your life, because ultimately I think that’s what people are actually looking for.”

As Fallon says, things would get insanely boring pretty quick if everyone just stuck to their original sound. Humans are strange because on one hand we want variation but on the other hand, change frightens us. If we all learn to accept that change is inevitable and musicians are people too, then maybe we can all eventually learn to be thankful for the music we get from the artists.

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