Tim Sult of Clutch on Adapting

23:00 November 03, 2015
By: Emily Hingle

It' just a month after Clutch, the long-running Baltimore metal/rock band, released their biggest album to date entitled Psychic Warfare debuting at the coverted number one slot on Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums. I talked with guitarist Tim Sult about how they got the album the attention it deserved before their set at Voodoo Music and Art Experience on Halloween day. 

WYAT: You’ve been touring with Mastadon and Corrosion of Conformity who are both playing at the Civic Theatre tonight. How has it been going?

Tim Sult: Quite honestly, that’s such a great bill for us because we’re good friends with both those bands. We’ve know those guys forever. We’ve known COC since we first started. They’re definitely fun guys.

WYAT: You just released Psychic Warfare , and it debuted pretty highly on the charts, but how have your hard core fans liked it?

Tim Sult: Surprisingly, it’s the most positive reaction we’ve ever gotten out of any of our albums from our fans. It’s been absolutely amazing.

WYAT: Do you think that’s because you have gained a lot of new, younger fans over the years?

Tim Sult: I definitely feel like we’ve been gaining fans over the years, but it seems like we keep fans well. I think with this album we did a better job of getting the word out that we actually do have an album coming out. It’s the third studio album we’ve released on our own label, and it’s been a learning process as far as releasing albums goes. And I think with the third one we’ve done here, it’s been the most successful.

WYAT: Does social media play a part in that?

Tim Sult: Yes. This is really the first album where we had, what I consider…you know, we’re in our mid-forties, so when we started off, there was no social media or anything like that. It was a foreign entity to us. It’s been the last year or two where we finally managed to get the social media thing a little more happening.

WYAT: And speaking of technology, how has the music business changed for y’all since you became a band in the early 90s?

Tim Sult: Well, we’ve always had the same approach of going out there, playing shows, and selling merch as a way of getting by. We never made a huge amount of money or any money at all when we were on other labels. So, for us, just the fact that, since 2008, we’ve had complete control over everything we do is probably the major difference, and I see a lot more of that with other bands; other bands are going the independent route, putting out their own material. I think that’s how it’s changed the most as far as touring bands surviving. Bands that have a fan base have a much easier time of starting their own record label and going out and doing it on their own, obviously, than a brand new band who nobody knows. The music industry is constantly changing; it changes every year. It’s totally different now than when we put out our last album Earthrocker. We just go with it and adapt with it.

WYAT: It seems to be working out for you, perhaps more so than ever.

Tim Sult: It definitely is for sure. And we have a dedicated fan base, and now we’re able to reach them through the internet, and we were never able to do that before.

WYAT: Do you think that rock fans are the most loyal fans?

Tim Sult: I certainly hope so. They say that about metal fans, right? I’m sure you’re always going to go see Neurosis when they’re in town, right?  I’m sure the average girl might not go see Justin Bieber the next time he’s in town because she doesn’t care anymore because she’s on to something else. But you’ll never grow out of Neurosis or Sleep.

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