Clutch's Jean-Paul Gaster Would Like to Be Ginger Baker's Drum Tech

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With a release date slated for fall 2015, the band recorded their newest album in Dripping Springs, Texas to work with record producer Machine at his new studio. There's high stakes involved, as their 10th album, 2013's Earth Rocker, was ranked on Rolling Stone's Top 20 Metal Albums Of The Year, and named "Album of the Year" by Metal Hammer magazine. However, Clutch isn't really worried; with their legion of solid fans, they never really have to worry about being fazed out.

Clutch is hitting the road with Mastodon for "The Missing Link Tour" and will head through Marquee Theatre on April 30.

New Times talked with drummer JP Gaster about the killer food in Austin, his proudest moment on the new record, and being Ginger Baker's drum tech.

Phoenix New Times: So you guys already finished recording your 11th album in Dripping Springs, Texas, correct? And it's in the process of being mixed?

Jean-Paul Gaster: That is correct. We recorded all the basic tracks and most of the guitars in Dripping Springs, and recorded the remainder at our studio in Maryland.

Since Earth Rocker was seen as one of the band's best records, what can you tell fans about the upcoming album, in terms of if there's a concept or unique elements you guys are incorporating?

The songs are a bit more diverse on this one I think. We covered some funk and bluesy things that we didn't get to as much on Earth Rocker.

What's your proudest moment on the new record?

I think the performances were very inspired and well rehearsed. We rehearsed the songs more on this record than any recordings in the past. The tunes have a very passionate feel to them I think.

It seems Mastodon and Clutch can compliment each other's styles very well. What are you looking forward to most on this long tour?

So far I've enjoyed watching mastodon every night on this tour. The guys play very hard and very well. It's very inspiring to watch them do their thing each night. They are easily one of my favorite bands we've had the opportunity to share a stage with.

Clutch has been around for almost a quarter of a century now. If you had to describe the band's core sound in three words, what would those be?

Rock, and, roll.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise