Sunday, May 07, 2006

Clutch EP's on Earache?

Question: what happened with earache\'s relationship with clutch were the cds under lisence or were they actually signed to you, is just that two eps five years apart and knowing clutch\'s work schedule it looks off on paper From:

Answer: Yeah, I suppose it looks odd that we have 2 Clutch EP's in Earache's catalog from as you say, 1992 and 1997. The original 92 Passive Restraints 3 track EP was actually deleted to be re-issued with the addition of 2 more tracks( taken from long outta print 'Naive' comp) to form the expanded 5 trk Impetus EP in 97.

Clutch were discovered by Earache's USA A&R man Jim Welch after their debut DIY hardcore 7 inch, and were due to sign to Earache in 1992, hence contributed 2 early songs to our Compilation LP 'Naive' (Sleep also appeared on that now exceedingly hard-to-find comp), but the lawyer we encouraged the band to seek advice from became their manager instead, and promptly took them to East/West, leaving us high and dry.However,as was the custom at the time, Majors often sought to grow an underground fanbase before launching an act to the Rock/radio mainstream, so it was decided since Earache was already sort-of working with Clutch, a useful indie level fanbase-building tool would be to do the introductory Clutch EP 'Passive Restraints' on Earache.Earache introduced the band to the world via that EP, designed solely to build the bands fanbase for East/West. Clutch soon changed style to more of a Stoner Rock vibe, and as planned, went on to forge a lengthy, highly successful career -later moving to Atlantic, then Columbia and several other Major and Indie labels along the way to the present day.Clutch's singer Neil Fallon has often questioned in public why Earache never pays them any royalties for that debut EP.After a particularly vicious outburst a few years back I invited him to drop by the office to seek an explanation directly, whereupon I recited to him the above history lesson. Namely,- that Earache never had any obligations to Clutch at all- our 'copyrights' pre-dated their Major label recordings and are a result of a side-deal struck between East/West and Earache designed to benefit Clutch's long term career, but did not actually involve them.

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