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Clutch guitarist Tim Sult talks spacegrass, guitars and touring

Hunched over his guitar and dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt and tennis shoes, Tim Sult could not look more unassuming for a member of a band that tours the world. Sult is the lead guitarist in Clutch, a rock band that played at The Blue Note this past October.

Clutch‘s sound lies somewhere in between rock, hard rock and alternative and funk metal. I hadn’t seen them live before but after having friends rave about their show last May at The Pageant in St. Louis, I couldn’t wait for them to come to town, and when I came across the chance to interview the band’s guitarist Tim Sult, I couldn’t pass it up.

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Despite the placement on The Blue Note’s chalkboard bathroom wall, the show was not shitty.

The band is on tour for their latest album, Psychic Warfare. The band has been together since 1991 and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Sult says songwriting is something that is shared among all members of the band. “It keeps everyone so interested in being in the band. That we’re all artistically and creatively involved in every song from the ground up. That’s what makes it Clutch, the fact that there’s four cooks in the pot,” he says. 

“We’ve always tried to remain creative and move forward and just try to write new songs and try to work on a new album… We never really felt like artistically, we were limited. We always felt like we were allowed to do whatever we want,” Sult says.

The show opened with Don’t Mind Dying, a local rock band with a similar sound to Clutch, as well as Kyng. The bands were a perfect match and Clutch lead singer, Neil Fallon, even gave Don’t Mind Dying a shout out during the show.

Clutch took the stage and kept the energy high throughout their performance. I’ve seen my fair share of concerts that start off strong and die down until the encore, but not this one. If anything, I’d say they started off with some of their more mellow music, amped it up throughout the show, and then came back down a little toward the end.

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Clutch guitarist Tim Sult doing what he does best.

Sult strummed in a concentrated focus, rarely looking up from his guitar. Meanwhile, the audience (who sported more leather jackets than I’ve possibly ever seen in a room) kept security on their feet in a constant effort to mosh.

A fan favorite, “Spacegrass,” was the first song of the encore. “I honestly don’t know 100% what the song is about,” Sult says. “I think we had the title and we were just playing it instrumentally. When we were jamming and playing it, we thought it sounded totally trippy. That was like the early days of stoner rock and that kind of music. Niel always says it’s about driving a car through outer space.”

Overall, the show rocked. Their lyrics drew me in and led me to make a playlist of Clutch essentials. At first, I felt a little out of my element, but by the end of the show I had joined everyone in jamming out in pure rock fury.


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Here Come the Mummies…again!

Where: The Blue Note
When: Saturday, March 18. Doors 7:30 | Show 8:30
Tickets: $21.50 advance | $24 day of show
Opener: Hound Sounds

Get ready CoMo, Here Come the Mummies are coming to get funky for a special St. Paddy’s party this Saturday. This isn’t the first time Here Come the Mummies have graced the stage, it’s the third time they’re playing for us this year! Is it obvious we can’t get enough of them? Now, a look back onto some of HCTM best moments onstage in Columbia…

1. March 24, 2016

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HCTM brought their brand of “terrifying funk from beyond the grave” to our stage for the first of their three 2016 concerts at The Note. Their sound has been described as a cross between Fitz & the Tantrums and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This particular show highlighted how fun their indoor shows thanks to their killer production.

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2. 9th Street Summerfest 2016

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Here Come the Mummies were just one of the amazing acts that headlined in our Summerfest series last summer. Even in the extreme heat, these mysterious guys donned their full mummy disguises and took the time to meet a few fans after the show.

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This could be you!

3. This Saturday!

These guys are sure to put on an energetic show in the spirit of continuing St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. Don’t miss one of the most unique groups around and come with a little extra cash because their merch is to die for. (Har har har.)

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Also be sure to check out the opening band Hound Sounds coming to us from St. Louis!


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STRFKR’s performance was out of this world

Portland band STRFKR brought the weird to Columbia last Wednesday. Equipped with inflatable swans, astronaut suits and enough gear to make any music-lover geek out, STRFKR threw a psychedelic dance party unlike anything the Note has seen all semester.  Frontman Josh Hodges strutted out dressed as a woman — a timely political statement that probably went over the heads of less informed crowd members. His choice of attire served an important purpose and informed us of STRFKR’s ideals that the dance floor is a place of love and inclusion.

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STRFKR eased the crowd into the celebration with the sublimely melodic “Atlantis” before transitioning into the jittery synth bliss of “Malmo.” Watching the end of a STRFKR song live is like watching some child savant playing with Legos. Each song is carefully constructed, but the tension they create by threatening to tear it down is absolutely thrilling. If you couldn’t figure it out from the crowd surfing astronauts, this willingness to toss out convention and improvise directly reflects the bands ethos — they’re just here to have a good time. Nothing embodies their lack of fucks given better than their gleeful cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” The bass line triggered a roar from the crowd and sent the place into a frenzy.

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Other highlights of the night were the euphoric “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” and fan favorite “While I’m Alive.” Considering all of the improvised jams, STRFKR cruised through over twenty songs in a set that went for two hours. It was a fantastic show. As I  left The Blue Note, I heard rave reviews from excited, newly converted fans as well as from a guy I shared a cigarette with who has been following them on tour for the last month. This may sound like typical post-show enthusiasm but it’s a testament to a band that has been near the top of the indie-pop pyramid for a long time and still brings it every night.

This post was written by Ben Kane, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.