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On the Record with Dan Maines of Clutch

"It's kind of taking all those influences and trying to make something unique."

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Since 1990, Maryland's Clutch has been playing an amalgamation of jammy stoner rock and bluesy hardcore with goofy lyrics. We spoke with bass player Dan Maines.

Clutch has played Pittsburgh 20 or 30 times over the past 20-plus years, right?

Pittsburgh was one of the earliest towns we ventured [to] outside of our home, and it has always been good to us. We are always excited to go back and we are looking forward to this one.

There's a picture on the website for your new album, Earth Rocker, that shows some drafts of the album art alongside a picture of Kayla Maroney, the Olympic gymnast. Did she inspire the art?

Oh, that one — I know what you're talking about. That was our art director, Nick [Lakiotes].

What about the album art you ended up using? 

 [Actually], we have a track, "Crucial Velocity." [Singer Neil Fallon] makes a reference to "Rocket 88," which is an early rock song from the '50s. It's basically about an Oldsmobile. That got us thinking about hood ornaments from cars of that era. We came across some really cool hood ornaments that were Indian chief heads. That really started the ball rolling. 

You guys are so diverse — I've seen mountain girls dancing at your shows, and dudes who are into hip hop. 

That's a good way of describing where our music comes from. It's kind of taking all those influences and trying to make something unique. And not just burying ourselves in one particular style of music.

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