On the first day of Download Festival 2019, Dan Maines of Clutch joined us for a chat about all things Download. The weather had belted hard the hardcore who had been on site since Wednesday, with rivers of mud flowing through the campsite. Dan, however, did not seem to think that this had brought down spirits of the festival-goers as, really, it is part of the experience and should be expected at festivals from time to time.

With new material being released over the summer, Clutch are heading out of the road once again to bring joy to the masses, starting with Download Festival. You can purchase this new material, being released sporadically under the title The Weathermaker Vault Series, right here. Check out the transcribe interview below and the audio version included via SoundCloud embed just above.

I am joined by Dan from Clutch. Hi and welcome back to Download, how’s the experience been this year?
Dan Maines: Thank you, it’s been great. The rain keeps coming and going, but hopefully, it’ll just go for good.

I did see your set and every now and again the sun almost came out. I swear the weather is teasing us, do you think that’s right?
Maines: Yeah, it’s a definite tease but at least it didn’t rain on us.

From The Weathermaker Vault Series, the music video for “Precious and Grace” was just released earlier this month:

I did see your set, but I want your opinion, how do you think your set went today?
Maines: I think it went really well, I mean this is the first show of this run and we just got off the plane having flown in yesterday. Usually the first, personally speaking, for me, the first show is a little rough and, I don’t know, just going out there and seeing the crowd here today, it warmed me up immediately.

That’s good to hear, nothing worse than jet lag. You don’t want to work do you?
Maines: No, no, no. As soon as we landed, we got picked up by our bus and I crawled into my bunk and I tried to get over the jet lag as best I could, so yeah, I feel good.

Now you guys have played Download quite a lot now, so I’d say you’re gradually becoming veterans. How many years have you played now? Do you know?
Maines: This might be our third time, possibly fourth.

I’m kind of counting fourth, I don’t know, I’m trying to work it out but you have been here a lot, do you feel the festival has changed over time?
Maines: Well, it’s always been really well run. This year they probably have a bigger selection of bands, a lot of top tier bands on every stage.

So, what would you say your best year has been at Download?
Maines: Well, this is the first year we’ve played on the main stage and I was pretty stoked on that and we played right before Whitesnake.

Clutch’s Book of Bad Decisions was released on September 7th, 2018, via Weathermaker Music:

That is a good slot and that would have been an awesome band to see.
Maines: Well you get to sit here and talk to me, I know.

I’m more than happy to be here chatting to you. Clutch are one of my favorite bands.
Maines: We’d probably both like to be out there watching Whitesnake.

With Book of Bad Decisions coming out last year and, aside from playing shows, is there anything new on the horizon for Clutch?
Maines: We went into the studio about a month ago and we’ve just recorded a few tracks that we will be releasing through the summer digitally. We released the first one of those last week, it was (called) “Evil.” We did Cactus’ version of “Evil,” the old Willy Dixon song, so yeah, check it out on any music player.

I’ll definitely be checking that out. Whilst you’re here, do you think you will have time to see anyone’s set?
Maines: I hope so, I don’t know what the schedules look like other than our stage. I know we’ve got Slash after Whitesnake and then Def Leppard. I didn’t get to see Last In Line, we arrived too late. I was hoping to see Fat Mike walking around but who knows, I’ll have to look at the schedule and see who’s left.

Since this interview is all about Download Festival, let’s show you a sample of what exactly went on during the band’s performance, with this live Download 2019 music video for “Evil:”

Well you’ve got an idea of who’s playing, so if you could catch anyone here, who would it be?
Maines: I was looking forward to seeing Me First and the Gimme Gimmes so hopefully I can catch some of their set.

That’s a band I’m planning to see myself. Now I wanted to finish off with this question; considering what’s going on, do you think the weather has put a downer on the weekend at all? Or do you think people are just pumped to be here?
Maines: I don’t think people really care about the weather, chances are it’s gonna be shit weather at a festival so when it’s sunny and pleasant it’s a nice surprise, but in some way, it’s part of the experience.

The truth is in the UK if we get something like this I think we are actually kind of glad, it might be damp but at least it’s not pouring and I know it was back in 2017.
Maines: Well they’ve got all this straw down, they’re doing the best they can so people can move around.

Well, Dan, thanks so much for chatting with us today so, enjoy the rest of the festival. Thank you very much.
Maines: Thank you.

“Electric Worry” was a huge hit music video from Clutch, released in 2015: