Rick DeSutter has maintained local status with his band, The Clutter, by ditching the “self-made rock star” prototype and focusing on creating an environment where band members can improve and connect with the community.
The Clutter, formed in Lafayette in 2008, reach the community at events such as Taste of Tippecanoe and Mosey Down Main Street by playing what DeSutter calls “riff rock” music, which pulls riff-based guitar elements together to create a heavy sound.
DeSutter is joined by Jaron Walsh (bass), Jake Johnson (guitar) and Matt Nelson (drums) in The Clutter’s current lineup. DeSutter said that his band is different than other area groups who play with hopes of making it big.
“I don’t plan on massive touring,” DeSutter said. He added that he doesn’t see music as a stable enough career for his family lifestyle, and his reservations about going on the road would have to be met with the right timing and situation to get The Clutter on tour.
Instead, DeSutter and bandmates are focused on becoming better musicians and furthering their relationship with the Lafayette and West Lafayette communities.
“Shows are great, and practice is fun, but the most rewarding thing for me is building on skill,” Walsh, who joined the band in April of 2012, said. “I’ve grown so much as a musician from being in the band.”
Though the band’s members are focused mainly on improving their own music, DeSutter admitted that the band had its fair share of fun when they were getting started.
“We did hokey stuff back then ... like, we’d play the theme song from ‘Fraggle Rock,’ stuff like that,” he said.
Now, The Clutter’s shows are comprised of all-original tunes, bar the occasional cover – “Shake Me Down” by Cage the Elephant has appeared in a few setlists.
The Clutter’s official releases include the “Walk Slowly, Speak Softly” EP and the “Broken Sons” EP, which just dropped on Jan. 15. DeSutter said the band is also already back in the studio.
“We’re recording in Pao Hall Studio ... we’ll be tracking a new original song entitled ‘Uphill,’ plus a cover song,” DeSutter revealed. “We have plans to record other original material (at Pao) this semester as well.”
Recently, The Clutter rocked out at Purdue with several other local bands as part of a Battle of the Bands hosted by the Audio Engineering Society and Acoustical Society of America.
“The audience seemed to really enjoy themselves,” Trevor Brown, president of the Audio Engineering Society, said. “I think there’s a lack of opportunities for Purdue’s students to see local artists performing on campus, so we were really excited to host the event.”
Brown added that The Clutter were particularly impressive.
“Through the entire planning process of the show, they were professional and easy to work with,” he said. “They’re all fantastic musicians and put on a great live show.”