A small article that appeared in Guitar Player magazine in I think January, 1997? You can see the suave scan up above but I have reproduced (again, with no permission) the entire article below in text format for your enjoyment.


     Claw Hammer singer/guitarist John Wahl still remembers the moment when he and co-guitarist Chris Bagarozzi first shared a dirty little secret. "We'd bonded on the MC5 and the Stooges and the Replacements, but we were both almost afraid to bring up Captain Beefheart, because everyone hated Beefheart," Wahl recalls. "After we'd known each other for a couple of months, Chris asked me, "What do you think of Beefheart?" I just freaked out, and that's been our main source of inspiration ever since."

     It's no surprise, then, that Hold Your Tongue, the band's latest on Interscope, boasts enough jittery rhythms and fractured riffery to make Zoot Horn Rollo envious. At times raucous and sophisticated, Hold erupts with an artful clamor that stumbles in intriguing directions. "The most important thing is to not sound like the Ramones," says Wahl, who favors a Martin electric. "It's really easy to simplify music, but it's more interesting to play around with the natural chord formations."

     Both guitarists play live through Fender Bassman amps and get fuzzy with Pro Co Rats, chosen as much for durability as tone. Bagarozzi also borrowed studio owner Daniel Lanois' National for Hold's slide work and underwent a Tele conversion after tracking with a friend's '57. "You can hit a barre chord and it can be really distorted, but it still articulates the individual notes," enthuses the former Gibson diehard.

     Hold also marks a change of producers. In lieu of longtime board tender Brett Gurewitz, they opted for veteran knob twister Jim Dickinson. "He actually thought that the shirt he wore would affect how we played that day - which sounds insane, but it actually did," reports Bagarozzi. "Everything he did was for a reason, even though it looked like he was just sitting around stoned most of the time."

[credited to Tim Kenneally]