Instrumental bands tend to not do well with bands that employ a little vocalization, but Chicago's Russian Circles have not only done well -- they've gained a diverse fan base from playing with bands as varied as the Appleseed Cast, Coheed and Cambria and Coliseum. "We love touring with diverse bands," guitarist Mike Sullivan tells Noisecreep. "It's a pleasure to tour [with acts like] a noise ambient drone band, and then with punk or metal bands. We're in a lucky position to do that. I think with most bands aren't always able to get away with that."

And there have been times Russian Circles have said no to tours, simply because the lineup of bands wouldn't mix well on stage. "There have been plenty of offers by bands that wouldn't seem like a good mix," Sullivan reveals. "Sometimes there are great tours that would make sense and would be finally great but wouldn't give off the right idea that we try to go for with music."

But despite all the carefully planning, there was one time the band got nothing but hate from a crowd, only once. "The only show that was kind of awkward -- and this has nothing to do with the lineup," Sullivan says. "But the first date of Clutch tour. We had all kinds of technical problems and everything was falling apart, and that was in front of 2,200 people, a total cluster f--- of a show," Sullivan recalls with a dashed laugh. "We weren't playing well and all kinds of gear was farting out on us. That was the first time we got heckled and we were like, 'Well we definitely deserved this because s--- is breaking apart, but cut us a f---ing break here.'"

Mike contends that the instance had more to do with fans wanting to see Clutch so bad, which isn't surprising -- especially considering that die-hard Clutch fans have been known to not show love to the opening act. "I've seen bands I love get boo'd opening for other bands, and it make zero sense to me. Tool especially ... they're crowd," Sullivan pauses over the thought, as Russian Circles have stared into the rabid eyes of Tool fan's as well. "I've heard of bands like Tomahawk and Mastodon and Trans Am -- all these bands I love -- being boo'd. It's mind blowing."

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