Lesson No. 5 in the school of rock ‘n’ roll, “Good things happen to those who wait.”

It’s now the hard-rock quartet Clutch’s turn.

Dropped by EastWest Records after lukewarm sales of their debut LP, “Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes and Undeniable Truths” (that’s a mouthful), they bounced back in May 1995 with their self-titled follow-up on Atlantic.

“Clutch,” too, had slow sales, but the group surged on with relentless touring, opening for Bad Religion, Selptura, Tad, Biohazard and Marilyn Manson, to name a few. They also headlined a few shows. Eventually, all that hard work finally paid off: Album sales have been climbing; Atlantic has decided to give it an advertising boost, and there is a new single, “Big News One,” out Feb. 23.

Lead singer Neil Fallon isn’t one to say, “About time!” but he does think they’re due for a break.

“This album, we were expecting it to do better,” he said recently. “Now, we’re ready to do whatever it takes for this to take off, but we’re also ready to take this thing further, to move on to another record. Some of these songs are getting up to 2 years old.”

In the meantime, Fallon and his band mates – guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean Paul Gaster – are preparing to board a flight for Stockholm, Sweden, for a show with Selptura.

“They’ve never heard of us there,” Fallon said, “but we see this as more of a challenge because we’re playing to a new audience. It’s fun to try to win them over.”

It’s all part of the plan to improve their fan base around the world.

“This is the best way for us to avoid day jobs, by touring,” Fallon said, with a laugh.

BWF (before we forget): Clutch’s follow-up album, “The Elephant Riders,” was released in April 1998 (on Columbia).