Music Dorkery

Bill Kelliher Previews New Mastodon Song, Talks Writing Process at Lace Pickups / Guitar Center Clinic


Bill KelliherMastodon’s change and evolution in sound over the years is eternally as hot a topic as the seat on which Brian Williams sits.

So when Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher recently hosted a clinic at Guitar Center to promote his signature line of Dissonant Aggressor Lace Pickups, he had all sorts of things to say to an audience member who said he appreciated that evolution, then asked what might come next:

I’m glad you appreciate that, because a lot of people don’t. They hear their favorite band and they want them to stay the same until they get old and die. That’s just not human nature, not to me. We get older, we grow, we have different experiences. Since the band has started a lot of different things in my life have changed. I’ve had kids, got married, built a house, tore down a house, lost a lot of friends, toured all over the world… a lot of things are different than when I first started. When I first started we were barely eating, super skinny, ripped up clothes, jumping in a dirty, stinky van, traveling all over. You’re gonna write differently when that happens. Things get more comfortable, things change, it’s inevitable, and I think it’s good to change.

People are all like, ‘You’re never gonna beat the Remission record, why don’t you write another record like that?’ Why don’t you just pull it off your shelf and listen to it if that’s what you wanna hear? I can’t go back in time; to me that was a place in time we can’t go back and touch. That’s who we were then. I don’t wanna be like Metallica, ‘Let’s go try to find our young roots and try to do it.’ For us it just happens. You’ve got to mature, you’ve got to get older.

Also of note is the revelation later on in the video that Kelliher wrote a lot of the material on Once More ‘Round the Sun. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I’d missed it until now.

Unfortunately Kelliher got a bit sidetracked there and never got to the “what’s next” part, but it all came full circle when another audience member asked about Kelliher’s favorite Mastodon riff of all time and Kelliher countered with “How ’bout this brand new one I just wrote?” After which he played a hefty chunk of what sounds like a pretty bangin’ new Mastodon song:

Thanks: E Moldrich

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