Brann Dailor Talks Candidly About Mastodon’s Live Vocal Struggles
The biggest knock on Mastodon’s live shows has always been their vocal performances: none of the band’s singers are great, and their live efforts don’t do their recorded songs justice. It’s been a consistent complaint over the years, and drummer Brann Dailor — who has seen an increased vocal role in recent years, and IMO is the best singer of the bunch — spoke openly about the issue in a recent chat with Rhythm Magazine.
When asked about other bands’ use of backing tracks, Brann broached the topic on his own:
“We don’t do any tracks for vocals or guitars or anything. That’s like crossing the line for us. We want it to be our own bad singing! [Laughs] Which I think has gotten way better, actually, and I think that I can safely say it’s the best it’s ever been.”
What do you put that down to?
“Hard work and dedication. Practicing all the time and trying to be as healthy as possible on tour. The last bunch of years of actually taking some voice lessons, learning how to properly warm up and warm down after the show. Really, honestly approaching it as an important instrument. We’re all reluctant singers in the band. We try to pass the buck on every part because you don’t want the pressure live. It’s this added thing, especially when you’re drumming…
“We had a singer when we first started, a guy that would scream into the microphone and roll around on the floor. Then two weeks before our first tour, he quit. Brent [Hinds, guitar/vocals] and Troy [Sanders, bass/vocals] were, like, ‘We’ll just scream shit into the microphone, it doesn’t matter.’ It’s evolved from there quite a bit.
I haven’t seen Mastodon on their current tour with Coheed & Cambria, but I did see them live almost exactly a year ago and I don’t recall thinking the vocals were problematic (you only really notice when they’re bad, ya know?) whereas in the past I certainly have. So it seems there’s certainly some merit to Brann’s claim, although it’s possible he’s speaking solely for himself with regards to taking voice lessons, doing proper vocal warm-ups, etc. Anyone reading this seen the band on their current tour? How are they sounding?
[via Ultimate Guitar]