Mastodon Have 20 Demos Recorded for Next Album
The members of Mastodon have been teasing new material since as far back as May of last year, issuing periodic updates along the way. But it’s completely understandable that they’d take a pause in the midst of a pandemic. There’s really no rush, whatwith the inability to tour any time soon.
Guitarist Bill Kelliher revealed just that in a recent chat with The RRBG Podcast, saying that while the pandemic put a stop to any active forward progress, they’re getting ready to convene in person to get back on the new music bandwagon:
“Mastodon hasn’t worked since last summer. We’ve been taking this time off to relax and to write a new record, and we were kind of right in the middle of it… we had about, I don’t know, 20 rough songs recorded right before this [pandemic] hit and it just totally put the brakes on it. I’m actually leaving tomorrow for Atlanta. We’re gonna get back together and try to get back into finishing a few things that we started and see where we get.”
Kelliher also revealed the band will be contributing a track to the soundtrack for the upcoming threequel to the Bill & Ted series:
“We got asked a couple months ago to be a part of the new Bill and Ted movie, to put a song in there. So we wrote a song to be in that movie which we’re kind of wrapping now.”
Drummer Brann Dailor previously said he was “feeling the doom” with regards to the new music the band was working on, although it’s unclear whether he meant the band was leaning in a doom metal direction or he was personally feeling gloomy. Kelliher elaborated on the sound of what they’re working on in the recent interview, saying:
“It’s all relative to who’s writing. With [2017 album] ‘Emperor of Sand’, my mom was really sick with brain cancer and tragically passed away from that right when I was in the heart of writing that and I was getting a lot of my demons and my riffs out for that record in particular. I really helped write that a lot.
“With this new record it’s kind of the same. I’ve definitely been writing like a madman, like crazy. It’s different than ‘Emperor of Sand’. There’s definitely a vibe going on. I don’t know how to describe it.
“I’ve been doing this ‘riff of the day’ things live on Facebook and Instagram, videos of me playing riffs and playing old songs, and I have to relearn them and everything and most of them are off ‘Emperor of Sand’, stuff that I wrote I’m showing. I’m like, ‘wow, these are some sick riffs’ and the new record, the stuff I’ve written, it’s not quite as notey as that, but it’s definitely got a more like Neurosis heaviness, [with] simplified guitar parts. And Brann has been doing a lot of… he always demos most of the vocal ideas cause he always has melodies and stuff like that… and he’s been singing on a lot of it, at least for demo purposes. The vocals are kind of like a [2014 Mastodon song] ‘Asleep in the Deep’ style, kind of Radiohead-ish almost, like real melodic, a lot of vocal harmonies.
“When I think back about it, even though we’ve got like 20-25 songs, we still don’t have all of Brent’s songs in there yet and there’s still a lot of time for that stuff to change and to morph into other stuff.”
At this point a 2020 release for a new Mastodon album seems unlikely, but at least we’ve got yet another thing to look forward to in 2021 when this pandemic [hopefully] eats shit and dies.