Thursday, August 8, 2013

MASTODON Guitarist Talks Next Album In New Video Interview

Artisan News conducted an interview with guitarist Bill Kelliher of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON during this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for MASTODON's follow-up to 2011's "The Hunter", Kelliher said: "We haven't really come to the lyrical concepts yet. That's
usually the last thing that comes. We're usually focused on the music
and getting all the parts and everything sounding 'balls to the wall,'
you know what I mean?! That's the most important thing. And then once
we've got all that settled and recorded, we're always scrambling for
lyrics and ideas and stuff. We're getting a little bit better at it, and I think Brann's [Dailor, drums] got a lot of ideas for
vocal melodies and stuff like that. I'll play the riff and he'll kind of sing along, and I'm, like, 'OK, that sounds really proggy, but really
awesome.' I'm really, really excited about it. But as far as what it's
gonna be dealing with, it's a little too early to tell; it's pretty
fresh stuff right now. I mean, we've got some demos, but they're really, really rough."

Kelliher also spoke about possible lyrical themes that might be covered on MASTODON's next album. He said: "Death always makes for really good story telling. It's kind of the theme that we have a lot in our music. We've had a lot of friends pass away since the last record. I'm not really sure yet. I
think we're kind of focusing more about living on this earth and what
would happen if this was your last year to live. I think that's sort of
maybe a little bit of what we might be kind of touching on."

He added: "Art reflects life — how you're feeling and your mood. I played a riff for Brann and he was, like, 'That sounds kind of happy. Are we happy now?' I
don't know… I am; I'm a pretty happy guy. So that's kind of how we work; it's pretty simple. But we'll have to see. I really like the way 'The Hunter' went; that was not a total change in direction, but we just kind of
proved to ourselves that we can just write stuff that we think sounds
cool, and it doesn't have to all flow together, it doesn't have to all
sound the same. It can be totally different without a concept. So I
think that really opened up my mind at least to, like, 'What if I write
something like this? Is that gonna be cool?' And we're all on the same
page right now with all the songs — the 30 or so songs we've gathered so far. So we'll just have to see how it goes."

A MASTODON song from the band's 2004 album "Leviathan" is featured in the new animated film "Monsters University". The track "Island" is utilized in a scene in the movie, but does not appear on the official soundtrack. The filmmakers explained how and why "Island" and MASTODON were chosen to factor into the film, saying, "There is a great moment in 'Monsters University' when we thought it would be funny if the tunes were some of the most intense heavy metal imaginable. MASTODON was the obvious choice. They show off an unexpected monstrous side for one of our great new characters."

"Monsters University" is the prequel to 2001's "Monsters, Inc." Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles in the prequel as the wise-cracking Mike Wazowski and lovable Sulley.

MASTODON's latest album, "The Hunter", came out in September 2011 through Reprise Records.

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