Mastodon Might Record Two New Albums If The COVID-19 Pandemic Persists For A Long Time

Mastodon recently started the recording process for their new album, but after its finished the band may not stop there. The group had a lot of material going into the sessions and they are considering working on another record if the COVID-19 pandemic persists for a long time.

Brann Dailor told Full Metal Jackie the following about the excess material [via Loudwire]:

“It is a good problem to have. It’s also a little bit stressful because I feel we have had too much time off. Like a lot of groups, we have had too much time and we’re constantly working. We had the shut down for a couple of months, but we’re back at it.

I guess it’s a good thing we’re still wanting to come down here and wanting to work on our 20-year-old project that we have been calling Mastodon. It’s exciting to me because every time you go to approach writing new stuff, you say, ‘Well, when is this well going to dry up? When are we going to go looking and can’t find it anymore?’

That is always a fear that a lot of musicians and artists go through.

Sometimes you do have a mild case of writer’s block or maybe you have a severe case of writer’s block. That isn’t the case with us, luckily. We have an abundance of material and a lot of really great things. The hardest part is going to be picking the ones that go on the actual album because there are too many songs at this point. We want to put maybe 10-12 songs on the album and we have like 30.”

He also added:

“That’s a lot. That’s too much [laughs] but I think it is coming into focus now. The ones that we are wanting to play more than the other ones, those are the ones that are going to make it. But even with the ones we are really, really digging there are still too many of those — there are like 20 of those.

There is always room for new ideas too. We were jamming the other day and we had like 30 songs we could be running through and we started writing something brand new. It’s like, “STOP!” …but don’t stop as well.

As much as I think it’s kind of not the best to have one in the chamber, I don’t necessarily think it’s great for us to release a double album. I don’t see the problem recording a full length album and then because of the fact that we are not going to be able to go on tour immediately, record another full length album not far after.

I think that that’s a possibility that we will have an abundance of music and we will have an abundance of stuff that we really dig that we can release to the public while we are still in this muck.”

Brann Dailor Says Mastodon Have Demoed 30 Songs For Their Next Album

During a recent interview with 100.3 The X Rocks, Brann Dailor talked a bit about the new Mastodon album. The band are planning to enter the studio later this month and Dailor says they “have, like, 30 songs demoed” and that they “need to pare it down to about 12.”

Dailor said the following:

“We have way too much material, which I guess is a good thing, but also it’s very difficult for us to narrow it down at this point. We’ve had so much time — as everyone has [during the coronavirus pandemic] — to be creative and be in the studio and write new stuff that now we have, like, 30 songs demoed, and we need to pare it down to about 12.”

He continued when asked how the group choose which tracks make the cut:

“We need an outside entity to come in that we trust to say, ‘These are the songs,’ but that’s probably not gonna happen, so it’s gonna be up to us to put our big-boy pants on and make a decision. But there’s a few different ways that we could do things, so we are just sort of debating those things. Okay, all these songs kind of sound like they’re all friends, they all are similar-ish — they sort of have the same vibe, like a more doomy vibe, a more doom side of Mastodon. So we kind of like that idea — it’s kind of cool; we like that — but also there’s some rippers that we don’t wanna leave out. And so we’re kind of discussing whether or not, do we wanna do a full kind of doom-leaning album and then, a few months down the road, record the rippers and put a ripper album out? I don’t know. So we’re still sort of deciding how we wanna approach it.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Mastodon Plan To Begin Recording New Album Next Month

Mastodon are planning to start the recording process for their new album next month. The band will be working on the effort with a “new producer” at their own studio.

Bill Kelliher told MetalSucks the following when asked if the band will be recording next month:

“That’s the idea. Yeah, we don’t have an exact date. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air right now, but that’s the idea. We’d like to start recording ASAP. Let’s do it when we want to do it, let’s do it at our own place where we feel comfortable and don’t have to travel anywhere to shack up in a hotel for a month or two when we’re recording. Just being comfortable is the key word.”

He also added the following when asked about the group’s decision to use their own studio:

“I always wanted to build a studio. I’ve built a few studios. I have a small one in my basement, which is basically a huge soundproof room with a control room, live room, stuff like that; very small. But just for me, ’cause I like to diddle with ProTools and [I’m] just demoing constantly.

A couple years ago I had the chance to get a partner who’s an engineer and actually build a proper studio that we could turn into a business. That place is called West End Sound and that’s inside of Ember City, which is our rehearsal facility that we manage. We have a lot of bands in there that rehearse. So I was able to build that out a couple years ago and make it into a place where we could actually record our records. I just felt like, when I bought the rehearsal facility — it wasn’t a rehearsal facility until I built it out — but it was like, why am I paying somebody a thousand bucks a month to rent from them when we could pool our money together and get a loan from the bank and buy a building and turn it into the same thing? And then we’re just paying ourselves. So that’s what we did.

And then I thought the same with a recording studio. Why are we paying a thousand dollars a day out in Hollywood to rent a recording studio to do a record? And then, say you spend half a million dollars on a record, which is, that’s about right. That’s basically your money, its not like the record company pays for it, they front you the money to do it and it’s your job to make the money back by touring and selling records and products, even though they take a certain percentage of that as well. Say you spend $500,000 on a record, $300,000 goes to a producer and the other $200,000 to hotels and things and renting out a recording studio, engineer, whatever. You make a record, that record goes to Spotify, Apple Music. I have nothing against Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, all that stuff but it’s a joke. People pay $9.99 a month to listen to unlimited amounts of every band, every artist. How does that equate to your half a million dollars you just spent on one record? It’s very unbalanced.”

He continued:

“If we have our own studio now, we don’t have to pay these exorbitant amounts of money to record there, a thousand bucks a day… gimme a break. ‘Cause you know you’re never going see this money again, you’re throwing your money into an ad, which is your record, so that people come see you play the concert and buy your stuff.

But if there’s no concert you’re just making this free ad that’s costing half a million dollars where people can just basically listen to as much as they want on Spotify and Apple Music and all that stuff. If it keeps going this way, bands are going to disappear because no one can afford to be out there spending that kind of money to make no money.”

Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher Discusses Financial Strain Of The Coronavirus Pandemic: “There’s No Money Coming In….”

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on the music industry. Artists are still unable to tour and this has resulted in financial strain on them and their crews. Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher recently discussed this harsh reality during an interview with MetalSucks.

Kelliher said the following:

“If it weren’t for my wife and her stable job for the past 20 years, I don’t know how well off I’d be. We’ve been lucky and we’ve been smart, we didn’t waste money; we put money into buying houses in our neighborhood and being landlords. But still, that’s a whole other job, that’s half the things I do in the daytime — mowing peoples lawns that are my tenants and fixing leaky roofs and trying to get to the bottom of strange smells coming out of the toilet or whatever. [laughs] That’s reality.

I’ve always done that though, so it’s not like a new thing. I’ve always been like, well, this is kind of what people do, you gotta have investments. I’ve learned from people that are older than me and I always listen to them, especially when it comes to dealing with money and what you do.

Because I’m not going to be able to do Mastodon for the rest of my life and I knew that at an early age. It’s like, this is going to run out at one point, something is going to happen. Hopefully we can do it as long as we can, but I haven’t worked in over a year. There’s no money coming in. There’s not big royalty checks that just come in every month. And that’s the truth… because people don’t buy the music.

I mean, there’s a little bit of residuals from publishing and stuff but it’s peanuts. It’s nothing. It’s quarterly payouts of a couple thousand dollars… if we’re lucky. And it’s all taxable money, just like everybody else.

Just say to yourself, imagine if you couldn’t work for over a year. I mean, I’m on unemployment. Because I own a few businesses. Mastodon is a business and we have employees. We’re all out of work. And we had the option to apply for unemployment; we pay into it [through corporate unemployment taxes], [so we] might as well use it if it’s there because if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t have ANY income at all.”

He also added:

“We’re not selling records, we’re not touring. That’s where all our income comes from, getting up everyday and going up on stage and playing for an hour and doing it over and over and over all over the world. We can’t do that right now and I don’t know if we ever will be able to do that again.

In some capacity [we will be able to play live again], but even if they can get everybody’s shit together as far as promoters and booking agents and venues and all that stuff, it’s going to be like two years [from now]. And when they do, if they’re even still open, how are people going to pay their rent on a club that they own [during the down time]? If no one’s going there for a year, two years, I mean, these places live paycheck to paycheck, I know they do. They’re not just owned outright by the promoter or whatever, it’s a whole network of people.

[Even] by the time COVID is under control, hopefully, fingers crossed, promoters [will still] have to pay all these bands in advance. But they’re not going to have that money to pay bands in advance at least 50% — that’s what we ask for so that we can guarantee we’re going to show up, to guarantee we’re going to play — and then they pay us the rest, the other 50%.

That’s what it is everyday: you get one band in and you’re waiting to pay them until the next band comes in and makes your money, so that’s going to fuck everything up and you’re going to see a lot of these cool venues going under. The big places like Live Nation, even they’re hurting. If they’re hurting then the little guys gotta be completely dying.

And I can just see that when it comes around time for us to do another tour, Live Nation will have been hurting so long, they’re going to be like, ‘Well, we can’t pay you what you normally are worth. Because we need to recoup our money.’ And it’s like, yeah… OK, well, where do we start with that? We all need to recoup. We’ve all been unemployed. All of us are hurting. We all have businesses, we all have mouths to feed.”

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Mastodon Premiere “Fallen Torches” Music Video

Mastodon have premiered a new video for their song “Fallen Torches.” This track features Neurosis‘ Scott Kelly and it can be found on the band’s new rarities compilation, “Medium Rarities,” which is available now. The group said the following about the video:

“We wanted something visually compelling and mind-twisting that didn’t require a big physical production, so we hit up our good friends at Hey Beautiful Jerk and they helped us bring it to life.”

Brann Dailor On New Mastodon Music: “The New Stuff Is Almost Hard To Listen To Because It’s So Devastating”

During a recent interview with Spin, Brann Dailor discussed Mastodon’s new album once again. According to him, the new material is “almost hard to listen to because it’s so devastating.”

Dailor said the following when asked if the material will be darker due to the coronavirus pandemic and the political situation in the U.S.:

“I think so, but we’ve never been a happy band. It’s not what feels right to us, or the kind of music we want to make. If we do something that sounds too happy, we know it and change it. It needs to be darker, and that’s where we want to live.

I don’t mind listening to happy music, but over the years, Mastodon has been the place to put dark things. It’s corny to call it therapeutic, but the new stuff is almost hard to listen to because it’s so devastating. We lost our friend and manager Nick John in 2018 to pancreatic cancer, so a lot of the new record is for him.

There’s been a lot of personal stuff that has transpired in the last year, all piled on top of the COVID stuff. I don’t know how any musician or artist could sidestep the state of the world right now.

When I listen to it, it’s not a fun romp by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not really selling it well, but it’s what we needed to get through.

There is a moment that I feel will be the last song and the last thing you hear on the album. It’s a riff that sounds to me like driving off into the sunset, and leaving everything behind. It sounds hopeful to me.

When I listen to music, I see little movies play in my head, and this riff brings a hopeful, cinematic vision to my mind. We’re driving towards something hopeful, away from devastation, death, and all that good stuff.”

Mastodon’s Troy Sanders: “I’m Ready To Hit ‘Record’ For Real And Put A Record Out The Beginning Of Next Year”

During a recent appearance Dean Delray’s “Let There Be Talk” podcast, Troy Sanders offered an update on the new Mastodon album. The bassist/vocalist said that he is “ready to hit ‘record’ for real and put a record out the beginning of next year.”

Sanders said the following:

“We bought a building a couple of years ago. It’s called Ember City. It’s on the west end of Atlanta. And we’ve got about 17 rehearsal spots in here for local bands and a studio in the basement — a top-shelf studio called West End Sound — where we’ve been demoing all this material for a new record, with hopes to start recording down there any week now for the real deal, because we’ve got loads of material. We’ve been chipping away this whole year. So I’m ready to hit ‘record’ for real and put a record out the beginning of next year.”

He continued after being asked who will serve as the producer for the album:

“Not sure. That’s kind of where we’re at right now. Like I said, we’ve just been slowly piecing things together and chipping away since November, so it’s been, like, nine months in. So, pregnancy-wise, we’re about due. We’re throwing around some ideas and seeing who’s willing to come to Atlanta, because we have our own facility here now, so someone needs to be willing to travel here to help us out. So that conversation is happening now, which is exciting to me.

You get, we call it ‘demoitis’ — you hear your demo so much, you’re losing touch. Is this even good anymore? I don’t know. While it’s still fresh, you need to record for real. You don’t want anything, really, to go too long, because it gets stale, or it can get stale, so kind of keeping it fresh and forward-moving is really important for us right now.”

He also added the following when asked how many songs the band have written:

“For the first time ever, we’re over the 20 mark, which is a wonderful… I don’t wanna say ‘problem.’ It’s a great issue to sort through and, like, ‘Hey, what are we gonna focus on?’ But at the same time, we’ve never really worked on an idea unless we all really like it. So I’m hopeful that what we have here is two albums’ worth. Not that we’re gonna do a double album, but just going back to the fact that we were capable and able to be productive during this whole year.

It would be a good issue to have, I guess [to go into the studio with so much excess material]. Because from our eyes and ears, it wouldn’t be filler — it would be stuff that we worked on and we really love. So, yeah, whether [it turns out to be] an album and an EP within a year of each other, who knows? That would be a group decision. But, yeah, the more material, the better.”

[via Blabbermouth]