Whores. & Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher Team Up For Cover Of AC/DC’s “Have A Drink On Me”

Whores. and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher have released a cover of AC/DC‘s “Have A Drink On Me.” This track is from Magnetic Eye Records‘ “Back In Black“ tribute album, which will be released on December 3 alongside another AC/DC tribute album called “Best Of AC/DC [Redux].” Whores.’s Christian Lembach commented:

“I grew up listening to AC/DC, like everyone else. They were one of the first bands I heard that felt like a real rock and roll band, totally divorced from artifice. I still listen to them regularly, and we start every tour with ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)‘ because it’s true. One of the most important bands in my life. I was a little concerned with the song we covered, because it’s very different from our style. We just asked ourselves, ‘What would Harvey Milk do?’ It was pretty easy after that.”

[via Brooklyn Vegan]

Watch Faith No More, Mastodon, Cypress Hill, 311, Etc. Members Cover Public Enemy’s “She Watch Channel Zero?!”

The Kings Of Quarantine, the project featuring Slaves On Dope‘s Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine and Mastodon‘s Bill Kelliher, have released a cover of Public Enemy‘s “She Watch Channel Zero?!.“ The track, which features Billy Gould (Faith No More), Mike Bordin (Faith No More), Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Doug “SA” Martinez (311), Mc Serch (3rd Bass), Derrick Green (Sepultura), Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Toby Morse (H2O), and Ron English (Popaganda), can be purchased on Bandcamp with proceeds set to go towards Roadie Relief.

Mastodon Mixing New Album

Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher has confirmed that producer David Bottrill is currently mixing the band’s new album. The effort is tentatively set to be released in September or October.

Kelliher told “Talking Metal” the following about working with Bottrill:

“Honestly, I hadn’t really heard of him before last year. We were kind of tossing around who we were gonna use for the new record. We have a couple of different producers that we like; I mean, we’ve liked everyone we’ve used in the past. But I think, with this record, we kind of were just, like, ‘We might need somebody new — somebody really fresh and brand new.’ And we got on the phone with David, and we had a couple of other people we had been talking to. With COVID and everything, a lot of people just weren’t available or willing to come to Atlanta.”

“When we got on the phone with David, he seemed like a great guy. He already had some of the demos, so he had all kinds of notes. That’s what you need a producer for — someone who kind of thinks outside the box. The four of you have been playing the same songs, demoing the same songs for so long, you’re kind of, like, ‘Is this even good anymore? I can’t really tell. Does it need something? I’m kind of lost.’ It’s like you can’t the forest through the trees. You’re, like, ‘What’s what? Everything’s upside down.’ So he came in and he was diligent. He had all kinds of notes written out. He had done his homework. And he was, like, ‘For this song, I have this idea. For this song, I have these ideas.’ And he kind of spouted them off to us on the phone. And I said, ‘Are you willing to come to Atlanta and work with us here, sight unseen, at our studio?’ And he was, like, ‘As long as the studio’s got the certain equipment that I need, and it’s a decent-sized room and everything…’ We had done a lot of other records there with other bands. And he was willing to come down.”

He continued:

“[I] wasn’t really into trying anything new, but the more I thought about it, I was, like, ‘You know, this record is really special, and it’s different, and times are different right now.'”

“David had a lot to do with steering the direction of a lot of the sounds and how it went, and he was a pleasure to work with. A couple of times a week, we talk. And he’d come over for dinner, and we’d all hang out. He’s just a down-to-earth guy and very approachable.”

Kelliher also added the following about Bottrill’s approach in the studio:

“I think 90 percent of being a good producer is really having a degree in psychology, almost. ‘Cause when you’re dealing with fragile egos… We’re band guys, we’re musicians, we pour our heart and soul into a musical riff, and it really means a lot to us. It’s just heartbreaking if somebody’s, like, ‘I don’t like that riff. That riff sucks. That’s not gonna be in the song.’ You can’t say that. You have to circumvent the obvious, like, ‘Man up and get rid of that riff. Write something better.’ And that was one of my first questions: ‘How do you deal with if there’s certain people in the band that might be more sensitive than others?’ And he’s, like, ‘I’ve worked with so and so and so and so.’ He’s, like, ‘I’m just a big fan of your band, and I just wanna make your best record that we set out to make.’ And he just had a really good way with words without insulting anybody’s creativeness. He was firm. And we basically tried everything. He said, ‘I don’t have a problem with trying anything at all. If you’re gonna do it, do it with gusto and just go for it and try it. If someone [goes], ‘Hey, I wanna try to sing here,’ ‘Hey, I wanna try to play a solo here,’ hey, let’s try it. Maybe it doesn’t fit, but we never know until we try it. So we all just kind of [went into it] with open minds, and the result is amazing. It’s the fullest-, biggest-sounding record we’ve done so far.”

He also confirmed that the group are “halfway through the mixing” process:

“[David will] mix a song every couple of days, and he’ll send it over to us in Dropbox. And we all listen to it. I go listen to it in the car, I listen to it in my studio, I listen to it on all kinds of different speakers to make sure that all the things and little details that I wanna hear are there. And we just kind of give him pointers and notes, like, ‘Hey, the snare needs a little more treble in this part,’ or, ‘I wanna hear the kick drum more right here,’ ‘Turn down the vocals in this chorus.’ And he’ll be, like, ‘Okay.’ He’ll get all the notes in Dropbox. Technology is pretty cool. He gets all the notes, and then he turns it around an hour later. He mixes everything in Pro Tools, so I think it’s pretty easy just to save, that’s the way it was, and then go back to something [when needed].”

As far as release plans, he added:

“Well, I was hoping for summer, but I think the powers that be are pushing it back till October maybe — September [or] October.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Slaves On Dope, Mastodon, Limp Bizkit, 311, Filter, Etc. Members Cover Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song”

The Kings Of Quarantine, the project featuring Slaves On Dope‘s Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine and Mastodon‘s Bill Kelliher, have released a cover of Jane’s Addiction‘s “Mountain Song.” The track features Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Aaron “P-Nut” Wills (311), Richard Patrick (Filter), Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Bert McCracken (The Used), and Tanner Wayne (In Flames) and a video for it can be found below. All of the proceeds from the cover will go towards Roadie Relief. Rockman commented:

“We hope to not only put a smile on people’s faces, but also help the touring staff that have been severely affected by the pandemic.”

Watch Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Mastodon, & Metal Allegiance Members Cover Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, Alice In Chains singer William DuVall, Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher, and Metal Allegiance bassist Mark Menghi recently joined forces for a quarantine cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage.” You can see footage of that below:

Benante commented:

“Rusty Cage…first song off of Badmotorfinger and a Damn Good one at that! This song makes me wanna drive fast.

I was a @soundgarden fan as soon as I heard ‘hunted down’. I then heard the FOPP ep on which they had covered an @ohioplayers song (Honey was a great Album) and I was Hooked. I saw them numerous times from 1988-89 to playing festivals with them a few years ago. I always thought they had ‘it’: they were tight but loose,up and down,in and out of tune, heavy and soft, always unique. I always loved the way @Chriscornellofficial sang, His voice was so Recognizable. I saw them at the Armory in New York and he came out and did an acapella version of Beth by @kissonline , I got goosebumps.

We are celebrating the music they created with this version of Rusty Cage. When @billy_butterslax , @markmenghi, @williamduvallofficial and I decided to Jam this one out it was because it moved us when we first heard it and dammit, it still does!

Hope you all enjoy it and Take the time to think what Good Music does to your soul.

Thank you to @dlevanchuk and @tom.w.tapley . Love to #kimthayil #mattcameron #benshepherd .”

Slaves On Dope Members Launch New Covers Project, Recruit Korn, Mastodon, Etc. Members For Cover Of Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot”

Slaves On Dope’s Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine have decided to launch a new quarantine covers project called The Kings Of Quarantine. The band’s first single, a cover of Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot,“ features the following artists: Frank Bello (Anthrax), Ray Luzier (Korn), Bill Kelliher (Mastodon), Ivan Doruschuk (Men Without Hats), Dennis Lyxzén (Refused), Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, etc.), Kevin Sharp (ex-Brutal Truth, etc.), Darryl McDaniels (Run-D.M.C.), Esoteric (Czarface), Richard Patrick (Filter), and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace). Faith No More’s Billy Gould also makes an appearance in the video as well.

Rockman said the following:

“Kevin and I have always been massive fans of Faith No More and having the opportunity to cover one of their songs with such great company has been a dream come true. We are so grateful to all the musicians involved that accepted our invitation.”

McDaniels added:

“We did this because we care a lot about everyone! Especially those who put their lives on the line to make sure we are ok!”

Patrick also commented:

“I care a lot about being part of this amazing cover. It’s an honor and a privilege. To be rubbing elbows with the likes of these gentlemen makes me feel very proud.”

The track can be purchased on Bandcamp with all the proceeds set to go towards Roadie Relief.

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.”

Comments Off on Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher Discusses Financial Strain Of The Coronavirus Pandemic: “There’s No Money Coming In….” Posted in Mastodon, News Tagged , ,

Watch Mastodon, Baroness, Ex-Megadeth, Etc. Members Cover Fleetwood Mac’s “You Make Loving Fun”

“Two Minutes To Late Night” have shared footage of their host Jordan “Gwarsenio Hall” Olds performing a quarantine cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “You Make Loving Fun” with Johanna Sadonis (Lucifer), Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Mutoid Man, etc.), Emily Panic, Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth), Bill Kelliher (Mastodon), Nick Jost (Baroness), and Nicke Anderson (Lucifer, etc.). You can see footage of that below. “Two Minutes To Late Night” commented:

“ooh ooh witchy womxn! We covered your mom’s favorite Fleetwood Mac Song and frankly our’s too. Also, Marty Friedman lives in Japan plus Johanna and Nicke live in Sweden so there are all kinds of international spookiness in this video. This is our 22nd bedroom cover made with the support of Patreon. With so many musicians stuck at home with no outlets, we’re going to keep producing these style videos and use the Patreon to give some money to everyone who has a part in them. Please support our friends by donating to our newly redone Patreon at http://www.honorableswords.com

Mastodon Discuss “Rufus Lives” From “Bill & Ted Face The Music”, “Fallen Torches,” Etc.

During a recent interview with Rock Sound, Mastodon’s Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher discussed a number of topics. Among them were their new song “Rufus Lives” from “Bill & Ted Face The Music” (out August 28), their latest single “Fallen Torches,” and more.

Dailor said the following about “Rufus Lives”:

“The song was something that was sort of in the works, you know? It was pretty recent, maybe six months ago. I was going over to Bill’s, and I’d had probably more than a pot of coffee already, and was just amped up, ready to rock!

He started playing guitar, we put this thing together, it wasn’t even 10 o clock in the morning and we already had this fast, crazy thing going on. It just sounded cool. That was the beginning of it. From there we wrote the song pretty quickly, and then when Bill & Ted came around, they wanted something very specific for a specific scene in the movie.

They sent us the scene, and it needed to be like party rock ‘n’ roll. We sent them a couple things, but they were a little doomy. It’s hard for us not to be doomy, you know? They were like, ‘It needed to be at a party, not a funeral!’ And we were like, ‘Okay, we’re sorry!’

The notes that we all gravitate towards are all minor, spooky notes, Black Sabbath. That’s where we live, spooky! But I think we were able to maintain our aesthetic and our musical personalities, and give a party rockin’ song. It’s basically like, ‘You’re at a party, you’re in the woods, everybody is having fun, what’s on the stereo?’

That’s the song we needed to write, and what we tried to do. Then we took the situation that Bill & Ted were in, and we applied it to the lyrical content. So I’m singing in it, and Troy’s singing.”

Kelliher continued:

“When I was a teenager I liked Bill & Ted and thought it was cool, though that was like 35 years ago! We got an email from someone there who must be a fan, like the music director, and they wanted us to write a song for it.

We had like, 25 songs written for the new record, so could probably find one that would fit along with their soundtrack. There was one we’d written the week before that was heavy hitting, one of the better songs that was gonna go on our record. It’ll be out in a couple weeks, and it’ll be cool to be tied to that.

I enjoy writing songs that are going to be in movies. If I ever get to go to the movies again, seeing it on the big screen and hearing it full surround sound stereo, it’s awesome: like, ‘I wrote that riff!’”

In the same chat, Kelliher also discussed the band’s latest single “Fallen Torches,” which features frequent collaborator Scott Kelly (Neurosis):

“We had written that over a year ago, when we’d been in between doing European tours with Scott Kelly. We’d been thinking about writing a full EP or something with him, a bunch of songs. When we’d done the first European tour with him, there was a lot of sitting around backstage and playing on acoustics, throwing ideas around.

The record hasn’t happened yet, but we did have Scott come back to do rehearsals with us, and Brann and I put together ‘Fallen Torches’ and played it to him. We wanted him to sing on it, like, ‘Just pick a place and give it your best’, you know? The idea, in a perfect world, was to release it in December of 2018, and play it as part of the part of our set with Scott.

But it didn’t quite happen, it didn’t quite come out for whatever reason. We just dropped the ball I guess, I don’t know. I was ready to leak it, just put the song out on the internet and be able to play it live. But we waited and waited. With ‘Medium Rarities’ [out September 11], it just seemed fitting to put it out as the first song, give people an incentive.”

Later on, Kelliher also offered an update on the group’s upcoming album:

“We have been working on a brand new record since October really. So we’re getting ready to record that soon, but it won’t be out until next year some time. You’ve got to stay sort of active and keep putting out music. Times are changing. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to tour next year, so is it worth it putting a record out, does it make sense?

I always want to put music out, but is it one of those things where you put a record out, it goes straight to Spotify and because there’s no money being made off of it, you can’t survive? If you can’t tour and go out and sell merchandise, those things go hand in hand. It’s like a free giveaway, really.”

He then went on to discuss the sound of the effort:

“It’s hard to pinpoint, because every day that we write something, it’s the opposite of the song the previous day! And that’s kind of how we like it. There are so many variations of Mastodon within every record. There’s a lot of complex stuff going on in the new record, I know that. A lot of good riffage as usual, and I’m not going to say it’s like ‘Emperor Of Sand’ part two, but there are some similar sounds on there.

It’s all over the place, so you’ll have to see. We have like 20, 25 song ideas, and obviously they’re not all going to go on there, it depends on which ones do. I think we want to put different sounding songs next to each other, rather than everything sounding the same.”

Dailor also added the following about the uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic:

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re writing music, we’re making plans to record another full-length album, but that’s the question mark. Do you put it out and not tour it? Because I know that the world needs new everything. What’s the next thing that comes out on Netflix? What’s the next album that’s out? The world needs the music, the art, the entertainment, because they don’t feel good, and a lot of people are going through really hard, crazy situations, in a multitude of different ways. So many things are colliding, especially here in the States. Our fucking president is just the worst person… I remember being a kid and seeing Donald Trump on TV, on Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous, being eight years old and going, ‘That guy sucks. That guy’s a dick. He doesn’t care about anybody but himself, he’s just a rich, spoiled brat’. And I knew that as a kid, you know what I mean? How could [anyone] think that guy cares about anybody but himself? Anyways, there’s a lot going on here, and people need music. But you say to yourself, do you just… you know, musicians don’t make any money off of record sales, or streams. There’s no money there, so for everybody who plays music… the money runs out.

I’m just trying to make sure I can pay the taxes on my house. Luckily my house is paid off, but there are a lot of people who aren’t in that situation. There are a lot of people trying to figure it all out, playing it by ear, basically. I’m doing the only thing that I know I have control over, and that is trying to write this music with my friends, be safe about it, but record it and sort of stick to the plan. Business as usual, and we’ll figure the rest of this stuff out later. If you have a record ready to go, do you put it out, because you can’t tour it? Do you just roll the dice and hope that a year and a half from now, when you’re able to go on tour, everybody wants to come out and hear you play that? I’m sure they will, but who knows? Are people going to feel comfortable going to a concert with 5,000 people? I think maybe they will, but who knows. There are a lot of unknowns right now. The one thing I can control is, we can take a little bit longer with our album, that’s for sure, and really make sure that it’s… we can pore over every single bit and piece, make sure everything’s in there. We can mess with it until we feel like it’s there. I feel like the new stuff is pretty much there, we’re ready to go into the studio for real at this point. We’re putting those plans together.”

You can read more over at Rock Sound.