U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine spoke to guitarist Bill Kelliher of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON about the progress of the writing and recording sessions for the band's next studio album, tentatively due in early 2014.
"I'm in Death Valley [California] and Thanksgiving is in two days, I fly back to Atlanta on Friday [November 29] and on Saturday or Sunday we start tracking," he said.
"We've got 21 or 22 songs that are candidates for the new record, though obviously we can't use all of those. We'll have to strip a few off, though they can be used elsewhere.
"I'm really not sure if there will be [a concept] or not. I know we had some ideas for a concept, but we've been so busy…"
Asked what it's been like working with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS, GHOST) on the new album, Bill said: "It's something that we totally need — a cheerleader to get our asses in gear. There he is saying, 'Come on, you're MASTODON… you're one of the biggest bands in metal… Smash that hammer down and write some heavy shit. It's time to do or die!' He's that kind of a guy."
MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor recently told RollingStone.com about the band's forthcoming CD: "It's gonna be massive and insane, lots of epic greatness. There will be lots of huge riffs and new directions. It's real weird, real math-y, real straightforward. It's up, down and all around. It's a culmination of everything for the band. The snowball keeps rolling and collecting snow."
On December 10, Warner Bros. Records will digitally release "Mastodon Live At Brixton", a recording of MASTODON's February 11, 2012 performance at London, England's O2 Academy in Brixton. This sold-out performance was MASTODON's first show at the legendary venue. An audio-only version and a live video version directed by Ryan Mackfall (Crashburn Media) (both featuring the full 97-minute performance) will be available from all digital retailers, including iTunes and Amazon.
In addition to performing "Curl of the Burl", "Black Tongue" and "Dry Bone Valley" from "The Hunter", the band dug into their catalog, unearthing such scorching tracks as "Colony of Birchmen", "Capillarian Crest" and "Iron Tusk".