Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON have entered the studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS) to begin recording their new album for a 2014 release.
Speaking to ARTISTdirect.com, MASTODON singer and bassist Troy Sanders was asked if the band's new material picks up where "The Hunter" left off or if the group is "on a whole new trip." "I think, to a degree, it picks up where we left off," he said.
"As always, nothing was really pre-determined and spoken of beforehand, like, 'Okay guys, we need to write a lot of long epic songs and a lot of short sweet songs. We need to have a couple of slow ones.' Nothing like that was predetermined verbally amongst the four of us. We go in there and we kind of pick up on whatever comes through Brent [Hinds] and Bill's [Kelliher] fingers and their guitars and build and build.
"I guess it's going to be more of a continuation of where we left off with 'The Hunter'. Hopefully, it's just a collection of good MASTODON rock 'n' roll songs. That's where it's headed."
Regarding how much the bond between the bandmembers serves as a catalyst for creating new music moving forward, Troy said: "There's a lot of trust and faith in one another. Let's say I could be doing some bass tracks in the studio and those guys don't even have to be there because they trust me to do my part. I trust them to do their parts individually.
"Most of the time, we're all together, giving pointers, and saying, 'This might sound better. Try this.' We have a lot of good teamwork still. The same four dudes have been together for fourteen years. There's something to be said about that chemistry and the continuity of that. It's very unique.
"I think the tightness comes from constantly playing live shows. That's where it really comes through — the repetition of playing our set night after night."
Asked what it's been like working with Raskulinecz on the new album, Kelliher told Metal Hammer magazine: "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".