Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON have been " sifting through ideas" for their next album, according to bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. The follow-up to 2017's "Emperor Of Sand" will mark MASTODON's first release since the death of longtime manager Nick John and the passing of tour manager Bob Dallas.
"Artistically, we usually respond well to tragedy," Troy told Kerrang! "It's all part of life. It's going to happen one way or the other. The four of us are brutally thankful that we have MASTODON to channel that energy through, to find something beautiful and to create something that lasts forever."
Asked if MASTODON is actively making new music, Troy said: "We're constantly creating. When we're out on tour, we're always coming up with lyrics, riffs or half-songs on voice notes and the Pro Tools rig we take out with us.
"The long touring process for 'Emperor Of Sand' ended in July, and we all took a couple of months off. Then we all started calling each other with the itch. Through November, we've been in Atlanta sifting through ideas. We're always moving forward."
This past August, drummer Brann Dailor told the Razor 94.7 104.7 radio station that he and his bandmates were looking forward to making some new music after spending most of the last couple of years touring in support of "Emperor Of Sand".
"We have a [new] song that we wrote, and we recorded it," he said. "We have done so much touring — for 'Emperor', and then we did this 'Crack The Skye' [anniversary] tour with COHEED [AND CAMBRIA], and then [a couple of] festivals… We're kind of chomping at the bit to get in there and put together some of the ideas that have been swirling around. There's lots of riffs; there's lots of material. There's too much material, so we need to get in there and start chipping away at that giant hunk of granite and hopefully produce a beautiful sculpture for all to see."
"Emperor Of Sand" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That album was nominated for the 2018 Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album," and its opening track, "Sultan's Curse", won the Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance."