Prior to MASTODON's performance at the recent Rock USA festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, drummer Brann Dailor spoke with BallZach of the Appleton, Wisconsin radio station Razor 94.7 104.7. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the fact that the group's celebrated fourth album "Crack The Skye" is now 10 years old:
Brann: "I pretty much have just come to terms [with the fact] that the '90s wasn't, like, recently. It's insane. Time flies when you're having fun, and boy, isn't being in a rock n' roll band fun? It's been a flash, and it's been pretty great."
On the recurring theme of mortality in the group's music:
Brann: "We're a good band that reminds people that they're going to die. [Laughs] There are certain people that unfortunately we've lost along the way that we make a point to sort of honor them in our art — like, immortalize them... A lot of it, it's kind of unavoidable sometimes when it's something that's really fresh that's just happened, and you're in there writing music. Those things that you're going through are going to be — that's what the riffs are going to be about, so that's what the lyrics need to be about too. If you start to try to write about something else, you're just lying to yourself and lying to the people that are listening. We feel like, especially if it's a fresh wound, it's definitely going to spill into the music and into the lyrics."
On the advice he'd give to those struggling with mental health issues:
Brann: "Music has helped all of us that are really into music. I think that it can be definitely healing and it can be super cathartic, and get you through that [struggle]. If you feel like you're on the edge of potentially doing something dangerous to yourself, put your favorite song on. Dig out that album first and foremost, and sink yourself into it. It's okay to feel bad feelings. It's okay to be depressed, but it's how you work through it. I know just as well as anybody else how devastating it is when someone decides to check out early. The damage that it does is insurmountable. People do love you, and they want you to be around, and if you do that horrible thing, it's definitely going to hurt a lot of people. It's much better with you here."
On the group's future plans:
Brann: "We have a song that we wrote, and we recorded it. We have done so much touring — for [2017's] 'Emperor [Of Sand]', and then we did this 'Crack The Skye' [anniversary] tour with COHEED [AND CAMBRIA] that we just got off of, and then we just had, like, a week and a half or two weeks in between, and then these two festivals — but this is it. We have one festival in October, but we have a couple months [off now], and 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."
MASTODON's next album — the band's eighth — will serve as the follow-up to "Emperor Of Sand", which 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."