In a recent interview with RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire", MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor was asked about the first time he heard METALLICA's music. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think my entry point to METALLICA was 'Ride The Lightning'. That's where I started with them, and I think it was my cousin Randy who showed me my first METALLICA tape, which was 'Ride The Lightning'. He just gave it to me. And so thanks, cousin Randy, for showing me the way. And, man, the title track, 'Ride The Lightning', that's the one for me. I was already into [JUDAS PRIEST] and [IRON] MAIDEN, and he was, like, 'This is the next step.' So I was, like, 'Okay. Cool.'"
Calling METALLICA's Lars Ulrich "one of my main influences growing up," Brann went on to discuss the impact of the band's mega-selling self-titled album, better known as the "Black Album," which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. He said: "That album solidified them. Any time that they wanna go play at any stadium in the world, they can do it, and it's because of the 'Black Album.' So kudos to them."
Dailor previously singled out Ulrich as one of his musical inspirations during a 2017 chat with the "Let There Be Talk" podcast. He said at the time: "Lars was one of my guys, I love Lars and I love his playing. I don't know why [he is constantly being criticized for him playing ability]. It really bothers me. If someone talks shit about him — I stuck up for him in middle school and I'll stick up for him now.
"I once got in a fight in middle school for him. We went to see METALLICA [on the '…And Justice For All' tour]. QUEENSRŸCHE was opening, and their drummer was Scott Rockenfield — [a] great drummer. The next day, some kid talked smack about Lars: 'Scott Rockenfield's way better. Lars sucks.' I was, like, 'Fuck you!' We got into it, tussled a little bit. I told Lars about it. He was proud of me. [Laughs]"
Dailor is not the only member of MASTODON who has publicly praised METALLICA. Back in 2015, MASTODON bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders told ARTISTdirect: "METALLICA is a giant reason why I picked up the bass and why I'm where I'm at today. [We later supported] them in front of a hundred thousand people at Wembley Stadium. That was magnificent. If you flashback and told 13-year-old Troy this information, my head would've exploded."
MASTODON's new album, "Hushed And Grim", was released on October 29. The follow-up to 2017's "Emperor Of Sand" was recorded at West End Sound, which is located inside of Ember City, the rehearsal facility that members of MASTODON manage in Atlanta. Helming the effort was Grammy-winning producer/mixer/engineer David Bottrill, who has previously worked with MUSE, DREAM THEATER and TOOL, among many others.