MASTODON singer/bassist Troy Sanders spoke to Rapture Radio about the band's recently launched North American tour with OPETH and ZEAL & ARDOR. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're at the beginning of it. The first couple of shows have been fantastic. And it's that reminder, after a couple of years break, that being in front of actual people performing live music that most of them seem to be enjoying is what I like to call the magic about that live experience. So, it's fantastic, and I just hope it continues. We're just kind of going day by day and trying to do the right thing and keep it moving. So far so good."
Asked what he and his bandmates have to do differently this time around in order to stay safe while touring during the pandemic, Troy said: "To take the right steps, you do what you can, which is all the touring personnel, all the crew guys, the band guys, the drivers, you're just gonna have to kind of scale back your extracurricular activities. On days off, it's fun to walk around malls and go visit record shops and music stores and whatever any person wants to do. So if you can, scale that back and just do outdoor stuff. Basically, we're just trying to not have someone catch this thing and spread it throughout the tour and then we cancel and we go home and we lose thousands of dollars. So if you can kind of curb your personal stuff… It's a little less fun, but in the grand scheme here, we're just trying to have successful rock shows. So we're just gonna try to scale back the fun time — the hanging out with the friends and families in each state and going to bars and having a good time, stuff like that. You have to kind of scale back in order to reduce the risk, I guess. But I don't think this is gonna last forever."
MASTODON's latest album, "Hushed And Grim", came out 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.
The "Hushed And Grim" artwork was created by longtime MASTODON collaborator Paul Romano, who also designed the sleeves for "Crack The Skye", "Blood Mountain", "Leviathan" and more.
"Hushed And Grim"'s lead single, "Pushing The Tides", is one of five songs which were nominated for a "Best Metal Performance" Grammy Award. The winner will be announced during the 64th Grammy ceremony on January 31, 2022 at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in Los Angeles, California.
"Emperor Of Sand" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That LP 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."