Mastodon Album Update: 'It Sounds More Polished and Professional, We're Grown-Ups'

"There's some crazy mathy stuff going on, intricateness," guitarist Bill Kelliher adds.

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Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher gave an update on the band's upcoming studio effort, confirming a more mature approach along with some "crazy mathy stuff."

Chatting with Soundwave TV, Bill noted that the group had significantly grown since the early days, resulting in better recording conditions and hopefully better music. "Now we have, I don't wanna say it's like, a polished record, because that usually implies it's something really overproduced and I don't think it is."

Adding that producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, QOTSA, Deftones, Rush) went for a more raw vibe, the guitarist noted, "It just sound more polished and professional because we're grown-ups, I'm a grown-up man now [chuckles]."

Discussing the new material's sound, Kelliher said, "We really worked super hard at kind of keeping it simple, [but] there is some crazy mathy kind of stuff going on, intricateness." Focusing on some of the surprising elements, Bill brought up the matter of a few "happy" riffs finding their way on the record.

"I was playing the riff for [drummer Brann Dailor] and he was like, 'It sounds really happy. Not it a bad way, but it just sounds really happy.' He was like, 'Are we happy now?' [laughs] I was like, 'I don't know, I guess I was happy when I wrote this riff.'"

"The Hunter" follow-up is tentatively due this summer. In related news, the band hinted following the new album with a gloomy winter EP. More info here.

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17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Im so excited for this new album. Having been a fan since remission and hearing the transition and evolution of this band has been so great. It feels like I've been along for the ride. Man I love these guys and their music...
    Man, I have alot of faith in these guys but I swear whenever a band says the words "we really kept it simple on this album" it's like a kiss of death. To me that usually spells BORING. Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan and I am still massively pumped for this album but I absolutely dread hearing those words.
    while I understand your reservations, when Mastodon says some "crazy mathy stuff" I automatically assume guitar-porn. These guys make time signatures their prison-b!#ch, and you know they're heavy. Boring is never something I would use to describe these guys.
    Yea I'm not really that worried, up until now everything they've said about their new material has been giving me Mastohardons
    Mmmm "kept it simple" does raise a couple red flags. The Hunter was not their strongest effort - I felt like they took their foot off the gas. More BM/CTS please.
    I agree with you on that one. I'm hoping it was a bit of a hangover from writing an album like CTS and we'll see a return to form.
    "Kept it simple", "party music" (or something like that)...I really want this to be amazing but it's starting to get a little scary.
    I'm as excited as anyone, but I'd love to hear a teaser at least. Talk is cheap.
    Agreed, although Mastodon have never been about idle boasting like some other artists - they always deliver.
    Great interview! I think this record is going to sell very well. I'm certainly buying it day one.
    I don't hope professional means that it's a loud wall of sound, i hope it means that it has a dynamic sound with low lows and high highs. Songwriting wise i think they are safe, i like almost anything they've done so far, but the production and mixing worries me, that's always something that can make or break a record for me, i hope for the best and look forward to the first soundbites.
    If you watch the interview he says that it's simple recording with no layering. Just two panned guitars and the bass in the middle.
    I don't get it when bands say things like this. Leviathan is a ****ing classic and is still better than anything else they've done. I love all there albums, but lets be real here, they've gone away from the heavier side of metal, just like most bands do. I happen to like the raw sound of the past.
    Second Rate
    The use of the phrases "grown-up" and "keeping it simple" causes me some concern. If there's anything that the history of other once good metal bands has taught we followers of the genre, it's that the words "grown-up" and "mature" usually translate to "this album is going to be oversimplified, boring, pandering to the lowest common denominator." As far as them "keeping it simple," I hope that is referring to their approach to recording and not their approach to arrangements/writing on this next album. The Hunter was already oversimplified (and a poor album, I thought). If they make things any more simple, the whole album may as well be them clacking rocks together for 45 minutes.