Mastodon Guitarist on the New Record: 'There's a Lot of Rock Going On'

Bill Kelliher reveals Alice in Chains and Deftones influences on the group's upcoming studio effort.

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As the new Mastodon album is cooking up for the tentative spring release, axeman Bill Kelliher took some time to discuss the sound of "The Hunter" follow-up.

During a chat with Metalholic, Kelliher revealed a few interesting influences, including the Seattle rock icons Alice in Chains and nu metal veterans Deftones.

"I don't know how to describe it," the guitarist started. "We're always trying to surprise ourselves and write something that's new and fresh. It's definitely got the elements of 'The Hunter' in there, but also [of] 'Remission' and some heavier stuff. There's a lot of different influences, from Alice in Chains to Deftones. There's a lot of rock going on."

In a separate interview with Loudwire, drummer Brann Dailor also discussed the new studio effort, commenting that he feels "the pillars are in place."

"The foliage is starting to come up and grow around the pillars, fill those pillars out with ivy, kudzu and different flowers and all sorts of strange plants," the stickman said. "Prehistoric plants. Thats good. Its green and brown. Starting to get good, I think."

Dailor continued, saying, "It's all over the place. There's some heavy hitters and there's some - we just really love to be surprised ourselves. If we're surprised then we know you'll be surprised. We just look around for that. Almost like wandering through the woods looking for I don't know, looking for something.

"I don't know what it is but you see it and go, 'OK cool.' So, we don't really have too much control over what it sounds like. We want to, we try to control it but it governs itself at some point as it starts to take shape, almost as if something else is forcing it, make it. I like that."

The drummer also announced that the four-piece will likely enter the studio a few weeks after wrapping up the current tour in mid-August, confirming his previous statements of the band looking to hit the studio in September.

"The Hunter," the latest album from Mastodon, saw it's release in September 2011 via Reprise/Roadrunner Records as the sixth record in the band's opus. After debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, it went on to sell over 75,000 copies in the US.

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16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Looking forward to it. These guys can deliver consistently top-notch records. And even live they're getting better at singing.
    I saw them live not long after Crack the Skye came out, and I've gotta say that they royally sucked on vocals. Everything else was spot on, and the sound guy or someone obviously drowned out the vocals with the other instruments less than a minute into "Oblivion"
    Good interview, I hope there's an epic 10+ minute track on the next record, Hearts Alive is one of my favorite songs. And great to hear more vocals by Brann. Mastodon can do no wrong, no matter what direction they go in! \m/
    They could do a county western styled rock/rap album and I would buy the absolute pants off of it.
    Mastodon hasn't done much wrong since I first heard of 'em. Even "The Hunter" was pretty awesome, so I look forward to this.
    Anyone else pissed their monsters university submission was a 3 second fading Island.
    I'm really looking forward to this album. I loved every album they've brought out up til now so I have really high hopes for this one. (please let it be a double album please let it be a double album) I don't know why but Bill is the only member of Mastodon whose name I can never remember. I always think of Brann Dailor, Troy Sanders, and Brent Hinds but never Bill Kelliher.
    I can imagine why he'd mention Alice In Chains. If you listen to the vocal harmonies there are definitely some resemblances Funnily enough Alice's previous record kinda reminded me a weeee bit of Mastodon, probably because it didn't really resemble any of the old AIC material but sounded more modern. And when I started thinking of bands that are currently at the forefront of modern rock/metal and might have acted as a possible influence I immediately went "Mastodon!!!"
    Looking forward to this, I hope they improve vocals though. Otherwise they always deliver, they're the future of metal along with A7X and Trivium IMO.