Mastodon has revealed they are halfway through mixing their new album, with guitarist Bill Kelliher saying the album is expected to be released sometime this upcoming fall. The band is working with Tool’s producer David Bottrill on the album, which will act as the follow-up to 2017’s Emperor Of Sand.
Kelliher revealed how the album is nearly finished during an interview with Talking Metal, saying “[Bottrill will] mix a song every couple of days, nad he’ll send it over to us in Dropbox. And we all listen to it. I go listen to it in the car, I listen to it in my studio, I listen to it on all kinds of different speakers to make sure that all the things and details that I wanna hear are there. And we just kind of give him pointers and notes, like, ‘Hey, the snare needs a little more treble in this part,’ or, ‘I wanna hear the kick drum more right here,’ ‘Turn down the vocals in this chorus.’ And he’ll be like, ‘Okay.’ He’ll get all the notes in Dropbox.”
Of the album’s release, Kelliher explained that he had hoped the album would be available sometime during the summer, however the tentative release date will be around September or October. Back in November, the band also hinted that if the pandemic continues, they may begin recording a second album.
During an interview with mxdwn last September, the band’s Troy Sanders said of the upcoming album and how it will compare to Emperor Of Sand, “We had a very dark environment within our band during the making of Emperor of Sand, and I enjoyed and appreciated the challenge of channeling that dark energy in attempts to create something beautiful that would live forever – you know, that kind of attitude. That’s the same attitude I have now, so at least from the perspective of songcraft we are very driven to make something beautiful and hopefully very moving. And hopefully will touch a lot of our fans and a lot of people around the world, and touch them in a positive way.”
Speaking on how the pandemic affected the recording process, Sanders said, “it’s allowed us to spend more time to work on new ideas and kind of honing in. There is something to be said for going into the studio and having spontaneous moments where you create something. A lot of cool magic happens in the studio. But for us if the majority of the material has already been sussed out or hashed out nearly in a nearly full form of a song, then we’re more prepared and we don’t waste too much time or energy or money. This whole shutdown situation has allowed us to spend more time rearranging songs.”
Mastodon released Medium Rarities, a compilation of previously unreleased tracks. Included in the compilation was the single “Fallen Torches,” which had originally been slated for a release in 2019, but was postponed as the band worked on a tribute to their late manager, Nick John.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz