Published Aug 13, 2020Mastodon will collect covers, soundtrack contributions, B-sides and more on their Medium Rarities compilation next month, but the band have also been at work on a new studio album in tandem. Now, drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor has offered up more details on how it's taking shape.
Asked by Revolver about how a follow-up to 2017's Emperor of Sand is progressing, Dailor admitted, "We have too much material at the moment. We have enough for probably a couple of albums, so that's good. But also we need to focus now. We're at the point where we're ready to go in and do it for real, I think. We just started jamming the new stuff as if we were gonna go in and do it, so that's where we're at."
Dailor added that the band don't exactly have a double-album on deck. "We'll narrow it down," he said of their trove of recordings. "We'll probably do 45 to 50 minutes of new stuff and pick the cream of the crop, the stuff we're all gravitating towards. There's gonna be some hard decisions because I think we're liking more than what we need for an album. And we don't wanna do a double album. It doesn't make sense to do that, currently. I don't know why, but I feel like those types of records can get kinda chubby. We want a svelte Mastodon album. [Laughs]"
Asked about the lyrical direction of the new material, Dailor explained that the passing of longtime manager Nick John remains front of mind. John, who also managed French metallers Gojira, died in 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Of course, it's going to be a fantastical representation to mask the true emotion of the situation," the vocalist/drummer clarified. "But it's probably going to be Nick John-centric because that was our guy and we lost him and he deserves nothing less than an album's worth of material that's centered around his passing. That was a huge blow to us. We lost one of our favourite human beings, and it just came out of nowhere. It really sucks. So that's what we're thinking about — plus all this shit that's happening now. It's the craziest time that we've experienced as human beings, so how are you not gonna reflect that in what you're creating artistically? It would be impossible to sidestep it. It's going to be about going insane in your fucking house."
Medium Rarities will arrive September 11 through Reprise. The album will feature the band's musical contribution to Bill & Ted Face the Music.