MASTODON drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor spoke to Revolver about the progress of the songwriting sessions for 2017's "Emperor Of Sand" album. He said: "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."
He continued: "We'll narrow it down. 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]"
Regarding the lyrical themes covered in the new MASTODON material, Brann said: "As far as the subject matter is concerned, it's gonna be about [MASTODON's late manager] Nick John after everything's said and done. Of course, it's going to be a fantastical representation to mask the true emotion of the situation, 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 favorite 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."
MASTODON will release a rarities collection titled "Medium Rarities" on September 11. The compilation includes one brand new song, "Fallen Torches" (featuring a guest appearance by NEUROSIS's Scott Kelly), along with a bevy of classic covers, soundtrack contributions, instrumentals, B-sides, and live recordings on one complete package for the very first time.
"Emperor Of Sand" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That album 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."
Earlier in the year, MASTODON wrote and recorded a new song for inclusion in the upcoming "Bill & Ted Face The Music" movie.
"Bill & Ted Face The Music", which reunites Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in the title roles for the first time since 1991's "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey", is scheduled for a September 1 release.