Mastodon are a musical enigma that has always walked a fine line as a metal band.
Fine in respect that some of their music almost has that universal crossover appeal that threatens to break into the hallowed world of mainstream music while still maintaining a chaotic level of disdain.
Not that they make a concerted effort to connect with the music going public that generally gravitate in the opposite direction to musicians of their ilk. It’s more the fact that to each of the four members creating music is a blessing that is constrained only by the limitations you place upon it.
And in the case of Mastodon those limits are non-existent.
Their most recent album Emperor of Sand saw Mastodon break musical barriers by featuring in the almost exclusive Billboard charts, while the band were recognized for their efforts with a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance off the back of the album’s success.
Despite the accolades and industry acceptance, not once did anyone dare accuse Mastodon of selling out.
Not that it would have bothered them if anyone had.
Now, four years later, Mastodon have outdone themselves once more with their new – and first – double album Hushed And Grim which will be out this Friday, October 29.
Bassist and vocalist Troy Sanders sat down with HEAVY recently to introduce us to yet another chapter in the rise of Mastodon.
“We thankfully had more music than we’ve ever had before going into a recording session, and we were able to use the year 2020 to our advantage,” he said. “All four of us were really excited to work on all these new ideas that we had collected, and it was a good time to do so because all four of us were getting a lot of new ideas and all four of us were writing and collaborating with one another. We were just excited to keep moving forward and not letting the idea that all the touring across the world had just shut down. Having a year to work on loads and loads of music wound up to the idea we’re doing a double album. Is that a good idea or a bad idea? (laughs). So here we are, and it’s about to come out to the world. The four of us are proud of it, and that’s all that we have in our control.”
In the full interview, Troy talks through the reasons behind releasing it as a double album, the musical direction of the material, finding the balance of genres within their music, the album cover and how it relates, the band’s recent Livestream show from an aquarium, the personal nature of Hushed And Grim and who the album is dedicated to, touring plans and more.