Mastodon - Listen to Mastodon with your clothes off!!
I consider it a great honour to interview the best newcomer in metal since a decade or so, so I was quite happy that I got to do chat with these guys a bit. Walking around backstage in Ahoy, seeing people like Tom Araya, Kerry King and Corey Taylor walk by like it’s the most normal thing in the world. The interview was supposed to be with Bill(guitar), But I got Brent(guitar) and Troy(bass). Let us begin.
DD: How do you feel about being called the second coming of Metallica and Rush combined?
Troy: That’s a really nice compliment MTV gave us.
DD: How would you best describe your music?
Brent: Progressive metal, progressive rock
Troy: Progressive, eclectic, underground, organic creature rock.
DD: Creature rock? If you had to name it in one word it would be creature rock?
Brent: Artcore… stuff like that… There is all kinds of ways you can describe it.
Troy: Creature rock is good, Creature core perhaps. We’re really into creature core music.
Brent: No, whalephant music.
Troy: Yeah, part whale, part elephant, whalephant. Whalephant core.
DD: Hehe, what does Mastodon mean to you?
Troy: Mastodon means the best band in the world!!! Oh, sorry…
I think we named our band Mastodon because basically it’s a big prehistoric creature that’s heavy, furry, ancient, a behemoth that would troll this entire world. And that’s kind of where we feel our music is. So Brent was like, Mastodon, like yeah Mastodon, cool. So were called Mastodon. I think that’s what it means to us.
DD: So what’s the connection between Mastodon and Moby Dick?
Troy: Moby Dick is the salt-sea mastodon.
Brent: Sea-salt mastodon.
Troy: Sea-salt mastodon yeah, he’s the underwater version of the mammoth. They reference that in the book, so, sea-salt mastodon, whales, whales are huge, prehistoric even.
Brent: Anything big…
Troy: Anything big, enormous mammoth-size, goliath creature we like, we are gonna write a song about.
DD: So what animal are you going to relate to on the next album?
Troy: Head lice, you know, little bugs that fall out of your hair while your eating, hehe. More meat!
Brent: I was thinking today, about the sky and stuff. It just goes on forever. Maybe something about the sky and the universe or something, maybe go in that direction.
Troj: That’s good because that will tap into sci-fi. Whooo, weird man, that was what I was thinking, the other day when it was night we were driving, it was clear, I could see galaxies, you know, there’s galaxies within galaxies, shit goes on, you can’t even imagine how fucking huge this existence is. That was what I was thinking.
DD: So it’s gonna be something like the sky is not the limit?
Troy: Yeah, sounds good.
Brent: Good analogy yeah, the sky is not the limit. The sky is unlimited
Troy: We’re getting somewhere!!
Brent: I like it!!!
Then Troy freaks out a little bit, clapping his hands and acting idiotic…
Troy: Yeah, I like the coffee too, wheeeejooeeewaaaw!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is my third espresso.
DD: Third? What if you have to shit when you’re on stage?
Troy: I’ll be shitting in about five minutes. Right after this is over I’ll have a cigarette an just psshtt!!
DD: Haha! This question was actually for Bill, but maybe you can answer it. How Bill’s and Brann’s relationship with their former bands Today Is The Day and Lethargy?
Brent: I think they are still friends.
DD: Not doing stuff together anymore?
Troj: Eric Burke is playing in a band named Solloco, the old guitar player from Lethargy, I don’t know what Today Is The Day is doing.
Brent: They’re playing, still doing their thing.
Troj: Still doing their thing, shooting guns and stuff.
DD: Do you think that after on EP and two full length albums, Holland is ready for Mastodon opening up for Slayer and Slipknot?
Brent: All the shows we played so far, in Scandinavia and the UK, the crowd went fucking apeshit. So yeah, I think it’s about time. The only place so far was in Helsinki, Finland, where the crowd didn’t go completely apeshit, you know like waaaah, like a Rage Against The Machine video.
Troj: Yeah I think it’s fresh for people. They’re not bringing out a band like Godsmack to open up you know.
Brent: Godsmack’s on tour with fucking Metallica, that’s horrible!!! Those guys need to fucking stop!
Troj: But I think people are digging it, cause most people don’t know who we are, after two songs, they know who we are and usually we win their appreciation. I think we are expanding people’s minds too, and I mean that in a good way. You know, not a cocky way.
Then follows a short discussion about how Brent likes Slipknot’s show better than their music, but is beginning to like the songs more and more since he hears them every night. And about how cool they are to tour with, but enough about that, back to Mastodon!
DD: You’ve been dubbed the most promising band within metal since a decade or so, do you think that you’ll be able to live up to that within the next couple of years?
Troj: Sure, I mean that’s not up to us. We just write our music, write our lyrics, we tour and bring music to the people and then people give us super duper compliments you know. So you just say wow thank you that’s a very nice thing to say and you just keep on going, otherwise you fucking head will blow up. Once you start thinking that you’re the shit you’ll seize to become the shit. So you just have to take a nice compliment and keep on moving. If you stop and go, wow yeah I’m awesome, you’ll eventually blow up.
Brent: Yeah, I like our band a lot, but I don’t think were fucking best. I personally think that the Melvins are the best, that’s just my opinion.
DD: Did you expect any of this when you started playing?
Troj: I didn’t expect it personally, but I always wanted it. That’s why we do it. There’s like this weird part down inside that says we gotta keep travelling and play music and writing songs and lyrics, it’s like the whole rock ‘n roll thing. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw Gene Simmons on MTV twenty years ago. I was like, wow I wanna be in a band!
Brent: Yeah I saw The Who on MTV wand I was like bzzksshtt!!!
Troj: But in the back of your mind you know you want to be there, but you know that the chances are one in a million. So you don’t expect to.
Brent: And we’re so used to not being on this level that every minute surprises us, because we’ve never been on this level.
DD: Yeah I’m glad I got to do this interview now, because in a couple of years…
Brent: In a couple of years we’ll still be the same dudes.
DD: Yeah you’ll still be the same dudes, but the record company will deny our requisition.
Brent: It’ll be up to us what we want to do. We’ll tell the record company and the management what to do, they work for us. Not the other way around. As soon as you start thinking that you’re working for them, that’s fucked up.
DD: I don’t think you’re working for them, I’m just saying that they arrange the press and stuff.
Brent: Well basically any publicity is good publicity, bad or good, web- or magazine or anything, we’re glad that people want to get inside our heads a little bit, because it’s good exposure.
DD: Are any of you guys involved in side-projects or have the intention to do so?
Brent: Oh yeah I play in a band called Fiend Without a Face, like a psychosurf rock band. A bit like PCP. I also play in another band called The Blood Vessels, a rock ‘n roll Thin Lizzy rock ‘n roll thing. And then I play in another band called The West Inn Motel which is just me and another band, like he sings and I sing and play acoustic guitar. Kind of like Tom Waits, Nick Cave type of music. And I do that every chance I get when I get back home. I call those guys up and say hey let’s play music.
DD: Wow, four bands! How about you Troj?
Troj: No I just do Mastodon.
Brent: You play in Social Infestation!?!
Troy: Yeah but we never play. Not anymore.
Brent: Yeah but you’re in the band right?
Troy: Yeah. I have a grindcore band. But we haven’t played for like ten months because we are on tour for ten months. So I’m still in the band, but it isn’t active at the moment.
DD: Okay, where do you guys get inspiration from, making music in a genre where almost everything has been done before?
Brent: I get inspiration by sitting by my self and being inspired by loved ones and things that I really like, like my animals…
DD: What kind of animals do you have?
Brent: I have three cats and two dogs and they’re awesome.
DD: No violence between them?
Brent: No no, they’re cool, totally cool. Also I try to impress my friends by writing awesome music. I don’t always want to come up with something that I know, because I listen to music all the time right. And I listen to all kinds of music and I always wanna come up with something that I think is original. It’s not easy to do, but it can be done. And the rest of the band thinks the same way, so, to answer your question that the avenue where trying to take to be able to get that job done you know.
DD: Would you rather do this tour or a own headlining tour, what your supposed to do right now?
Brent: I rather do this tour because…
Troy: …we can do our own headlining tour anytime we want to.
Brent: Just wait until you see the crowd tonight, It’s like an explosive feeling, it makes you feel awesome. When we do an own headlining tour, the crowd will be great to, but it’s a smaller crowd in a smaller club. And the people that work here, that are doing the sound engineering, they’re fucking pro’s man. They’ve been doing it for like twenty-something years or so, they make it sound so good on stage, you can hear everything, which is really rare. In smaller clubs like in Scandinavia the fucking guy doesn’t know what I’m saying when I ask if he can turn the guitar volume up a bit. He’ll be like atjebe tjate ete and I’ll be like yeah whatever.
Troy: We’ll do a headlining tour some point, we’re supposed to do our headlinig tour right now, but then Slipknot asked us on tour, so we said yeah! So we’ll do one of course, It’s just a matter of when the time is right.
DD: Any remarks or something to add to the interview that everybody should know about Mastodon?
Troy: Listen to our music, if you can find it. Buy it. I think people appreciate our music, I don’t know. Don’t take a shower! Wear clothes with holes in them. Drink beer. Take your clothes off! Listen to Mastodon with your clothes off.
Troy: Yeah, because we recorded it with our clothes off. We recorded the album fucking naked!
Brent: Some if it.
DD: Why was that?
Both at once: Jack Daniels!!!
At that was the end of yet another strange interview I got to do. Thanks guys
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