Mastodon were making significant progress on their highly anticipated new album, until the coronavirus pandemic delayed production. In a new interview, guitarist Bill Kelliher revealed the metal band had laid down 20 rough songs when the recording process came to a halt.
“We were kind of right in the middle of it and we had about, I don’t know, 20 rough songs recorded right before this [pandemic] hit. And it just totally put the brakes on it,” Kelliher told RocknRoll Beer Guy.
However, it appears the band feels like it’s safe enough to reconvene and continue work on the new record. “I’m actually leaving tomorrow for Atlanta,” added Kelliher. “We’re gonna get back together and have our first kinda… try to get back into finishing a few things that we started and seeing where we get.”
The guitarist also revealed that the band has written a new song to be featured in the upcoming movie Bill & Ted Face the Music.
“We got asked, like a couple months ago, to be a part of the new Bill & Ted movie, to put a song in there,” disclosed Kelliher. “So we wrote a song to be in that movie which we’re kinda of wrapping up now. It’s pretty fun.”
As for the upcoming album, Kelliher said it is “not as notey” as 2017’s Emperor of Sand, with a “Neurosis heaviness” and “a lot of vocal harmonies.”
He continued, “The vocals are kind of like an ‘Asleep in the Deep’-style, kind of Radiohead-ish almost, real melodic. Just a lot of vocal harmonies. When I think back about it, even though we’ve got like 20-25 songs, we still don’t have all of Brent [Hinds’] songs in there yet. And there’s still a lot of time for that stuff to change and to morph into other stuff.”
Kelliher’s comments corroborate drummer Brann Dailor’s previous claim that Mastodon had “too much material” for the new album.
In the meantime, singer-bassist Troy Sanders has made guest appearances on tracks by Kvelertak and Moon Destroys, and guitarist-singer Hinds appears on the new project from Behemoth’s Nergal, Me and That Man.
Listen to the full interview with Kelliher below.