Mastodon are set to release their new compilation Medium Rarities, containing tracks from throughout their career. In addition, the metal heroes are gearing up to record their proper follow-up to 2017’s Emperor of Sand.
Drummer-vocalist Brann Dailor checked in with Heavy Consequence over Zoom to discuss Medium Rarities, as well as the band’s upcoming studio LP and how the pandemic has affected Mastodon.
Originally, Mastodon had hoped to record a new album in 2019, but put those plans on hold when they hit the road to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their landmark album Crack the Skye. The band then made some good headway in the studio at the beginning of 2020 but were derailed due to the pandemic.
As Dailor tells us, Mastodon have no shortage of material as they prepare to hit the studio to record their eighth album. “Fortunately, or unfortunately, we’ve added to the pile, so now there’s like 30 or 35 songs…. We’re really zeroing in on the stuff that’s definitely gonna make the album.”
He goes on to say the band pretty much has two albums’ worth of new material. “Maybe it goes on the next album after this one,” Dailor ponders. “I feel like we have one in the chamber … Scott [Kelly] from Neurosis once said, ‘It’s never good to have one in the chamber,’ as far as an album is concerned … but maybe it’s okay. We’ve always had riffs in the chamber.”
Dailor also goes on to talk about the central themes of the new album, and how the passing of their longtime manager Nick John will have an influence on the forthcoming LP.
As far as Medium Rarities is concerned, Dailor admits, “I wasn’t sure about it at first,” but then adds, “It’s kind of an interesting listen. We’ve been a band for 20 years, so it’s kind of cool to hear that stuff altogether.”
In addition to the new track “Fallen Torches”, the compilation includes such tracks as “Cut You Up with a Linoleum Life” (from Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and “White Walker” (from Game of Thrones), plus covers of songs by Metallica, The Flaming Lips, and Feist, among other rarities.
Dailor also reflects on the band’s formation 20 years ago, and his initial interactions with his bandmates, including witnessing guitarist Brent Hinds’ unpredictable behavior right from the get-go.
Watch our video interview with Brann Dailor in the video above, and pick up the new compilation Medium Rarities here.
Trouble viewing the video above? Watch on YouTube.