Published Dec 08, 2016Mastodon are readying a follow-up to 2014's Once More 'Round the Sun, and ahead of its expected arrival next year, drummer Brann Dailor has shed more light on what the four-piece's seventh studio album will touch on thematically.
Speaking with Loudwire, Dailor said that the new record's concept will revolve around cancer, revealing that the disease had affected both his own family and that of guitarist Bill Kelliher in the years since releasing their last record.
Dailor said of the album's concept: "There is a tie, a concept that goes between them. The last couple of years have been not, there's been some illness within the band's family, there's been a bunch cancer, so the whole album is sort of all about cancer basically. Well, not literally. It's a big story that sort roped to go along with it. It takes place in the desert."
Speaking more about the effect the disease has had on the band, Dailor said:
"It brought us together writing wise...Bill's mom was going through cancer and he's kind of far away from her...And my mom's also sick as well and being far away there's not a lot you can do. You know we were done writing anyways, but we kind of needed something to occupy some hours of the day that would've been kind of us sitting there worrying about the situation that you don't really have that much control over."
He continued: "A good way to honour your people is with your art. We just would go down to Bill's basement, we got a little studio down there, and we just kinda riff out and see what we were liking and biting on, and low and behold a bunch of months later we had like 15 great song ideas that got down to somewhere about nine or 10 great pieces.
"Unfortunately, Bill's mom passed away a few months ago, her illness came on kind of quickly, and she had a brain tumour and she didn't last more than eight or nine months."
Elsewhere in the interview, Dailor revealed the forthcoming LP is no longer a double-album as initially reported. "We trimmed it, we got it trimmed down to about an hour...absolutely no filler, all killer as they say."
You can read the complete conversation here.