Mastodon reach new levels of heavy on 'Emperor Of Sand'

Mastodon's Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor discuss their latest album, 'Emperor Of Sand,' how bands like ABBA and Neurosis brought them together, and life on the road
  • Mastodon perform Jimmy Kimmel Live
    Photo: Randy Holmes/Getty Images
    Mastodon perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live
April 21, 2017 -- 10:00 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

For a band with such dark thematic imagery, serious metal pedigree and crushing sonic heft, Mastodon sure can ham it up. One look at the music video for "Show Yourself," the lead single from their new album, Emperor Of Sand, will make their knack for comedy abundantly clear. However, one listen to the album will remind you that, musically at least, they're not messing around.

Mastodon's conceptually heavy Emperor of Sand follows 2014's Once More 'Round The Sun, which spawned a Best Metal Performance GRAMMY nomination for the song "High Road." Despite the band's jovial nature, the spirit and gravity of their new album was shaped largely by tragedy that touched their lives.

"Some of the closest people to us were in the middle of some battles with cancer and some heavy-duty illness," said drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. "If we were open and honest with everyone about what the record was about, then we knew that it could maybe have a positive impact with someone else."

In this exclusive interview, Dailor and bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders talk about channeling personal pain and loss into artistic expression on Emperor Of Sand, how their common affinity and respect for Bay Area legends Neurosis brought them together, and what they enjoy most about the whirlwind of a new album-tour cycle.

Mastodon itching to take 'Emperor Of Sand' on tour

In this exclusive interview, Mastodon drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor and bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders talk about channeling personal pain and loss into artistic expression on their new album, Emperor Of Sand, how their common affinity for bands like ABBA, Neurosis and ZZ Top brought them together, and why they're looking forward to taking their new songs on the road.

Want more metal? Watch Megadeth win Best Metal Performance for "Dystopia"

Mastodon, more artists share tips for alleviating stress

Email Newsletter