Chart Attack decided to speak to drummer Brann Dailor recently to discuss the band’s appeal to a non-metal crowd, as well as connecting the dots between MASTODON, Metallica, Nirvana, and Barney the Dinosaur. Check out some extracts from the interview below:
Mastodon has transcended into a more alternative and mainstream avenue than most other metal bands. Why is that?
I have no idea (laughs). I think maybe that the fact that the four members of the band listen to all different kinds of music. And when it comes to writing our own music, we don’t place any limitations on it. So we sort of borrow and lots of different kinds of music find their way in there, having lots of influences shining through, you know? We don’t go down the ropes of “Creature Lives” or something like that and say, “oh we can’t do that because it’s not metal enough.” I think a lot of bands place those limitations on themselves out of fear. I think maybe that has something to do with it? I don’t know why really. I’m not really sure why anybody likes what they like. But I know we really like it and that’s all that we can control.
You went on a few tours with them, what’s the most you’ve learned from Metallica or any other band that you’ve toured with?
They do their live shows awesome, and they really have a great connection with their fans, with their crowd and I feel like they’re what they always preached, you know? When I was a kid I just remember feeling like, ‘Oh those guys look just like my neighbor’ you know? The guy that lives like around the corner, flannel and jeans…. I’ve just enjoyed that about them. You know, heavy metal. I don’t know, they’re just cool dudes.
You recorded in the same studio that Nirvana did Nevermind, and Tom Petty has recorded there as well. What was it like being in that environment?
Oh I loved that. It’s one of the best drum rooms, ever. Unfortunately we were the last drum tracks to be recorded there because they’re closed up now. But it’s hard not to be effected by the building – those musical ghosts that are there, floating around that room, you know? All of these classic records were recorded there. I think it’s important to go do that. Experience that, you know? Be in that room that they haven’t changed since ’68 or something like that. They haven’t changed the floor – I think that the woman who owns the place was telling me that she had years ago threatened to change the flooring of the drum room and Tom Petty said that he’d kill her or something like that.
Two monumental moments happened for you guys recently; Judas Priest AND Barney.
And Danny Elfman!
So three legends in their own right! What was it like meeting each of them? I mean, isn’t the Barney story sort of Spinal Tap-ish in a way?
(Laughs) It was really awesome. It was really funny. Like, I got off the bus and the marquee said: ‘Barney’s Birthday Bash AND Mastodon’. I was like, ‘What the fuck is that?’ (laughs) We asked if we could get a photo with him and we were able to do a meet-and-greet type thing. They came to the show later and helped us sing on stage, not in costume! It was interesting to meet them. Danny Elfman we met in Manhattan, he was there refining some tunes. I’m a big fan, there is a total body of work there, you know? Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, a million movies… Don’t forget Oingo Boingo!
And then we went to Judas Priest on Friday night, which was when we had the night off in New York City and we went over and got to meet Rob Halford [of Judas Priest]! That was awesome, cause I’ve been a big fan for a long time, you know. That was one of the first heavy bands that I first got into. It was a big deal that I got to meet him and he was really nice. Talked for a few minutes, and that’s one of the last idol-bands that I haven’t played shows with. I’d really love for that to happen.
Read the whole thing over on ChartAttack.com by clicking here.
Troy and Bill were interviewed by a Belgian radio station the other day and Troy confirmed that the band will be touring in North America with OPETH and Ghost. What a killer line up! MASTODON are touring in the UK in February and you can find dates and ticket details by pointing your mouse in this direction and heading over to our tour page.