Now that the guys have plenty of free time, with no touring on the horizon, Mastodon plan to hunker down and record their new album, likely entering the studio next month.
Bill Kelliher made the revelation to our friends at MetalSucks. He explained the band are ready to go when asked if the Atlanta quartet would begin recording their album next month. “That’s the idea. Yeah, we don’t have an exact date. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air right now, but that’s the idea. We’d like to start recording ASAP. Let’s do it when we want to do it, let’s do it at our own place where we feel comfortable and don’t have to travel anywhere to shack up in a hotel for a month or two when we’re recording. Just being comfortable is the key word.”
Kelliher also revealed they will most likely be working with a new producer on the album, to get a "fresh set of ears" on their material. They have been self-producing the demos so far. Kelliher notes this will be the first time the band will record in their own, self-built studio.
The Mastodon guitarist said it just made economic sense to build their own studio rather than pay thousands of dollars a day to rent one. “I always wanted to build a studio. I’ve built a few studios. I have a small one in my basement, which is basically a huge soundproof room with a control room, live room, stuff like that; very small. But just for me, ’cause I like to diddle with ProTools and [I’m] just demoing constantly.
“A couple years ago I had the chance to get a partner who’s an engineer and actually build a proper studio that we could turn into a business. That place is called West End Sound and that’s inside of Ember City, which is our rehearsal facility that we manage. We have a lot of bands in there that rehearse. So I was able to build that out a couple years ago and make it into a place where we could actually record our records. I just felt like, when I bought the rehearsal facility — it wasn’t a rehearsal facility until I built it out — but it was like, why am I paying somebody a thousand bucks a month to rent from them when we could pool our money together and get a loan from the bank and buy a building and turn it into the same thing? And then we’re just paying ourselves. So that’s what we did.
“And then I thought the same with a recording studio. Why are we paying a thousand dollars a day out in Hollywood to rent a recording studio to do a record? And then, say you spend half a million dollars on a record, which is, that’s about right. That’s basically your money, its not like the record company pays for it, they front you the money to do it and it’s your job to make the money back by touring and selling records and products, even though they take a certain percentage of that as well. Say you spend $500,000 on a record, $300,000 goes to a producer and the other $200,000 to hotels and things and renting out a recording studio, engineer, whatever. You make a record, that record goes to Spotify, Apple Music. I have nothing against Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, all that stuff but it’s a joke. People pay $9.99 a month to listen to unlimited amounts of every band, every artist. How does that equate to your half a million dollars you just spent on one record? It’s very unbalanced.”
There is plenty more to the interview, and you can read excerpts over at MetalSucks.
In an interview last August, drummer Brann Dailor revealed the band has "too much material" for the new record, but will whittle is down to "45 to 50 minutes of new stuff and pick the cream of the crop, the stuff we’re all gravitating towards." From what we've heard, the new album will advance the band's sound and be a little over the place.
"We have too much material at the moment. We have enough for probably a couple of albums, so that’s good. But also we need to focus now. We’re at the point where we’re ready to go in and do it for real, I think. We just started jamming the new stuff as if we were gonna go in and do it, so that’s where we’re at."