In a new interview with Metal Mayhem ROC, MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor reflected on his band’s recently completed U.S. tour with OPETH. The trek kicked off on November 16 in Asheville, North Carolina and concluded on December 5 in Denver, Colorado.
Brann said: “We dipped our toes in touring. I think it went pretty well. But there was still a lot of… The omicron variant has just been popping off, so there was a lot of tickets sold that people just didn’t come; they just stayed home. So it was kind of crazy. I mean, the shows were great and they were pretty packed, but the promoters noticed that people were buying tickets and just not coming, because they were just frightened of being… Obviously, our industry is the last one to come back. It’s, like, ‘Let’s get thousands of people together in a room and put ’em real close to each other.’ So if you’re nervous about COVID, that’s not gonna be for you. Plus, there’s still a lot of people that are unvaccinated and don’t wanna get vaccinated. Most concerts, you have to prove that you are vaccinated to be able to get in there. So it’s still kind of difficult at the moment.”
Dailor also confirmed that MASTODON has more shows booked later in the year following the recently announced second leg of the band’s co-headline tour with OPETH. The North American jaunt resumes on April 21 at Place Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, stops in major markets coast-to-coast, and comes to a close on May 11 at Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California.
“We’ll go over and do the summer festivals,” Brann said. “Just fingers crossed that some crazy variant doesn’t show back up and shut everything down again. But I think it looks like everything’s turning in the right direction to where we’re gonna be able to go do that in the summer. And then I don’t know from there.”
Two months ago, Dailor revealed that he contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, immediately after the fall 2021 U.S. tour with OPETH. “Right when I got home from tour, I had COVID — like the day I got home,” he told Art Of Rock. “I tested positive. I got pretty sick, actually. I was sick for a couple of weeks. I was down and out. But I guess the good news of it was it didn’t happen while we were on tour and it happened when I got home. So I was, like, ‘Oh, I’m sick.’ And I had the opportunity to be sick and I didn’t have to get on stage and play and stuff, which I’ve done with the flu many times; it’s one of the worst feelings ever, but you’ve gotta bring the music to the people. It doesn’t matter how you feel — do it.”
This past November, MASTODON was announced as one of the “Best Metal Performance” nominees at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The progressive metallers were nominated for their song “Pushing The Tides”, the first single from their latest album, “Hushed And Grim”, which came out in October.
The follow-up to 2017’s “Emperor Of Sand”, “Hushed And Grim”was recorded at West End Sound, which is located inside of Ember City, the rehearsal facility that members of MASTODON manage in Atlanta. Helming the effort was Grammy-winning producer/mixer/engineer David Bottrill, who has previously worked with MUSE, DREAM THEATER and TOOL, among many others.
The “Hushed And Grim” artwork was created by longtime MASTODON collaborator Paul Romano, who also designed the sleeves for “Crack The Skye”, “Blood Mountain”, “Leviathan” and more.
“Emperor Of Sand” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That LP was nominated for the 2018 Grammy Award for “Best Rock Album,” and its opening track, “Sultan’s Curse”, won the Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance.”
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