Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher Speaks On New Album Progress, Reveals They Wrote A New Song For ‘Bill & Ted Face The Music’


Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher appears as the featured guest on the latest episode of the ‘RocknRoll Beer Guy‘ to discuss a variety of topics. As a landlord and property owner himself, he shared his views on the current economic recession and uncertainty he faces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also vented his opinions on the current administration, repeatedly referring to U.S. President Donald Trump as an ‘orange shitstain’. He also discussed how the band landed some screen time ‘Game Of Thrones‘ and more. When the topic came to the band’s new album and their progress with it, he offered:

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“We were kind of right in the middle of it [writing a new album] and we had about, I don’t know, 20 rough songs recorded right before this [the COVID-19 pandemic] hit. And it just totally put the brakes on it…”

“I’m actually leaving tomorrow for Atlanta, we’re gonna get back together and have our first kinda… try to get back into finishing a few things that we started and seeing where we get.”

Speaking later on what to expect from the album, Kelliher offered:

“It’s all relative to who’s writing. With “Emperor Of Sand“—my mom was really sick with brain cancer and tragically passed away from that right when I was in the heart of writing that. And I was getting a lot of my demons and riffs out for that record in particular. I really helped write that a lot. And with this new record, it’s kind of the same.

I’ve definitely been writing like a madman, like crazy. It’s different than “Emperor Of Sand“, but it’s definitely a vibe going on. I don’t know how to describe it.”

He later continued:

“The new record, the stuff I’ve written is not quite as notey as that [“Emperor Of Sand“]. It’s definitely got a more like Neurosis heaviness. Like simplified guitar parts and Brann has been doing a lot of… He also demos most of the vocal ideas because he always has melodies and stuff like that and he’s been singing on a lot of it—at least for the demo purposes.

The vocals are kind of like an “Asleep In The Deep” style, kind of Radiohead-ish almost, real melodic. Just a lot of vocal harmonies. When I think back about it, even though we’ve got like 20-25 songs, we still don’t have all of Brent‘s songs in there yet. And there’s still a lot of time for that stuff to change and to morph into other stuff.

There’s a couple of old riffs—cause I’m constantly writing… I may write a hundred riffs a week but only one of them is any good… I wrote some stuff years ago that I sent to Troy and he took it upon himself to throw down some vocals on it and spun it back to me the other day and I was very surprised. It was a pleasant surprise. I was like wow man, this sounds really eerie. Like really dark and eerie and cool. Like I never expected [him] to do anything with it…

So Troy‘s trying to be more involved.  Everybody has their place, their part in the band. I don’t know, every record is just a little bit different on how it gets written or who writes the majority or whose songs make it on the record or what not.”

He also went on to reveal that the band have written a new song for the upcoming third installment in the Bill & Ted film franchise, ‘Bill & Ted Face The Music‘.

“We got asked, like a couple months ago, to be a part of the new ‘Bill & Ted‘ movie, to put a song in there. So we wrote a song to be in that movie which we’re kinda of wrapping up now. It’s pretty fun.”

He did go on to say that there have been some struggles between the band and the studio between their vision for the song and what the director wants, revealing that the song is intended to have a small airing in the film itself.

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