Mastodon And Nick John

Mastodon’s New Album Will Focus On The Loss Of Their Manager Nick John


Mastodon have often addressed their own personal tragedies and the loss of family members via their music. 2009’s “Crack The Skye” in part explored the loss of drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor‘s sister Skye Dailor, who committed suicide at the age of 14. 2017’s “Emperor Of Sand” tackled the toll cancer took on the band and their immediate family.

With their upcoming eighth studio album, the band will once again be working through a major loss: their manager Nick John. John passed away in September of 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The group would go on to cover his favorite song, Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway To Heaven“, at his funeral with the cover eventually seeing a release on their “Stairway To Nick John” EP.

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Speaking recently with Revolver, Dailor revealed that John and his passing will be a central theme to the band’s upcoming album:

“As far as the subject matter is concerned, it’s gonna be about Nick John after everything’s said and done. Of course, it’s going to be a fantastical representation to mask the true emotion of the situation, but it’s probably going to be Nick John-centric because that was our guy and we lost him and he deserves nothing less than an album’s worth of material that’s centered around his passing.

That was a huge blow to us. We lost one of our favorite human beings, and it just came out of nowhere. It really sucks. So that’s what we’re thinking about — plus all this shit that’s happening now. It’s the craziest time that we’ve experienced as human beings, so how are you not gonna reflect that in what you’re creating artistically? It would be impossible to sidestep it. It’s going to be about going insane in your fucking house.”

According to Dailor, the band took a break on working on new material for much of the spring, resuming demoing material for the effort around May/June. When asked how much material the band are sitting on, he replied:

“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.”

When asked if the band will be selective with what they choose to record, he replied:

“We’ll narrow it down. We’ll probably do 45 to 50 minutes of new stuff and pick the cream of the crop, the stuff we’re all gravitating towards. There’s gonna be some hard decisions because I think we’re liking more than what we need for an album. And we don’t wanna do a double album. It doesn’t make sense to do that, currently. I don’t know why, but I feel like those types of records can get kinda chubby. We want a svelte Mastodon album. [Laughs]”

Next up for the band is a rarities/live collection, “Medium Rarities“, which will be out September 11th. The previously unreleased track “Fallen Torches” served as the first single from that release, you can check it out here.

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