A COVID-19 vaccine isn’t the only thing to look forward to in 2021. Mastodon plan to release their newest album next year, which, according to guitarist Bill Kelliher, will bring a lot of big riffs, despair and tragedy — and possibly even a theme comparable to Emperor of Sand.

After Kelliher played some of his favorite riffs for us, he got into detail about Mastodon’s upcoming album. The guitarist hopes the modern metal lords will begin recording by the end of September, teasing some killer surprises and fresh soundscapes.

“There’s so much material there between all four of us. As always, there’s some surprises, there’s some cool soundscapes that we have just never gone down that path before. We like to keep it interesting. It gets stagnant if you keep putting out the same sounding stuff every single record. That’s the greatest thing about our band — there’s no formula where someone’s gonna say, ‘Nah, that doesn’t fit.’”

He adds, “In this record, there are some concepts going on that I can hear. I know a lot of the lyrical content is already there, but I don’t know if it’s finalized. As usual, there’s a lot of despair and tragic moments and stuff like that that has happened in all our lives, that we kind of feed off of when it comes down to writing lyrics and concepts for songs. I’m sure there will be some sort of theme along the lines of Emperor of Sand.”

“I just wanna get it recorded while it’s still exciting to me. That’s the thing about the studio, you spend too long in there, you can’t tell if stuff sounds good anymore. You gotta get it out while it’s hot, while it’s still got that spontaneity to it, which it still does.”

Watch our interview with Bill Kelliher below and click here to grab Mastodon’s new Medium Rarities compilation.

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