Mastodon were neck deep in writing their highly anticipated new album, the follow-up to 2017's critically acclaimed Emperor of Sand, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept in and totally derailed the process, not to mentio the music industry at large. According to guitarist Bill Kelliher, who recently appeared as the featured guest on the RocknRoll Beer Guy podcast, the Atlantan prog-metal stalwarts — rounded out by guitarist Brent Hinds, bassist Troy Sanders and drummer Brann Dailor — have approximately 20 rough songs for their next LP already recorded. But that's not all: The band also penned a new cut for the forthcoming Bill & Ted movie, Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is due out in August.
"We got asked, like a couple months ago, to be a part of the new Bill & Ted movie, to put a song in there," the guitarist revealed. "So we wrote a song to be in that movie, which we're kinda of wrapping up now. It's pretty fun."
As for Mastodon's upcoming LP, Kelliher said, "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," he added. "Just a lot of vocal harmonies. When I think back about it, even though we've got like 20 to 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."