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Mastodon Stomps Through Big Story On Latest Album

Of the Oakland Press

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On its latest album, “Crack the Skye,” heavy metal buzz band Mastodon weaves together a conceptual story involving a quadriplegic, astral travel, Stephen Hawking’s theories on wormholes and the philosophies of Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin.

That’s metal?

“Yeah, we definitely realize it’s a little different than our previous endeavors,” acknowledges drummer and lyricist Brann Dailor. “The music just felt a little more spaced-out and a little more psychedelic and a little more (progressive rock).

“But we’ve always listened to that stuff. It’s definitely a big part of our musical tastes, so we were happy to go that way. We’ve been showing signs of it since day one, so it was just a matter of time before it truly reared its head.”

Nevertheless, Dailor, 34, considers “Crack the Skye” — the Atlanta quartet’s fourth studio album — to be “pretty cohesive.”

“It’s all metaphors for personal things we’ve gone through, or I’ve gone through. It pretty much flows from start to finish.”

The band is playing the album in its entirety at its shows this year, and Dailor says Mastodon has made some preliminary moves towards turning “Crack the Skye” — named in tribute to Dailor’s sister, Skye, who committed suicide at age 14 — into more than just an album.

“I’d love to see that happen,” the drummer says. “I sat down with a (film) director and wrote out a screenplay. It’s definitely been talked about. There’s three different directors kind of wanting to do it.

“That’d be killer if it actually happens, but it all comes down to money. (Record) labels are doing significantly less, money-wise, or trying to cut back, and making movies isn’t exactly cutting corners. It’s hard to justify to whoever writes the check, ‘Yeah, this band that sells 150,000 records wants to make a million dollar movie.’ But we’re not ruling it out yet, either.”

Mastodon performs Friday (May 1) at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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