Hey guys, Brann Dailor here from Mastodon along with the director from our most recent video, "Asleep In The Deep" Skinner (/u/TheArtofSkinner)! We're here to talk music, the video, and anything else!

Ask Us Anything! I'm signing off now. That was super fun, now I have to play with my dog, he's bummed. Bye Proof: https://twitter.com/mastodonmusic/status/624277627872919552

/u/courtiebabe420 is here helping us get started over the phone!

Edit: Thanks guys, Skinner and I had a lot of fun this afternoon! See you around!

Comments: 1346 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

epiccrumbs1941 karma

Brent recently said that he wanted to make Mastodon less of a metal orientated band. What do you envision stylistically for the future of Mastodon?

mastodonrocks2542 karma

Much more metal

BigMacCombo1066 karma


mastodonrocks1869 karma

Ok I will!! Geeze!!

Sojourn87652 karma

Hey guys, glad to see you here! I'd love to know a little more of the history between you and skinner, how did you guys meet?

mastodonrocks2455 karma

Christian mingle

dannydorito601 karma

Will you ever perform Cut You Up With A Linoleum Knife live?

mastodonrocks500 karma


ilikeguitarsandsuch407 karma

What was it like for you guys to be on the set of Game of Thrones?

mastodonrocks579 karma

It was amazing to be on set for that incredible scene, it was also very cold and wet.

mastodonrocks154 karma


zeldahei394 karma

Gabriel or Collins-era Genesis?

mastodonrocks458 karma

They both have their bright spots

Barnacle_Ed282 karma

So first off, I just wanted to say a big "thank you" for making awesome music and videos. Leviathan and Blood Mountain have been permanent fixtures in my car for years, and continue to utterly rock my socks off.

Now my question, however, is for Brann and is about the Crack the Skye album. I apologize in advance if this gets pretty heavy but I've heard that in addition to the time-traveling and Russian Revolution, the album is partly a tribute to your deceased sister. In light of that, how difficult of an album was it to work on for you? Was it painful to re-tread those old memories? Cathartic to be writing music about them? Or perhaps something else entirely?

mastodonrocks576 karma

I'm happy I got to do that for my sister, and I'm happy my brothers in Mastodon let me attach her name to it. I found it difficult to talk about it day after day around the release of the album, not really cathartic, it's just something I carry around with me, but time and space always helps, but I really miss her and I wish I could talk to her.

CALLJENNY8675309264 karma

On Crack The Skye's "The Last Baron" your drums shift so many (awesome) times. I'm just wondering can you talk about the buildup from the beginning and how you go about arranging something like that please? Thanks!

mastodonrocks367 karma

That was one we labored over for quite a while, took months and months of many different combinations, that's one of the songs that Brendon really helped with. I think it's one of Brent's crowning achievements, and it has some of my favorite drum work in it. You just have to work it until it's right, and that reveals itself to you eventually.

slade535213 karma

Are you guys still planning to release the leftovers from Once More 'Round the Sun?

By the way, we love you here in Paraguay.

EDIT: is Troy EVER going to join some sort of social network? He's the only one I can't follow anywhere, I know he said he's a caveman but c'mon. Please force him to make an Instagram or threaten to kick him out!

mastodonrocks470 karma

Troy is a private man, I'm not even sure where exactly he lives

LifelessOne165 karma

Brann, Big fan of your drumming! As a drummer myself, I tend to repeat a lot of the same patterns when I play. What helps you stay fresh when writing new jams?

/u/TheArtofSkinner never forget

Edit: Love you Skinmannnn

mastodonrocks515 karma

I feel the same way, I feel stagnant and boring and repetitive, you just have to realize that and keep searching for the fresh and new, it will come to you, Obi Wan will come to you in a dream and tell you what circles to hit.

vanhalen_and_bacon131 karma

I work as a stagehand in London, Ontario.

Your band, along with Clutch, absolutely killed it. That show was the most fun I've ever had working there.

Too bad you had to leave after load-out, I wanted to challenge you guys to a game of pinball at Call The Office.

Thanks for making my shitty city awesome.

My question, who's face was on the front of your kick drum?

mastodonrocks125 karma

Our tour manager the living legend Bob Dallas!!

RapeyTheSpermWhale111 karma

Hey Brann. I'm a huge fan of every Mastodon album, especially Leviathan. In your previous AMA, you said Iron Tusk is a particularly tough song of yours. What other songs stand out as being difficult? I'm a bass player myself, so I'm always interested in a drummer's perspective.

mastodonrocks155 karma

The Last Baron!! It's long

klown_nightmares101 karma

Hi Brann! Huge fan here from montreal! There was talk about a winter Ep following the release of OMRTS and then we never heard of it again. Any news on that?

mastodonrocks141 karma

Still in progress.

toadbearman95 karma

BRANN! Awesome. I was just setting up a Spotify Mastodon playlist today, as it turns out. I joined the Mastodon fanbase with The Hunter, and have since found Crack The Skye... and others. I have to say, while I've enjoyed all Mastodon's releases, Crack The Skye is STILL my favorite, to date. Any plans to do any more epic (in length) story based tunes similar to The Czar, and The Last Baron? Those two are fuckin inspired, man.

Thanks for rockin. Hope all is well with the band. I heard about the tour dates cancellations. Hoping it's all sorted out soon, best wishes.

mastodonrocks221 karma

I would really love to get more prog in the future.

kayjay2577 karma

Do you like Huey Lewis and The News?

mastodonrocks218 karma

I love Huey Duey and Lewis

TheFlyingGiraffe67 karma

Hey Brann, I went to see you guys in Dublin and you were fucking awesome. It was my first concert.

What is your favourite song to play live?

mastodonrocks170 karma

Blood and Thunder, the crowd goes wild, I love that.

Beig_9160 karma

hey guys, greetings from brazil! absolutely love the art and music on once more round the sun and I am super excited to see you guys here in São Paulo (already got my ticket)! I would like to know how is the process on choosing who is going to sing the songs, since you guys have 3 amazing vocalists, do everyone sings then the best one ends up on the album? thanks for all the amazing music!

mastodonrocks95 karma

Yep, we each audition for the part. Whatever sounds the best wins!! We love Brazil!! Can't wait to jam there!!

Palesketches57 karma

Is it cool to have a beer before going to work? I am asking for a friend.

TheArtofSkinner86 karma


Palesketches37 karma

Good, because I... I mean he totally had one or two before heading in to work.

mastodonrocks284 karma

No, stop doing that

bawlzsauce49 karma

Hey Brann! Huge Mastodon fan here. 2 Questions for you (Skinner feel free to answer as well)

  • 1) What do you think about your bandmate Brent's comments about not wanting to be a metal musician? Does that sentiment ring true for the rest of the band as well?
  • 2) If one planned on dropping acid and listening to Crack the Skye, what would be the thing to watch while listening?

mastodonrocks138 karma

Brent wasn't exactly serious about that, he likes metal, but more importantly, he likes what he likes, he likes music, I don't necessarily put music into genres for myself, I get the same feeling from Slayer that I get from Stevie Wonder. He doesn't like certain types of metal, he digs the classic stuff, and Melvins, Neurosis, Etc...

deadpool1234947 karma

Hey guys, first off I LOVE MASTODON and Skinner's work! Now for the questions

@Brann What song is the hardest to perform live?

@Skinner: Who's your favorite artist?

@Brann: What's your opinion on the band Ghost?

You guys are awesome!

mastodonrocks138 karma

Hi there, the hardest song to play is always the last song in the set, I hate saying goodbye.

mastodonrocks218 karma

I love the band Ghost, but they scare me a little, I think their band might be haunted.

lawlinmypants45 karma

I loved you in Today Is The Day. This Is one of my favorite videos ever made.

mastodonrocks22 karma

Hey thanks!!

redhotbrick41 karma

Good day to you, Brann.

I heard on BBC radio at the end of last year that you have repeatedly been stopped from viewing the bones of Joseph Merrick, and that you were planning to view them last November. I know how much he has influenced your work, so did you finally manage to see him in the 'non-flesh' last year?

If you have, has that impacted on your impression of him in any way?

mastodonrocks70 karma

I didn't get to see his actual bones, I'm sad.

diluted335 karma

How many cats do each of you own?

mastodonrocks187 karma

When my cat lays down, which is always, he looks like a dusty meatloaf!!

space_zombie32 karma

Hi Brann,if you could cover any song with Mastodon what would it be?

And Skinner, how long does it take on average for an idea to become a finished piece for you?

mastodonrocks178 karma

Rainbow connection by Kermit the frog

KarmaBot20032 karma

Do you like pancakes?

mastodonrocks235 karma

I'm from America

daysoftropicthunder32 karma

@Brann, I've gotta ask.

How difficult is it really for you to sing and play drums at the same time? Also, how long did it take you to really master your ghost note technique?

mastodonrocks90 karma

Some parts are harder than others, when I'm in perfect health, I actually really like singing, but when I have a cold, which is quite often on tour, it gives me great anxiety, I just want to hit my high notes and be great, sometimes a big snot ball in my head gets in the way.

panopticon3131 karma

I know Mastodon has a good appreciation for Classic Rock and has done a few covers (Emerald, Just got Paid). Would you guys ever record a whole album or even an EP of classic rock covers? I think this would be awesome.

mastodonrocks71 karma

Yes we would

CheeseburgerLocker29 karma

What was life like with parents as musicians? Did they take you to every gig they played? Thanks!

Also on a side note, your fills are legendary!

mastodonrocks77 karma

It was exciting!! They practiced every night, it was very loud so my sister and I would run in circles screaming as loud as we could and no one could hear us over the tunes piping out of the basement, that was fun.

ThereIsNoKeanu22 karma

Question: Are you guys considering doing another concept album in the future?

Love your work, by the way. Leaning your songs helped me reach the level where I am today.

mastodonrocks55 karma

I'm always pushing for a concept driven album, they're fun to construct.

gwarrior522 karma

Why is the orange peel the best venue? But seriously what is the best place to play?

mastodonrocks41 karma

Because my Dad lives near there and he rulzzz!!

iamRYANGOSLINGama21 karma

Hey Brann, I love Crack the Skye and I heard about the significance it has to you. How did you guys come up with the whole Russian mysticism aspect to it?

mastodonrocks53 karma

I went to Russia on vacation with my wife, that was the jumping off point.

jackrocks221 karma

Hi Brann. Firstly, I just want to say I hope all is well in the Mastodon family.

Q1: Will Mastodon ever consider playing 'Call of the Mastodon' material live again any time soon?

Q2: Can you pass a message to the guys in Tool and tell them to hurry the fuck up, haha

Q3: What are your favourite new bands these days?

mastodonrocks126 karma

I was just practicing Hail to fire yesterday I tell Tool to hurry up on the daily, that's the first thing I do every morning after I face Mecca and paint my toenails

imablender19 karma

I'm such a huge fan of both of you guys!

@Brann- Have you ever considered making an album long epic music video?

@Skinner- You would totally be down to direct such a masterpiece, right?

mastodonrocks46 karma

Yes, watch Crack the Skye

TheFatMan1816 karma

Your music spans many genres of rock and metal, are there any other genres you'd like to attempt either on your own or with the band? I know you're a big jazz fan, maybe a jazz album?

mastodonrocks39 karma

I'm terrible at Jazz, I'm just a pretender. I practice it though, and I do my best to apply that approach to my playing in Mastodon and alone.

SPECTRUX15 karma

Does Bill really do vocals on Deathbound?

mastodonrocks43 karma


mossman8513 karma

Hey Brann, any good stories from touring with Metallica? What's it like to hang out with Lars?

mastodonrocks35 karma

Lars is a gentleman and a scholar

Thirdeye071713 karma

So 1st I just want to say how awesome you both are! I seriously can listen to any Mastodon album over and over and it never gets old. Thank you for making such amazing music and sharing it with the rest of us! My questions:

  1. If you could sit down with any two people past or present and have a conversation, who would they be?

  2. What song/artist do you remember most from your childhood?

  3. Besides the necessities what are 3 things you can not live without?

  4. What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into? and my last one I swear,

5.Have any of your fans done anything to creep you out?

Thank you so much for doing this AMA!! Brann I hope everything is good with ALL of you guys! Lots of love and best wishes!!

mastodonrocks28 karma

I would sit down with Andy Kaufman and Norman Wexler. 1 Glazed donut

mastodonrocks22 karma

I remember sitting and listening to macho duck and loving it

mastodonrocks42 karma

I set a dumpster on fire outside the Halloween dance in middle school. Had I been caught, it would've been big trouble in little Rochester for me

Anonoplex13 karma

Do you guys like Trent Reznor? If so what's your favorite song?

mastodonrocks40 karma

Trent!!!! Is that you? Cmon!! We're in public!!

jmarshall200012 karma

How has touring life changed for you guys now that you're massively popular? Do ya'll still eat a lot of bologna or is it steak night every night?

mastodonrocks40 karma

I live on a bus with twelve dudes in a studio apartment on wheels, it smells like raw steak and blue cheese.

SecsiDan12 karma

Hey Brann, I saw you guys in ATL last year in November for my birthday. I bought the VIP bundle and met the band.Iit was pretty cool but I was wondering why everyone was kinda stand off ish. It felt more like a "Let's get this out of the way" type of thing. Any reason why? I understand some family was there and that may have been a reason. P.S. I told you you were my favorite drummer then, and you still are now!

mastodonrocks44 karma

I'm sorry it felt that way, it wasn't our intention. I think there were about 150 family members backstage needing attention, so that might have had something to do with it. I hope I can make it up to you one day.

Blackened49112 karma

Watsup guys, just wanna say to Brann thanks again for the hospitality a couple years back. I'm Michael Collantes, the dude that played drums for "Ketchy Shuby" and "The Killing Hours". Hope you are all doing well <3. On to the questions.. @Skinner: (love your work btw!), what was the most challenging part about filming the video? @Brann: What is your favorite album release from this year?

mastodonrocks16 karma

Sssssssssup? I am not aware of any albums that have been released this year. I think music took the year off.

oblivion92312 karma

I have two questions for you Brann.

Do you have a favorite jazz drummer that has influenced your playing the most?

Do people ever get you confused with their favorite type of cereal?

mastodonrocks36 karma

Elvin Jones!!! The Neurosis guys used to call me Bran muffin, later to be shortened to simply muffin.

SPECTRUX11 karma

Hey Brann,

I'm a huge fan of yours and Mastodon and I just want to say thanks for all the great music. I really love the new album. You're my drumming idol.

Will we ever hear the material that you guys originally recorded for Jonah Hex? I recall someone saying that it was much busier than the stuff that ended up making it to the movie.

Will the cover of "One is the Loneliest Number" ever be officially released?

Also, will you guys sell a full poster version of the OMRTS artwork? I would love to have that on my wall.


mastodonrocks12 karma

Thanks!! We released most of the stuff we recorded for Jonah Hex, but there is a bunch that didn't get released, but it's just riffs and pieces parts.

ledzep3810 karma

Hey Brann, Huge fan, saw you guys when you were in Milwaukee a couple months ago with Clutch and the show was kick ass!. Thanks for doing this AMA. A few questions for you:

• What type of “direction” do you see the band headed in after OMRTS as far as sound goes? Each of your albums is so different from the last and I’m always excited to see what comes out next.

• What’s your favorite city/region of the US when you’re touring?

• Any more co-headliner tours in the future?

• What’s the thought process that goes into selecting a set list for your shows?

• What’s a typical evening for the band after you guys are done playing a show?

• Do you think you’ll get into any side projects similar to Brent with Fiend Without A Face/West End Motel?

Thanks again man!

mastodonrocks11 karma

I have a side project called Arcadea, it's fun, might be out next year.

FFFFungi9 karma

Brann, how would you sum up your experience over the years touring and creating music as a part of Mastodon?

mastodonrocks29 karma

It's been the best part of my life so far. I have my wife and I have Mastodon. Life is beautiful. I'm happy I took a chance and moved to Atlanta

TheScubadude8 karma

What do you guys think of cats?

mastodonrocks39 karma

They are not smart

IrrelevantPowers8 karma

Hey Brann, always enjoyed your playing in Mastodon. My question is: Do you listen to any bands that you think that Mastodon fans would be surprised you listen to?

mastodonrocks31 karma

The Cocteau Twins? Coil?

acmesupply7 karma

When are you touring with HOF next? Soon, please. Also, what music are you listening to now?

mastodonrocks12 karma

I'm listening to new High on Fire, I always want to tour with them, they're our buddies.

ComplexOrganisms6 karma

How do you not get out of breath singing and drumming at the same time?

mastodonrocks39 karma

I'm out of breath right now

slickleg10045 karma

@skinner: When are the shirts coming back in XL?!!!!!!!!

@brann: Do you floss the gold tooth?

mastodonrocks24 karma

It's silver, gold is too gaudy, and yes I floss 3 times a day!!

Leagle2433 karma

Hey Brann. Absolutely a huge Mastodon fan here, seen you a few times in NYC and loved every show.

Last week my roommates and I threw a rager at our house with nearly 100 people showing up. If you're ever in Westchester County close to the Bronx, can you swing by and party with us?

All the booze and chicks are on us!

Edit: My girl told me to ask you what's your favorite Taylor Swift song?

mastodonrocks10 karma

Yes! I'll be there!! I don't think I ever listened to Taylor Swift on purpose, I'm a grown ass man!! I will download the full discography this evening.

drumzombie2 karma

Brann, I met you about 13 years ago when you worked at a Hot Topic-ish store in Atlanta. I was wearing an Avenged Sevenfold shirt. Seeing as Avenged now has a vacancy, will you ditch your awesome band of brothers and join the lifestyle of glam, coke and hookers known as A7X?

mastodonrocks4 karma


TheBoredMan2 karma

Hi Brann! You're the shit, you're my favorite current drummer hands down. I've seen Mastodon three times now and you guys always kill it.

I gotta ask, what do you think about when you're drumming? Like when you're 27 bars into that 3 minute fill, are you thinking about what's coming next? Feeling the groove? Fighting monsters in your head?

Anyway, keep on changing lives, one circle hit at a time!

Edit: I forgot my question for Skinner! I'm in film and video myself, and the way you think about color is amazing. Every image you create is like a massage for my eye balls. Can you maybe give some insight or just words of wisdom as to how you do what you do?

mastodonrocks7 karma

In my best shows I'm in the moment feeling amazing letting the power of heavy rock flow through me. During my worst shows I'm trying to silence that jerk inside my head that's telling me I'm going to screw up the next fill, I hate that guy, oh wait, that's me!!

TheW1ldcard2 karma

Hey Brann!
I want confirmation on an urban legend from my city involving you guys.
So, many many years back in Chattanooga, TN I used to spot your guys demo CD's in like all the FYE's in town and I heard that you were going to be playing the Riverbend festival that year. Well I never got to go, but I HEARD anyways, that you guys played and one song into your set you had the plug pulled and you got kicked off stage. Is any of that true??
EDIT: P.S. We also share the same birthday!

mastodonrocks5 karma

They shut the PA off because it was bothering the Temptations who were playing the main stage, we continued playing anyway. Later we met a kid who sold his comforter to a neighbor to afford a ticket to the show. Who buys a used comforter from their neighbor going door to door with the thing? Wanna buy my blanket?

Xen0morph1 karma

Hi guys, I've got one question for both of you.

Skinner, where did you get your inspiration from while doing the OMRTS artwork? It's so huge, powerfull and just fantastic overall. Do the two beings om each side of the foldout also have any particular meaning?

Brann, could you perhaps tell a little indepth of the songs from OMRTS? What are they about or how did you come up with them. I really dig the album. Especially Chimes At Midnight. Heard it for the first time at Pinkpop 2014 and that's when I became a fan.

Thanks in advance, love to see/hear more of you again!

mastodonrocks2 karma

Most of my lyrics had to do with a tragedy I was experiencing during the recording of the album.

Bluecifer1 karma

Hey Brann,

I saw you guys in Dublin only a few weeks ago. It was a great show, but it made me wonder - why do you guys visit so often? Not complaining, just curious.

mastodonrocks3 karma

We love it!!