Intervju med Brann Dailor i Mastodon!
Någon timme innan Mastodon körde över publiken i Annexet, fick jag möjlighet att sitta ner med trummisen Brann för ett kort snack. Strax innan intervjun hängde Bill Kiehler i korridoren och jag fick då lära mig att Brann uttalas som elektronikmärket Braun. You live and you learn.
Samtalsämnena kretsade bl a kring kontakten med hemmet, turnélivet och den kommande splitsjuan med Feist inför Record Store Day.
So, how was Finland?
Brann Dailor: It was cold! (laughs) No, it was good. It was really good!
You had your 12 year anniversary yesterday. Any celebrations happening?
BD: Yeah, I celebrated by myself in my hotel room. (laughs)I just took the night off. Actually my wife is really sick. She got really sick a couple of days ago and she has doctor´s orders that she can´t leave the house for a week, so I did the right thing and didn´t go out. I stayed at the hotel and had Skype on and just kinda hung out with her via Skype for the day.
I hope it´s nothing serious?
BD: It´s not. She´s got some medication and she´ll feel better in about a week so she´ll be alright. I just think that she was hoping for, while I was gone for this month, to sort of dig in and do some other stuff and I´m not there and she has to be in the house for the next week, so…
It´s gotta be a hassle when you´re on the road like this?
BD: Yeah, it´s really kinda selfish of me to even wanna have the normal life back home if I plan on being gone the whole time, but I can´t help it. I just wanna be loved like every other human being in the world! (laughs). So I ask a lot of her and we ask a lot of our significant others to hold down the fort and hang out and wait for this promise of, “Well, it´ll be over sometime and we can hang out and my main focus will be you!”. I think that´s what they´re hanging out for, but who knows if that will ever even happen?
Got any kids?
BD: No, we got a dog and a cat!
That´ll keep you busy!
BD: Yeah, sure!
Since it was the 12 year anniversary of when you got together as a band for the first time, what do you remember from that day?
BD: When we actually got together and started making some noise the four of us, I remember being pretty excited. We started learning each other’s songs and stuff like that and I was really excited to have… for Bill and myself, to have found Troy and Brent, so it came together like this weird package deal almost. There wasn´t really any question about it. It was really sort of like “Ok, yeah cool! This is our band! What are we gonna call our band? Mastodon! Ok, cool, done!”, you know what I mean? It came together so fast and I moved to Atlanta on January 1 in 2000 and not even two weeks later, boom, I met these guys and we were off and running! We had a bunch of songs to kinda learn and work through, but we started booking a tour immediately and figuring out when we could go into the studio and record. It was really weird. I remember Bill and myself especially, being super motivated to wanna get back to touring because we´d just kinda been doing that for the last two years with Today is the day, so we knew that we could at least get to that level, back to that spot and use whatever contacts we had to do so. Relapse Records and things of that nature, so we told Relapse “Hey, we´re gonna go start something new!” and we stayed at Matt Jacobsen´s house on the way down to Atlanta, so there you have it! We were excited to meet each other and all of our personalities and senses of humor clicked right off, so it was very easy.
Were there other names than Mastodon floating around?
BD: Nah, that was the only one! That´s what you do when you… especially when you move to a new city you put an ad in the paper and put up notices “Hey, drummer and guitar player looking for a band!”. We didn´t have to do anything of that, it just kinda worked out.
Right. Well, you´ve got a new album out and back on tour again, how do you pick songs to play live from the latest album? Do you go through them all and rehearse them all or just pick two and those are the ones you´ll do for the tour?
BD: For this tour we picked like nine or ten songs off the new record that we do, so we just picked those and learned them and there you go! (laughs) There´s like 24 songs on the set list, so it´s a lot of songs.
I saw some pictures of you being in the studio recording with acoustics and I gather it´s for the Record Store Day thing with Feist? Was that the only song you did?
BD: (laughs) No, we did another song.
Cool! And that´s gonna be a split 7” where they do a Mastodon song and you do one of hers, right? Which one is it?
BD: “A commotion”! Have you heard it?
I think so. The only stuff I´ve heard is the latest album “Metals”.
BD: It´s off of that! We made it super heavy and it sounds really cool.
You met at some TV show, right?
BD: Yeah, Jools Holland! We did that with them and I don´t know, right after we got off stage we went backstage and and we were in the hallway with her and she was talking to Brent. They were involved in a conversation and were just like “Yeah, let´s do that! We should do it for Record Store Day!”. Something out of leftfield and something we´d like to be involved with more of. It´s fun for us. I mean, most times we end up doing covers of bands that are already sort of heavy or that is already in that vein, like The Melvins, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, you know what I mean? What are you gonna do to those songs to make them your own? It´s kinda difficult and especially with stuff like Metallica or The Melvins where we´re so kinda familiar and in love with the versions that Metallica and The Melvins and Thin Lizzy have created, you wanna make it sound like theirs because that´s what you´re so used to hearing. You don´t really wanna mess with it. With Feist it´s something that we could really play with and do something different with.
Could you see yourselves do more of that kinda stuff?
BD: If there´s time, you know. Sure. We´d like to, but Mastodon is all encompassing enough as it is, for me anyway. When I get home I just wanna dig in and be home. I don´t wanna go and record in LA. We´re not home for that long. Even this time when we got home after the Alice in Chains/Deftones tour in the States, we were like “Yeah, we´re taking a big long break!” and then a month later we were writing again and almost to go back into the studio and it was like “Oh no, it´s happening! I can´t stop it!”. Then here we were in the studio and here we were for summer festivals and then the record was finished and it was time to go back out on tour again. But, if there´s a time to do it, I guess it´s now!
Yeah! I did a phoner with Troy last year and we talked about since you´re all in Atlanta, you should do something with Elton John!
BD: Oh god, it would be great! Would be awesome! (sings Goodbye yellow brick road)
Do a Mastodon version of an Elton John song or something.
Back to being on tour, do you all have like a set schedule for the day for getting through the days? I gather it gets pretty boring going to a new town, sleep, do interviews, soundcheck, play the show, go back on the bus and so on. I guess you never really get to go into town?
BD: Nah, it´s freezing out! You know, I´m always up for something spontaneous and today I went to the hockey game and I got to see that. That was fun! It´s different from hockey games in the US, everyone singing and stuff. We have an organ at the hockey games in the US (makes sound of an organ) and over here they´re like la la la la… So I´m always up for something like that happening. Anything to distract from the mundane everyday life… pick a wall and stare at it. Obviously summer time is a little bit better for that. It´s easier to go out and get lost because you don´t know where the hell you are in the first place, but if I´m gonna go walk outside now it´s pretty cold and even if I get all buttoned up, I´d probably walk for like five minutes and then go “Hhmmm, fuck this!” (laughs) “I´ll go back and sit backstage!”. I call my lady up and just talk to her and get face time on my phone or Skype. I pretty much have to do that every day and set that time aside. I start warming up in about 10 minutes and then it´s an hour till stage, so I get in there and start warming up, but really… I´m starting to get used to the time difference a little bit. Hopefully tonight I´ll fall asleep a little earlier. Last night I really tried but I was up till five in the morning just laying there in bed.
Finally, what are you doing after Europe and Australia? Are you going back to the States for more shows?
BD: I think we´re doing China and then we´re going back to the States for more touring. The States in April.
Cool! Been to China before?
BD: No, should be cool! The Great wall, terra cotta soldiers, forbidden city!
Is it just one show?
BD: Three shows!
I´ve talked to people who´ve played there and they had to hand in the set list and the lyrics. Same for you?
BD: Yeah, I think so! I mean, we don´t have any political lyrics and I doubt they´ll understand what the hell we´re talking about. Most people who live in the US and most English speaking people have no idea what we´re talking about, so it´ll be fine. (laughs) “Curl the burl”, yeah that´s cool whatever fuck that is?”
True! (laughs) Thanks so much!