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I went to High School with Brann back in the late 80’s in Rochester NY and the talent was pouring out of this kid, even from the early stages of his playing. I can remember going over to his Mom’s basement to listen to him jam with one of his first bands, Covenant. They had some great shows at the old roller skating rink in town! I had been playing for quite a few years already and had to stand and watch this “kid” blow me away! We all knew when the first Lethargy album came out, that was it. If you want to hear some insane old Brann, go get the Lethargy Discography 93′ – 98′ and listen to “Little Man” (he plays stuff that would make even Chris Pennie bow!) If the future of Prog is Brann and Mastodon, I want to live forever! By the way, Brann was quite the singer back in the day!
Mastodon formed in 2000 when Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher, former members of both Lethargy and Today is the Day, moved to Atlanta and met Troy Sanders, formerly of Four Hour Fogger and Social Infestation, and Brent Hinds, formerly of Four Hour Fogger, at a High on Fire show that has been rumored to have taken place in Hinds’ basement (which was later proven to be false). They recorded a demo in 2000 which is generally referred to as the “9 Song Demo.” This CD-R was sold at shows, and the recordings actually had the bands first lead singer, Eric Saner on vocals. In early 2006, this recording was remastered and put out by Relapse Records, who gave it the more proper title “Call of the Mastodon”. Eric Saner left the band for personal reasons after being in it just a couple of months, and after recording one more demo and recording a 7″ picture disc on Reptilian Records, Mastodon landed a record deal with Relapse Records in 2001. Mastodon’s first official release was 2001’s Lifesblood; it was well received, but the band has since moved away from this release stylistically. Their first full-length album was 2002’s Remission. Mastodon arguably struck gold with this album; in 2003, the group premiered the video for “March of the Fire Ants” on MTV2 and was invited to be a part of the Headbanger’s Ball two-CD compilation.
Their album Leviathan was released in 2004 to critical acclaim; the band won Album of the Year awards from three magazines: Revolver, Kerrang!, and Terrorizer. Leviathan is a concept album loosely based on Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. One of the tracks from Leviathan, Blood and Thunder, had become popular among racing game soundtracks. In 2005, it was included in the Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Project Gotham Racing 3, Burnout Revenge, and Burnout Legends soundtracks. The track features Neil Fallon, of Clutch fame, on lead vocals during the last verse of the song. He is not featured in the music video. Mastodon opened for Clutch during several tours in the band’s early career.
On November 3, 2005, two forthcoming releases were announced: The Call of the Mastodon, a CD collection of early demos, on an unspecified date, as well as The Workhorse Chronicles, a DVD of interviews and concert footage, including material from the band’s early days as a five-piece, on February 21, 2006. These are the last expected releases through their deal with Relapse.
Mastodon have now signed to Warner Music. Their third studio album is expected to reach stores on September 12, 2006. Titled Blood Mountain, the album has been described by drummer Brann Dailor as “one big piece of music, where the end of one song links up with the beginning of the next one.” The band have recently updated their website to tie in with the new album and artwork and are previewing songs from the album every month until its release.