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Mastodon Talks Guitars and Metallica Inspired Solos

Southern heavy metal giants Mastodon have been taking the rock world by storm lately.  Their last album Crack the Skye being their biggest success.  Their new album The Hunter is also making some noise and they sat down to talk about some of the inspiration behind the latest single “Black Tongue”.

Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images

Mastodon has evolved from a band that had primarily focused the metal “growl”, but on their last few albums they have gotten away from that and instead become very melodic.  In a interview with Premiere Guitar the band talked about their gear and the approach used to write their latest album, The Hunter.

They talked about how in the past most of the riffs would be left to guitarist Brent Hinds, but on this latest effort it was more of a collaboration.  On The Hunter they worked with producer Mike Elizondo whose presence can definitely be felt on this record, particularly in the song “Black Tongue”.   Guitarist Bill Kelliher talks about how he came up with half of that solo in his hotel room, and then did the rest in the studio.

The second part of the solo was done in the studio before that European tour, and I really like it because it has that ‘Orion’ feel and groove.

-Bill Kelliher

Kelliher would go on to talk about the guitar that he has been using lately and that it’s a “metal shredding beast”  and the sound “isn’t phoney”.   For you guitar tech nerds out there he is currently using a Gibson Explorer with EMG X Series 81 and 85 humbuckers.  According to Kelliher, it’s become his “go to super heavy guitar”.

Check out the complete interview for more on how The Hunter was conceived.

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