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Mastodon Talk ‘Emperor of Sand,’ Bill Kelliher’s Sobriety + More

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Mastodon will soon unleash their highly anticipated seventh studio album, Emperor of Sand, and bassist-vocalist Troy Sanders and guitarist Bill Kelliher recently stopped by our studio to chat all about it!

Mastodon fans have been pelted with new material ahead of Emperor of Sand’s release. The Georgian metal merchants have shoveled out “Sultan’s Curse,” “Show Yourself” and the newest reveal, “Andromeda.” Emperor of Sand is the first Mastodon album since Crack the Skye to follow a full-album storyline, following a cursed individual trudging through the desert.

“Everything was stemming from essentially the same place, where the four of us in our lives were,” says Sanders. “It only made sense to get a bit more creative and create a full story from start to finish. I think it’s really cool that we tend to pull from real and dark experiences that we have and put some sort of positive light on it.”

One of those dark experiences was the cancer diagnosis of Sanders’ wife, who is thankfully doing well. Another darkness fell upon Bill Kelliher, who became sober two years ago after a battle with alcoholism. “For those two years, I started writing and writing and I wasn’t waking up everyday super hung over and like, ‘Ahh, I don’t want to touch the guitar.’” Kelliher describes. “The creativity in me came back to the surface.”

Check out our exclusive chat with Mastodon in the clip above! Emperor of Sand will see a March 31 release date, so click here to pre-order the album!

See Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand + More of the Most Anticipated Hard Rock + Metal Albums of 2017

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