Mastodon’s Brent Hinds Feels Like He’s Being ‘Milked Dry’ by the Music Industry
The group's last album, 2017's critically acclaimed Emperor of Sand, was inspired by tragedy — the deaths of drummer Brann Dailor's and guitarist Bill Kelliher's mothers. In addition, bassist Troy Sanders' wife was stricken with breast cancer, forcing him to miss many the early studio sessions. And now the band has canceled its tour with Dinosaur Jr. and announced their longtime manager Nick John is suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Between the mourning and the efforts to shake away the blues because, hey, the show must go one, but Hinds has just about had enough.
"What I really wanna do and what I hope people will let me do is take some fuckin' time off and let me breathe," he told Ultimate Guitar. "That's how shitty the music industry is. Because you've got to work your dick into the dirt before you can see any worms."
Hinds added that, knowing what he now knows about the music biz, if he could go back in time he very well might choose another line of work. "This is definitely the most brutal job I've ever had," he said. "I would definitely rather frame houses again. Like, no one's looking at me. It's like, 'Stop looking at me just because I fuckin' play a goddamn show on the stage.' I don't give a fuck. Honestly, I just don't care. Never have cared."
Nevertheless, Hinds said he got sucked in by the excitement to share his creativity with others and play music for a living. Then, he was hit by the parasitic side of the music industry and now feels like he made a deal with the devil. "When the opportunity's there and you strike and it happens and then they milk you... I feel like I'm being milked like a dry hyena titty. I have nothing left for anyone. They've worked me to my fuckin' soul, it is almost gone."
Hinds, who has played in various sidebands in addition to Mastodon, said he wants to stay away from music for a year or two in order "to go regather myself."
But first, he has commitments he has to keep and he plans to make the best of what could ultimately be a bad situation. "They probably got tours booked up their fuckin'... Their bank accounts. I don't know. They got me booked as long as they need to eat. Or as long as they need to shop. Or whatever they do with their money."
"I don't care," he continued. "All I care about is my peace of mind, which is leaving me. So I need to stop and recalculate myself. I need to decompress from all this and I need to press the restart button and just kind of reboot myself in a way.
"I just got married about a year or so ago. I gotta go down there and meet all her family. I've been on tour constantly. It's just not healthy. My next thing to me is to go get healthy and just to get away from the music business for hopefully over a year."
At the same time as he stressed how much he needs to get away, Hinds insisted he hasn't lost his love for music and he can still play. He just wants a lengthy break before he returns. "It'll be okay. I can still play music. If people want me to play good music they need to let me go for a year. If anyone that had a half of mind that was in charge of anything that I did would listen to what I say and not ignore what I say. Which happens a lot."
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