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Mastodon began leaving their mark on the hard rock world 10 years ago with the release of their first album Remission. Since then, they’ve continued to grow and develop their skills as a band by releasing a string of daring yet critically acclaimed albums.
The latest is The Hunter. It could very well be the album of their career. Chock-full of grooving, catchy songs, the album maintains Mastodon’s proggy style presented in shorter, concise cuts.
One quarter of this musical equation is Brann Dailor. Brann not only handles the complex rhythmic duties of Mastodon but also writes lyrics, arranges songs and sings as well.
Hailing from Rochester, New York, the 36-year-old Brann grew up in a musical household and was exposed to a wide variety of music. This led to getting an early start on drums at the age of three or four.
Brann’s mother and stepfather were in a cover band and he was constantly hearing different music they were learning and playing. That, combined with whatever happened to be on the stereo, gave Brann quite an education.
Although not a schooled player with a formal background, Brann’s musical exposure fuelled his desire to drum.
Previously working with producer Brendan O’Brien on their opus, Crack The Skye, Mastodon took another left turn and worked with noted hip-hop and r’n’b producer Mike Elizondo (who along with Dr Dre has produced tracks for50 cent and Eminem in addition to pop acts Fiona Apple, Pink and Maroon 5).
The result has been met with much approval. Brann’s machine-gun single strokes are as prominent as ever and the drums are powerful and strong in the mix while still supporting the song. Mastodon are currently on tour in the UK in support of the album.
Rhythm recently caught up with Brann to chat about his playing and recording The Hunter. Here we bring you pictures of his kit, along with snippets from that interview, which you can read in full in Rhythm 198. Or you can subscribe to Rhythm Magazine to read interviews with the world’s top drummers each month.