During a recent interview with Total Guitar, Mastodon rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher talked about their new album and his advice to Kim Thayil during the recording sessions.
Mastodon started their musical journey with their debut album, ‘Remission,’ released in 2002, and they have released eight studio albums from that day to this. Their latest studio album, ‘Hushed and Grim,’ was released on October 29, 2021, after four years of break. Thanks to its high energy, the new album was very well received by both fans and critics.
‘Hushed and Grim’ is a special album for Mastodon’s members because it is also a tribute to the band’s former manager, Nick John, who passed away in 2018 after his battle with cancer. Therefore, the album mainly revolves around the themes of death and mourning, especially the song ‘Had It All’ is all about the loss of their longtime manager and reflects their deep sadness.
Several great musicians contributed to the album, including Soundgarden lead guitarist Kim Thayil, who played on ‘Had It All.’ Bill Kelliher revealed the story behind the recording of this track and said that he made it clear for Thayil that ‘Had It All’ is about losing someone that you have a close relationship. Then, Kelliher stated that he advised Thayil to think about his former bandmate Chris Cornell’s death to feel the spirit of this emotional track.
Here are Bill Kelliher’s words on her advice to Kim Thayil:
“I’ve always looked up to Kim. He started coming to our gigs in Seattle, and we became friends.
I knew there would be a lot of room for him to solo on ‘Had It All.’ He wanted to get it right and asked, ‘Do you need something like this or that?’ I wanted to send him the whole album so he could get a feel for the sadness and emotion.
I said to him, ‘You guys lost Chris, just channel that!’ because that’s what the song is about. Losing our manager, someone who we were very close to. Kim did a great job – his solos are out there, and nobody plays like him.”
You can listen to their collaboration ‘Had It All’ below.