During a recent appearance on Ultimate Guitar, Mastodon Guitarist Bill Kelliher talked about the sounds they used in their new double-album ‘Hushed and Grim’ and shared a festival memory.
After the recent release of the third single ‘Sickle and Peace’ from the double album, Mastodon finally released ‘Hushed and Grim’ on October 29, 2021, and it is their eighth studio album since their debut album ‘Remission’ released in 2002. The energy and depth of the new album quickly received positive comments from both fans and critics.
During the interview, Kelliher reflected on the technical details of ‘Hushed and Grim.’ The musician said he used a different guitar for each record, and Sparrowhawk was the one he used most. He also used ESP Ron Wood to get the clean sounds, and in the pedals, he used TC Electronics, Dunlop, MXR, and many others.
Bill Kelliher also stated that they like being experimental, so they tried to find different sounds for their albums. He said that he is used to playing six strings as he played in the new records, and using another string would be hard for him. Kelliher also recalled a funny story from when they were in Russia for a festival. He couldn’t get his gear in time, and they requested Deftones to use their gear, who was also one of the festival’s headliners. It seems like Deftones saved the day for Kelliher and Mastodon.
Here is how Kelliher told the story:
“I remember one time we were playing in Russia – we flew in and they would not let us in – they wanted a bribe. That’s what happens in Russia all the time. Deftones were headlining the festival and we called them and asked if we could use their gear if we couldn’t get our gear cleared in time, they said ‘for sure!’ They played 7 strings and I couldn’t play a seven-string.
The funny story is, we showed up and a guy from the opening band came running up and he had this old 70s or 80s SG and I asked if I could play it and he said: ‘of course.’ I felt the strings and they felt like they were 1000 years old so I asked if he could change the strings on it. So he said yes, he was in a Russian opening band so he ran off with the guitar. We were setting up our amps and stuff – we were late and we were already 20 min into our set time. The guy comes running back with the guitar and it had no strings on it at all.
I was getting anxious because if we didn’t play, we don’t get paid, and then it’s a wasted trip. So the guitar tech for Deftones took the guitar and threw some strings on it and literally just about as we were going to start the show, our gear showed up and our crew, being great, was able to get my guitar ready for the show and I played that. So we played, we got paid, and we got out of there.”
You can listen to Mastodon’s latest album ‘Hushed and Grim’ below.