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Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher on ‘The Hunter’: It’s Kind of a Rebirth

Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Heavy metallers Mastodon head out on the  ‘Heritage Hunter’ tour tonight (April 4) — a massive, co-headlining trek across the country with fellow hard-hitting act Opeth. Mastodon are touring in support of their current release, ‘The Hunter,’ and when it comes to the music that made it onto the album, guitarist Bill Kelliher describes it as “kind of a rebirth.”

In other words, the songs of ‘The Hunter’ are nothing like what you’ll find on Mastodon’s 2009 release, “Crack the Skye.” As Kelliher explained to Rolling Stone, the guys had the mindset of, “Let’s hit the reset button on the band.”

Those heading out to the trek should expect Mastodon and Opeth to take turns closing out the night. Music-wise, Mastodon plan to play every blasted track off ‘The Hunter.’

“We’re trying to recapture what we did in the studio,” Kelliher said. “Really surprise the kids and play the whole record – not front to back – but play every song off ‘The Hunter.’”

Getting every track off the album to soar live hasn’t been easy, though. “It’s been challenging,” Kelliher said. “It’s kind of like cramming for an exam.

“Songs like ‘The Hunter’ and ‘Sparrow,’ there’s lots of doubled-up 12-strings, just kind of ambiances going on,” Kelliher explains. “There’s all kinds of stuff that we layered. Songs like ‘Stargasm,’ there was a lot of effects and delayed, spacey, kinda [Pink] Floyd sounds happening.” For more of the chat, visit Rolling Stone.

Check out tour dates for the Heritage Hunter Tour featuring Opeth, Mastodon and Ghost. The tour hits the Intersection in Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 14.

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