1999 – present (22 years)
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
- Bill Kelliher (1999 – present)
- Brann Dailor (1999 – present)
- Brent Hinds (1999 – present)
- Troy Sanders (1999 – present)
Mastodon is an American metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 2000. The group is composed of Troy Sanders (bass/vocals), Brent Hinds (lead guitar/vocals), Bill Kelliher (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), and Brann Dailor (drums/vocals). Mastodon has released seven studio albums, as well as a number of other releases. The band's 2002 debut album, Remission, garnered significant critical acclaim for its unique sound. Mastodon's second full-length release, Leviathan, is a concept album based on the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Three magazines awarded the record Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer.
The song "Colony of Birchmen" from the band's third album (released in 2006), Blood Mountain, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2007. Blood Mountain was followed in 2009 by Crack the Skye, and in 2011 by The Hunter, which debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved major commercial success in the United States. The Hunter features the song "Curl of the Burl", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2012. Mastodon's 2014 album, Once More 'Round the Sun, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and features the band's third Grammy-nominated song, "High Road". The band's seventh album, Emperor of Sand, was released on March 31, 2017, and features the band's most commercially successful song to date, "Show Yourself", which peaked at No. 4 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in June 2017. The followup single, "Steambreather", peaked at number 18 on the same chart in October 2017. The album's opening track, "Sultan's Curse", earned the band their first Grammy award. Emperor of Sand was the band's first album to receive a Grammy nomination; it was nominated for Best Rock Album.
Mastodon was formed on January 13, 2000, after drummer Brann Dailor and guitarist Bill Kelliher moved to Atlanta from Victor, New York, and met bassist/singer Troy Sanders and guitarist/singer Brent Hinds at a High on Fire show. They discovered they had a mutual appreciation of sludge metal bands Melvins and Neurosis, heavy metal legends Iron Maiden, and 1970s hard rockers Thin Lizzy, and shortly thereafter formed Mastodon. In an interview in 2009, Kelliher revealed that the first time Hinds attended a practice with the band, he "showed up so wasted he couldn't play".
The band recorded a demo in 2000, which featured Eric Saner on vocals. Saner left the band for personal reasons after just a couple of months. After recording a four-song demo and a 7-inch picture disc through Reptilian Records, Mastodon landed a record deal with Relapse Records in 2001. Mastodon released the EP Lifesblood in 2001, and its first full-length album, Remission, in 2002, with the singles "March of the Fire Ants" and "Crusher/Destroyer" (which was also featured on Tony Hawk's Underground). On each of Mastodon's first three full-length albums, the last track was an instrumental composition with a title that related to the Elephant Man.
Artist Paul Romano was responsible for all of the band's album art and backdrops up to 2011. The artwork for the band's fifth studio album The Hunter was made by AJ Fosik, a woodcarver who was also responsible for the backdrop the band used live at the time. Oakland-based artist Skinner, who, in his own words, specializes in "psychedelic nightmare paintings", has taken the reins on Once More 'Round the Sun. "It's going to be a work of art for sure. It's going to be very eye-opening", said bassist Troy Sanders before the album's release. "Very striking. It's from another dimension, and a lot of our music is geared toward that idea—taking you to another planet on songs. It's out there, and I think it's incredible."
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