In April, Atlanta's Mastodon recorded the final note of their new LP, Blood Mountain. An epic concept record about a man's voyage up a perilous mountain made of blood and inhabited by menacing beasts and one-eyed Yetis, the completion of the sludge-metal outfit's major-label debut demanded an epic celebration.
"The last day is always the best day," explained guitarist Brent Hinds. "When the last day came, we ordered 150 chicken wings — every flavor under the sun. And we ate them all, between the five of us. And then we formed our own cult, called the 'Skinny Fat Guys.' "
Mastodon might want to place another massive order on Tuesday (September 12): the day Blood Mountain is finally released. For one thing, they didn't adjust their sound to placate the execs at Reprise (see "Mastodon LP Tackles Auto-Cannibalism, One-Eyed Sasquatch"). "This is a record we would have made regardless of the label," said drummer Bränn Dailor. "You don't think about what label you're on when you're making music. That's the last thing on your mind. You just want to make something cool with your friends."
"What we pretty much set out to do has come full circle," added Hinds. "Now, we're scared, because the circle — it's like an infinity snake eating its tail. We don't know where to gobble ourselves next." There are, however, plans to tour: Mastodon began a headlining run with Converge and the Bronx on Wednesday in Baltimore, and plan to spend much of next year in their bus.
And they've got an even better reason to kick off a junk-food binge: They will actually be junk food in a matter of months (dramatically speaking, anyway). In February, the band will make its big-screen debut alongside the Cartoon Network's Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake in "Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Movie."
"I get this random call from an Atlanta phone number, and I answer and it's Dave Willis," Dailor said, referring to the man who voices Meatwad and wrote and directed the film with Matt Maiellaro. "I was freaked out because that's one of my favorite shows of all time. We totally geek out on that stuff, and I've bought the DVDs for the guys in Tool and the Mars Volta as gifts."
Mastodon wrote and recorded a track for the movie, but they weren't responsible for its lyrics — those were provided by Willis and include the line, "Leave your babies outside/ We'll run over them after the show."
"It's the opening song, and we're going to be animated as movie snacks," in the style of the animated musical advertisements that played before the beginning of the main attraction decades ago, Dailor said. "It's the 'Let's all go to the lobby' song, but it's a thrash song."
"And when the movie starts," Hinds interrupted, "the Hershey bar breaks out of his wrapper and plays a Flying V, he does a ripping guitar solo. And Bränn sings like King Diamond. The popcorn guy's walking, and when it breaks into the heavy metal, he starts bashing his head around. Popcorn kernels are going everywhere. The hot dog's mustard is splashing all over the place. The large coke is on the drums, and it's spilling out everywhere.
"This is probably our crowning achievement as a band," he concluded--Testing 3:18