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Mastodon's Guitarist Bill Kelliher Says Rush's Guitarist Alex Lifeson Was His First Guitar Hero

Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to Mastodon's guitarist Bill Kelliher about the bands upcoming tour with Gorjira, past tours with Metallica and Ghost and gave an update on new Mastodon music. Also Kelliher talked about his musical influences.

Watch Full interview here

When asked how much Rush was an influence in songwriting

"It's all peppered in there honestly um you know,Pink Floyd I've always liked. I've always loved classic rock. I'm 52 this year so I grew up on Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and especially Rush. Rush was definitely one of the early bands that I could actually play some of their riffs with when I first got a guitar at 15 years old, 1986. Alex Lifeson was kind of like my first Guitar Hero. I was like this guy's really cool, I couldn't play solos but I liked the songwriting you know just the fact that they didn't do stuff the same every single time. If you listen to any of their songs (Rush) it's like oh here comes that here comes the chorus again are they gonna change instead of three they do five or they do four and a half for something weird? Why'd they do that? I don't know just to be proggy I guess that's what it was, so once in a while we like to uh throw something like that in the mix and just get a little, I mean we're not masters of it like Rush."

When asked if they are writing any new music

"Yeah, there's no like shut off valve for writing and riff writing and stuff like that. It's always happening. I'm always writing, 75% of my day I'm usually playing guitar and I'm always writing stuff. I got lots of ideas. We're trying to be ambitious enough to write a song before we leave for this next Gojira tour and have it come out at some point during the tour, before the tour, in between the two legs. I'm always assembling riffs. I've got a few skeleton ideas. I'm definitely eager and really ready to get started writing the next record, there's no shortage of ideas. We still have a lot of creativity left in our band. We're all 100 % committed to our band so as soon as we get home from this touring cycle, I'm ready to show the guys some of the stuff I got. I own a recording studio and that's where we did our last record, so it was really easy just to book some time there and just go down, when we feel like being creative. It's just different now that we have our own Studio you know instead of having to book time and then you're on a schedule and it's like you're always looking at the clock. I feel like now we're just we can be more creative and take our time."

When asked about thoughts in covering new musical direction

"I don't know, I mean we've talked about doing like a punk rock album where it's much quicker faster, straight to the punch kind of really fast music. I don't know, we've talked about doing that. We've talked about rock operas, we've talked about soundscapes. There's still a lot of stuff that we have to explore and there's a lot of places in the planet we haven't been to yet. We're not throwing in the towel by any means we got a lot of uh stuff on the horizon and things that we need to check off the list.

MASTODON will join forces with Grammy Award-nominated French heavy metal luminaries GOJIRA for "The Mega-Monsters Tour", a massive co-headline tour across North America in 2023 along with special guests LORNA SHORE on all dates. It finds these two juggernauts taking over arenas and amphitheaters throughout the spring and summer, alternating closing sets each night..

Leg 1:

Apr. 18 - Portland, OR - Veterans Memorial Coliseum (buy tickets)

Apr. 20 - Concord, CA - Concord Pavilion (buy tickets)

Apr. 21 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum (buy tickets)

Apr. 22 - Phoenix, AZ - AZ Federal Theatre (buy tickets)

Apr. 23 - Las Vegas, NV - Virgin (buy tickets)

Apr. 26 - Dallas, TX - The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory (buy tickets)

Apr. 28 - Houston, TX - 713 Music Hall (buy tickets)

Apr. 29 - Austin, TX - Moody Center (buy tickets)

Apr. 30 - Oklahoma City, OK - Zoo Amphitheatre (buy tickets)

May 02 - Nashville, TN - Municipal Auditorium (buy tickets)

May 04 - Boca Raton, FL - Sunset Cove Amphitheater (buy tickets)

May 05 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre (buy tickets)

May 06 - Atlanta, GA - Ameris Bank Amphitheatre (buy tickets)

May 07 - Asheville, NC - Harrah's Cherokee Center (buy tickets)

May 09 - Richmond, VA - Virginia Credit Union Live (buy tickets)

May 10 - Baltimore, MD - Pier Six Pavilion (buy tickets)

May 11 - Reading, PA - Santander Arena (buy tickets)

Leg 2:

Aug. 09 - Cincinnati, OH - MegaCorp Pavilion (buy tickets)

Aug. 10 - Cleveland, OH - Jacob's Pavilion (buy tickets)

Aug. 11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE Outdoors (buy tickets)

Aug. 12 - New York, NY - Coney Island Amphitheater (buy tickets)

Aug. 13 - Syracuse, NY - OneCenter (buy tickets)

Aug. 15 - Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple (buy tickets)

Aug. 17 - Toronto, ON - RBC Echo Beach (buy tickets)

Aug. 18 - Montreal, QC - Place Bell (buy tickets)

Aug. 19 - Portland, ME - Cross Insurance Arena (buy tickets)

Aug. 20 - Boston, MA - MGM Music Hall (buy tickets)

Aug. 23 - Milwaukee, WI - BMO Pavilion (buy tickets)

Aug. 25 - Hammond, IN - Horseshoe (buy tickets)

Aug. 26 - Omaha, NE - Westfair Amphitheater (buy tickets)

Aug. 27 - Minneapolis, MN - Waite Park Amphitheater (buy tickets)

Aug. 29 - St. Louis, MO - The Factory (buy tickets)

Aug. 30 - Kansas City, MO - Azura Amphitheater (buy tickets)

Sep. 01 - Salt Lake City, UT - USANA Amphitheater (buy tickets)

Sep. 02 - Denver, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheater (buy tickets)

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