Music

Mastodon takes on cancer with latest album

The musical group Mastodon arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  (UNITED STATES - TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (GRAMMYS-ARRIVALS) - RTR4OQ8S

The musical group Mastodon arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (GRAMMYS-ARRIVALS) - RTR4OQ8S

Mastodon, the heavy metal Atlanta-based band, is getting more serious on their latest album, “Emperor of Sand,” after bandmate Bill Kelliher’s mom recently died of brain cancer.

Brann Dailor, drummer, told Fox News the album is all about the illness. 

“It’s about cancer. It’s something everyone on the planet goes through, and we are just lucky enough to have our artistic platform and band that we can channel all the negative energy that comes from the feelings that surround a family member or someone close to you that is experiencing this illness,” he said.

Dailor noted that the goal of the band was to create music that is triumphant.

“We cloak it in metaphor -- instead of painting a very literal picture of the person sick in bed we have broader brush strokes and try to create some kind of fantastical environment that mimics that particular situation and within that fantastical environment you can change the circumstance and make them something more triumphant.”

Troy Sanders said the passing of guitarist Kelliher’s mom really affected the whole band.

“If you are good friends someone, and you are with one another and have a very strong relationship I think it’s a wonderful and healthy thing to do to be supportive and be physically present and again turning all these emotions into something productive. Turning this darkness into something bright and positive or at least attempting to.”

The band has been together for 17 years.

“Relationships with longevity are very rare, and I recognize that,” Sanders explained. “Our band has outlast multiple marriages... We found one another. I felt this very unique chemistry that had potential to be a cool band and we all shared that same idea…There have been so many moments sprinkled over time where it’s these incredible moments. We have been fortunate to have all these really cool opportunities… “

Dailor said the band is excited about whats to come. 

“Pushing forward to the next new thing and challenge, which is this tour coming up and things like that…that is what we are mainly thinking about not past achievements but future endeavors.”

The band hits the road and begins their tour on April 15th for “Emperor of Sand.”

You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.

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