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Mastodon Taps Producer Brendan O'Brien for New Album

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (June 4, 2008) — Yamaha artists Troy Sanders and Bill Kelliher, bassist and guitarist for the progressive metal band Mastodon, are in the studio with Brendan O'Brien and will hit the road soon for two tours with the band. Sanders plays a Yamaha TRB1004 and BB2004 bass and Kelliher plays a Yamaha SBG1000 electric guitar.

"Mastodon is one of the best new metal bands out there now and I'm honored to be working with both Bill and Troy on behalf of Yamaha," comments Mike Tempesta, artist relations manager for Yamaha Guitars. "Their virtuosic powerhouse sound, which encompasses styles of thrash, doom, prog, psychedelic and killer riffs make them truly original and kings of the current metal scene."

The band chose producer O'Brien, known for working with AC/DC, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, among others, to start churning out the follow up to their Grammy-nominated 2006 release Blood Mountain.

Mastodon was formed in 1999 when drummer Brann Dailor and guitarist Bill Kelliher moved to Atlanta and met Troy Sanders (bass, vocals) and Brent Hinds (guitarist, vocals) at a High On Fire show. In June 2000, Mastodon recorded their first demo and started making the rounds as a band, performing with bands as far ranging as Cannibal Corpse, Queens of the Stone Age and Morbid Angel. Their current project will be their fourth full-length album, and their second with Reprise Records.

In a recent interview with UK's Rock Sound magazine, Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor stated about the songwriting process for the group's new album, "It's a long, arduous process. We've got a skeleton for the whole record and these huge chunks of music four of five different segments that don't have a beginning or end yet… We're just basically in the middle of the record, adding stuff, giving it a taste then adding a little more 'pepper' or 'salt.' Once all the ingredients are in there, you have to bake it – which is just playing it over and over again until it feels right. The main goal is to get the songs right so you don't have to think about the time changes – so you can relax with it and play it how it should be played. There's a level of difficulty to our stuff and if you're too wrapped up in trying to remember how many times something goes and the timing for the next riff, you can't examine the song for being a song. So it takes a while."

Mastodon will take part in the inaugural "Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival" tour, which is scheduled to start July 9 in Auburn, WA and play 30 cities. Mastodon will also team up with Slayer, Trivium and an as-yet-undisclosed opening act for "The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III" European tour in the fall. So far only one date has been revealed: Nov. 10 at Eishalle Deutweg in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Mastodon Taps Producer Brendan O'Brien for New Album
— Yamaha artists Sanders and Kelliher hit the road for summer and fall tours —