MASTODON guitarist Bill Kelliher was asked on the MetalSucks Podcast to single out the band’s favorite track off latest album “Emperor of Sand” to play live, to which he replied (transcribed by UG):
“I gotta say it’s probably ‘Steambreather’.
“It’s got this really cool, kinda slow vibe – it’s a soulful song that’s got a big catchy chorus, it has this great guitar solo…
“It’s just a rockin’ song all the way around.
“It’s not too short, it’s not too long – it’s one of those like 6-minute songs, and it kinda starts out slow and you just hear the roar of the crowd, and people get into it.”
Asked on who makes the setlists in Mastodon and how the whole process goes, Bill replied:
“We can all say ‘Hey, I really wanna play this song in the setlist,’ but it kinda comes around, you know… You wanna open the set with a brand new song because it’s brand new, and we have a new album, we need to play some of the new songs.
“We want to throw a couple of new song in the beginning, a couple of new songs towards the end. But it’s hard, because we have a hundred songs now, eight albums full of songs, so it gets difficult.
“But once we do get the setlist put together, we kinda stick to it, because we just kinda get into this groove. There’s a lot of samples that are being run. I also run the samples that go in between each song, and we like it to be a smooth transaction.
“And in some of the newer songs we have samples, a lot of samples, noises and keyboards, and like evil voices, and little nuances that go on to the click track.
“I really have to be on my toes, literally, stepping on all these samples and having them fire at the right time. So it’s hard when you trying to tune, when you’re trying to play, and you’re trying to think about what’s going on and i sing a little bit.
“But once we get into a groove with the setlist, we just stick to it.
“We just try to throw in a little bit of each record, and a lot of times before we leave for tour, we don’t have a lot of time to practice, so we’re kinda like, ‘Which songs do we know the best?'”